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F-M thespians to perform 'Into the Woods'

"Into the Woods" debuted in San Diego, Calif. in 1986 and premiered on Broadway one year later. Next weekend, the Stephen Sonheim musical will be performed at our very own Fayetteville-Manlius High School, with a cast of 75 thespians playing characters from a host of Brothers Grimm fairy tales. Little Red Riding Hood, Jack and the Beanstalk, Cinderella and other well-knowns are faced with the consequences of their actions that include both disastrous and comical results.

"It's a beautiful story about wishes and dreams," said David Brown, director. "It is funny, sarcastic and very poignant at times."

Brown chose this particular musical for sundry reasons. First, it offers several leading roles (16 in total), giving more students the opportunity to be in the spotlight. Second, it enables the kids to work within the framework of comedy and tragedy, which, Brown said, is "the best of both worlds," and third, they get to learn and sing the work of Sonheim, considered both challenging and educational.

But those list the reasons for the students, how about incentives for audience members?

"I am trying to give the community something different that other schools have not done," Brown said. "Being more unknown, though, I worry that people may shy away. Please don't, it will astound you to see this show -- I promise."

Auditions (104 of them to be exact) began right before December break with rehearsals starting immediately after, in January.

"These young people are solid," Brown said. "And when you see what they have created, it will make you laugh, it will make you cry, but mostly it will just blow you away."

Performances are scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday March 5, 6 and 7 with a special matinee at 2 p.m. Saturday March 7. Tickets are $10 for reserved seating. For more information, call 692-1916.

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