For the past 10 years, Stephen Fodor has been trying to produce "Into the Woods, Junior." This year, the eighth-grade teacher at Westfield Community School wasn't taking no for an answer.
Fodor will produce "Into the Woods, Junior" for the second annual District 300 Foundation Presents Summer Musical.
If you goWhat: "Into the Woods, Junior," the second annual District 300 Foundation Presents Summer Musical
When: The show opens Friday with performances on Saturday, July 16, Friday July 22 and Saturday, July 23. All shows are at 7:30 p.m.
Where: Jacobs High School, 2601 Bunker Hill Drive, Algonquin
Tickets: $5 and available at d300.org or at the door. Seating is general admission.
"Every time I have presented it, there has been a reason why we can't do it," Fodor said. "This year, there weren't enough people saying no."
Fodor knows the musical is challenging, with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and based on a book by James Lapine. But Fodor is confident students can handle the catchy tunes and intertwined storylines involving familiar fairy tales.
Fodor is working with choreographer Jessica Cano, a teacher at Golfview Elementary School; Director Matthew Silar, a District 300 alumnus; and musical Director Kimberly Sass, a music teacher at Hampshire Elementary School.
"Sondheim, when he wrote music, it was very challenging," Fodor said. "The pace and the comic timing is also more difficult than a lot of the musicals for this age group."
The cast and crew includes 60 students from each of the district's middle and high schools. This is the first year the foundation has included students from all middle and high schools.
"Everybody who experiences this show enjoys the music," Fodor said. "The music gets stuck in your head. It is catchy and beautiful."
"Into the Woods, Junior" is a fairy tale in which all of the classic Brothers Grimm characters live in a village where they meet and interact on their journeys. The audience learns why Jack sold his cow to buy the magic beans and what made Cinderella's stepmom mad at her, among other stories.
"It's a different view, a different take on the same old stories," Fodor said. "The term that's being used is a reboot."
Last year, the foundation presented "Willy Wonka."