Be careful what you wish for.
That's what Columbus Academy director Susan Neal said audiences might take away from the Upper School's presentation of Into the Woods at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, April 26 and 27, at the school, 4300 Cherry Bottom Road.
"I chose the play primarily because fairy tales are so popular today," she said. "It's based on fairy tales, and you'll find many characters in it from fairy tales: Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood and Jack from Jack and the Beanstalk."
The first act, Neal said, is about characters making wishes.
"By the end of Act 1, all of their wishes have come true," she said. "By the end of Act 2, things have gone awry. I think it shows to watch what you wish for and make good wishes."
Freshman Nathan Salon of New Albany and sophomore Emma Farrenkopf of Gahanna will play the lead roles of Baker and Baker's Wife.
"The music is difficult and challenging," Neal said. "It was a challenge, and the students rose to the challenge. I think audiences will be surprised how well they mastered the material."
Other cast members from Gahanna are senior Sydney Frazier as Cinderella's mother, freshman Andrew Zhang as Cinderella's father and sophomore Tarushi Gupta as Lucinda. A pair of ninth-graders from Blacklick also play supporting roles: Paulina Martz as the narrator and Nneka Udeagbala as Granny.
The rest of the cast includes junior SueSan Chen of Worthington as Cinderella, freshman Conner Poulin of Pataskala as Jack, junior Abby Littleton of Upper Arlington as Jack's Mother, sophomore Caroline Savage of Dublin as Cinderella's Stepmother, senior Eliza Jaeger of German Village as Florinda, sophomore Emily Cipriani of Westerville as Little Red Riding Hood, senior Emily Carlin of New Albany as the Witch, freshman Liam Wainaina of Reynoldsburg as the Mysterious Man, senior Alleluia Tyus of Columbus as the Wolf, sophomore Mackenzie Miller of Westerville as Rapunzel, junior Jeremy Schroeder of Worthington as Rapunzel's Prince, junior Elliott Nick of New Albany as Cinderella's Prince, freshman Connor McAfee of Westerville as the Steward, sophomore Sarah Fornshell of Galena as Snow White and sophomore Sydnie Boykins of Reynoldsburg as Sleeping Beauty.
In addition to a 40-student cast and crew, Neal said, the intricate set of Into the Woods brings the musical to life.
Many trees and different structures represent the houses of the characters, Neal said.
"They look like books and they open," she said. "It's a gorgeous set."
Neal said this year marks the 25th anniversary of Into the Woods.
Tickets for both shows will be available at the door for $7 but are free for Academy students and faculty/staff members.
Columbus Academy is an independent, coeducational college preparatory school serving 1,079 students in pre-kindergarten through grade 12 from all over central Ohio.