In a musical that contains all of your favorite fairy tale characters, where the word “happy” is repeated more times than I can count and everyone has their wishes granted, there are some dark, poignant, and very real themes addressed. While diving into the character of the Witch, it has made me realize that not everything in this musical has a positive, wholesome moral.
The Witch, a nasty, bitter woman, intrudes on the Baker and his wife to tell them that a curse she placed on his family has ruined their chance at a happy life. She tells them that in order to reverse this curse, they need to go into the woods to find four specific objects. The Baker and his wife hurriedly go to the woods to find these objects and do what it takes to live their happy lives. Of course, as these stories go, the Witch has her own interests in mind the entire time. How painfully true is this in real life? So often in life do we have to work hard at something and in the end, while it does help us improve, it makes someone else look better. Maybe you worked hard at your job and your boss gets the praise. Maybe you studied harder than ever for a test that you finally aced and the teacher takes the credit. Are the boss or the teacher in these situations evil for what they’ve done? Not in the slightest. Without them in the first place, you might not have achieved your goals at all. While it seems difficult at times, we need to be grateful for the Witches in our lives.
This cast is exceedingly young. I am the token oldie at 25 years old. This music is HARD. This subject matter is not your typical, happy-go-lucky musical material. Needless to say, we are all working incredibly hard at this. As the old person in the cast, I am so grateful that we are tackling this Goliath of a work. While the cast is young, we are already having to deal with the hardships of life. We have problems and pains, and working on a musical of this caliber, I find, is quite cathartic. It’s quoted constantly, but the message of “No One Is Alone” is profoundly important for everyone to hear, especially young people. Going through something difficult, something you may feel like you’ll never get past, and knowing that someone has been through it and someone is with you, how could we ask for more?