Everyone’s favorite fairy tales are brought to life on stage through Sondheim’s musical “Into the Woods” as The Newtowne Players perform this enchanting Tony Award-winning musical. The show opened with standing ovations this Friday and will be performing on stage at the Three Notch theater in Lexington Park, Maryland through July 21, 2023. I hope after reading this you will be charmed into spending a moment in the wood.


James Lapine and Stephen Sondheim take everyone’s favorite fairytale characters
and bring them together for a timeless tale in a new and refreshing way. We get to go beyond the picture perfect “Happily ever after” and see what happens beyond it.  The story begins with the Baker and his Wife who long to have a child. They soon discover their wish is cursed by the witch next door. In order to break the spell, they head into the woods to bring the witch four required items; “the cow as white as milk, the cape as red as blood, the hair as yellow as corn and the slipper as pure as gold.”

Along the way they cross paths with Little Red Riding Hood, who is bringing food to her sick granny; Jack, who is bringing his beloved cow Milky White to the market; Cinderella, who is on her way to the kings festival and Rapunzel, trapped in her tower looking to explore the new world. Each character has their own story, but as they all journey through the woods, their stories become intertwined. Along the way, they face the difficulties of the wood: wolves, enchantments, and even giants.

By the end of the first act, the Baker and his Wife break the Witch’s curse, and everyone lives happily ever after! Or so they think! But wait that’s not the end. Proceeding intermission we see what happens when we explore after the happily ever after. I won’t ruin the ending by revealing the second act. Some things are worth seeing yourself!


To take the kids or not take the kids; that is the question! Parents need to know that Into the Woods is a beautiful, clever, funny and a ultimately uplifting take on classic Brothers Grimm fairy tales.  If you are familiar with Grimm’s fairy tales, you already know they are a bit different than the Disney versions. You will see the true nature of the cunning wolf, less than perfect princes, deceptive devices of the step mother and a truly wicked witch. If the true nature of the villains wont upset your child, I think they will do well with the beginning of the show. Into the Woods is energetic, fast paced and fun. So attention span wise, the show is well written and the performers do a great job in keeping audiences of all ages entertained. Thus, making Act 1 a great family friendly show.

However, some more mature concepts are introduced in Act 2. For this reason, age 10 and up is the recommendation for for the live performance of Into the Woods. I had the pleasure of talking with the producer and it was suggested that if you have a little one under the recommended age who love the theater and/or all things fairy tale related; you should take them to see Act 1 and leave during intermission. Usually the concept of dipping out early is frowned upon; that is not the case with this show.  The cast and crew are fully aware that small children might not make it through the full show. By the close of Act 1, everyone gets there happy ending and the show feels complete. Act 2 dives into thought provoking situations;  children lose their parents, sympathetic characters die and the loud sounds of the thunderous Giant can be a lot to take in for a young one. I know I was left in tears and emotions played with.


  • Young audience members might enjoy dressing up in their favorite costume.
  • Bring along a stuffy to cuddle.
  • Use the bathroom before the show and at intermission. There are no scene changes or breaks during Act 1 or Act 2. There are facilities available on site, including a family bathroom.
  • During some shows the characters might come around in costume for a photo op.
  • If loud noises or flashing lights are a problem, consider attending the sensory sensitive showing on July 6th.


While I’m a huge theater nerd; I’m also a huge fan of fairy tales. After literally just reading the entire book of Grimm’s original fairy tales, I was delighted to hear Into the Woods was performing locally. The musical is so well written, I recognized plots, poems and songs from the original tales in this stage version. The songs Cinderella’s mother (played by Shannon Myles Obedoza) sings were beautifully highlighted and recognizable from the original tales, which was nostalgic for me.

Something you wont usually see in a article is my opinion of a show. Or at least not an entire section dedicated to my praises of the show. I usually give the information to readers and let them form opinions for themselves. However, for this show I have to take time to applaud Newtowne Players in their performance. I was truly taken back by the talent!  After having the opportunity to attend the show, I wouldn’t be surprised if word gets out and this show is sold out every night! Southern Maryland’s most talented performers have come together to put on this show. I was completely blown away by each character, who I might add were perfectly cast. I decided it was a must to take the time to show case each cast members talents.

Erich Engel as the Baker and Becky Kuhn as the Baker’s Wife were a fantastic pairing with amazing energy and chemistry. The Witch played by Angela Garcia Clark blew me out of the water, she is a complete powerhouse! Red Riding Hood (Pateley Bongiorni) and Jack (Jay McKulka) had amazing emotion and character development that you connected with them easily.

The puppeteering work was truly remarkable and so well done. Watching the actress Piper Philyaw move around the puppet with animated facial expression was a delight.

Rachel Taylor who played Cinderella enchanted us with her voice. There was even a young child who impressed me by the many roles he played. It was his first time performing and I would have never be able to tell. Not only can this lad act but he can whistle!

The comedy work of the princes played by Anthony Richardson and Brandon Maher and D’Manda Martini in the role of step mother and sisters were so humorous and fun. I was delighted to see familiar faces; Sarah Gravelle Jacks Mom and Phoebe Kammerer Rapunzel back in the spot light. The Narrator Aiden Cleary Davis guided us through the story with grace and sophistication. This was hands down the best show I have seen all year!


Location: Three Notch Theatre- 21744 South Coral Dr. Lexington Park, Maryland

Show Times: Thursdays-Saturdays 8:00 PM, Sundays 3:30 PM

Adults $18; Special Discount Groups $15/Children 6-11 $13/Under 5 free (not recommended for young children)/NTP Members $16

Show Length: About 2 Hours 5 Minutes with a intermission after Act 1


***Thank you Newtowne Players for inviting me out to this amazing show in. All photographs and information are intellectual property of The Playful Parent and may not be used with out permission. ***