Conway Dinner Theater to present Into the Woods

Carol Rolf/Contributing Writer Published May 1, 2014 at 12:00 a.m.
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Carol Rolf/Contributing Photographer

Among those appearing in the upcoming production of Into the Woods at the Conway Dinner Theater are, seated, from left, Abby Shourd as the understudy for Florinda and Lucinda; Rachel Bland as Cinderella’s stepmother; and Ashley Murie as Rapunzel; and standing, Billie Overstreet as Jack’s mother; Jacob Clanton as Jack; Johnny Passmore as Rapunzel’s prince; Luke Conner as Cinderella’s prince; Trey Smith as the understudy for Jack; Kim Norris as Little Red Riding Hood’s granny; and Abby Bickers as the understudy for Little Red Riding Hood.

CONWAY — Familiar fairy-tale characters will take the stage in the Conway Dinner Theater’s presentation of Into the Woods, a musical with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and book by James Lapine. Shanna Rae of Conway directs the local production.

The show opens today and continues Friday with a dinner and theater performance. Dinner will be served at 6, followed by the show at 7. A theater-only performance will be given at 7 p.m. Saturday. Additional performances will be dinner and theater on May 9 and 10 and a theatre-only performance on May 8.

All performances will be at the Conway Dinner Theater, 2201 Washington Ave. The entrance to the theater is on Hutto Street.

The dinner menu includes chicken-fried steak with “milky white” gravy, “witch’s” garden salad, “magic” beans, “baker’s” yeast rolls and “granny’s” goodie bars.

Tickets for the dinner and show are $27.50 for adults and $11 for children 10 and younger. Tickets for the show only are $14.50 for adults and $5.50 for children 10 and younger.

All tickets may be purchased at Kordsmeier Furniture, 1023 Oak St., by calling (501) 339-7401, or online at

“Sondheim takes Cinderella, Jack in the Beanstalk, Little Red Riding Hood and Rapunzel and intertwines them with a fairy tale of his own about the baker and his wife,” said Joan Hanna, director of the Faulkner Academy of Arts, which sponsors the Conway Dinner Theater, as well as the Conway Women’s Chorus.

“In the first act, we see these characters wishing for something,” Hanna said. “Then in the second act, we see they have found what they were wishing for, but they are still wishing for more.”

Hanna said she would rate the musical PG-13 because “it is a little dark. But it’s probably the most popular musical now on the circuit. It’s constantly touring.”

Members of the local cast include members of the community, as well as students: Jay Ruud of Conway portrays the narrator and the mysterious man. Amber Welch of Conway appears as Cinderella, and Jacob Clanton of Conway plays Jack.

David Allison of Little Rock is the baker, and Kristen Sherman of Conway is the baker’s wife. Rachel Bland of Little Rock is Cinderella’s stepmother, and Lauren Matherne of Conway plays Cinderella’s stepsister, Florinda.

Kelly Green of Conway is Cinderella’s stepsister, Lucinda, and Frank Norris of Greenbrier is Cinderella’s father. Mary Nail of Conway plays Little Red Riding Hood, Rita Woodward of Conway is the witch, and Kim Norris of Greenbrier is Cinderella’s mother, Little Red Riding Hood’s granny and the voice of the giant. Doug Luman of Conway plays the wolf.

The play also includes Ashley Murie of Greenbrier as Rapunzel, Billie Overstreet of Conway as Jack’s mother, Johnny Passmore of Greenbrier as Rapunzel’s prince, Luke Conner of Forrest City as Cinderella’s prince and Trey Smith of Conway as the steward. Abby Shourd of Conway and Abby Bickers of Greenbrier are members of the ensemble.

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