Tituss Burgess Casts a Gender-Bending Spell as The Witch in Into the Woods, Starting Tonight

News   Tituss Burgess Casts a Gender-Bending Spell as The Witch in Into the Woods, Starting Tonight
The DreamCatcher Theatre and Adrienne Arsht Center production of the award-winning Stephen Sondheim-James Lapine musical Into the Woods begins performances Jan. 22 in Miami, FL.

Tituss Burgess
Tituss Burgess Photo by Jennifer Leigh Mann

The musical, which is directed by Justin Fortunato, marks the inaugural production of DreamCatcher Theatre, a South Florida-based company led by the brother-sister team of Natalie and J.J. Caruncho. Performances are scheduled through Feb. 15 in Miami's Carnival Studio Theater with an official opening Jan. 23.

The cast is headed by Broadway actor Tituss Burgess as the Witch, the role created on Broadway by Tony winner Bernadette Peters. Burgess will play the role as written.

Natalie Caruncho previously told Playbill.com, "When we asked the authors for permission to cast Tituss initially, it was for him to play the role, as written. We felt that with Tituss’ unique abilities, his brilliant voice, generosity of spirit and his understanding of the Witch, that this was an opportunity we didn’t want to miss. His portrayal of the Witch is honest, beautiful, and will move audiences to tears, make them laugh, and leave them in awe. It is a gift to have him in our company. Also, Into the Woods is one of the most beautiful scripts and scores that there is. The goal has always been to find the best story tellers we could find, bring them back home to Miami, and have them tell this story honestly. It’s going to be a magical production."

The company also includes J.J. Caruncho (Baker), Arielle Jacobs (Baker’s Wife), Annemarie Rosano (Cinderella), Magan Dee Yantko (Little Red Riding Hood), Bruno Vida (Jack), Laura Turnbull (Jack’s Mother), Laura Hodos (Step Mother), Cristina Flores’ (Florinda), Elaine Flores (Lucinda), Marina Pires (Rapunzel), Justin John Moniz (Cinderella’s Prince/Wolf), Matthew Janisse (Rapunzel’s Prince), Elizabeth Dimon (Granny/Giant), Jeni Hacker’s (Cinderella’s Mother), Oscar Cheda’s (Cinderella’s Father), Roland Rusinek’s (Steward), Wayne Legette (Narrator/Mysterious Man), Kelsey Flynn’s (Sleeping Beauty) and Annette Navarro (Snow White).

Into the Woods, according to press notes, "takes place in the fairytale kingdom of the Brothers Grimm where, once upon a time, a baker (J.J. Caruncho) and his wife (Arielle Jacobs) were sent on a quest into the woods by a mysterious witch (Tituss Burgess). Thrust into a world of magic and adventure, they find their story intertwined with a group of legendary characters including Cinderella (Annemarie Rosano), Little Red Riding Hood (Magan Dee Yantko), and a certain young man named Jack (Bruno Vida) who happens to have some very magical beans." The production also has music direction by Robert Neumeyer, choreography by Kiesha Lalama, set design by April Soroko, costume design by Alberto Arroyo, lighting design by Bryan Kaschube, sound design by Rich Szczublewski and prop design by Jodi Dellaventura. Ron Castonguay is the conductor.

Tickets are $50 and may be purchased through the Adrienne Arsht Center box office by calling (305) 949-6722 or online at arshtcenter.org.

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