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Into the Woods Cast & Crew Spotlight: Lola Bond and Jackie Collins

Into the Woods Cast & Crew Spotlight: Lola Bond and Jackie Collins

By: Emma Grimm

Lola Bond
Photo by Michael Presley Bobbitt

Name: Lola Bond
I play: The Witch
My favorite show is: Why must you ask me these things?!?!? How can I possibly pick just one?
My favorite food is: Cheese
Something weird about me: I’m an ordained minister

Being no stranger to musical theatre, I’m sure you’ve borne witness to Bernadette Peters’ critically acclaimed performance as The Witch in the original Broadway cast of Into the Woods. The role was seemingly written for her.

How have you been able to make the witch your own? What has your process been like to get to the point you’re at now?

I grew up watching Bernadette Peters and have always loved her in this iconic role. I feel that she, and Meryl Streep, do amazing work with this character and to not take a few tips and tricks from their book would be foolish. However, as with any role, I still try to make it my own. Paying homage to the greats while still putting my own twist on things. I hope that audiences will glimpse a bit of Bernadette’s whimsy, Meryl’s torment, and Lola’s passion. In the end, my goal is to be true to Sondheim’s vision of the character while adding a bit of my own flair to the mix.

Besides yourself, who is your favorite character?

I can’t pick just one, sorry! I’ll go with Jack, The Steward, Milky White, and Granny. The comic relief they add to the show is much needed and very well done.

What is your favorite part of the show?

“Moments In The Wood” is my favorite song with so many of my favorite lines crammed into one place beautifully sung and masterfully performed by Laura. “Oh if life were made of moments, even now and then a bad one. But if life were only moments, then you’d never know you had one.”

What do you love about playing your character?

She’s complex in the way that a well rounded ‘villain’ should be. “I’m not good, I’m not nice, I’m just right. I’m the Witch. You’re the world”

Jackie Collins
Photo by Michael Presley Bobbitt

Name: Jackie Collins
I play: Cinderella
My favorite show is: Sound of Music or South Park: Bigger, Longer, Uncut
My favorite food is: Anything my husband makes
Something weird about me: I had an unborn twin I absorbed and I can play piano upside down on my back

As musical director, you took on the tremendous task of tackling Sondheim’s score for Into the Woods. His work is notorious for its complex rhythms, vocal leaps, vocabulary, and manipulation of literary devices. It would seem that a group of community theatre volunteers may not have sufficient musical training to properly perform his music.

How have you gone about understanding and teaching such an involved piece of musical theatre?

The reason I thought this theater would be perfect for the show was because of the actors background in acting, not necessarily singing. So often singers are cast in this show with a weaker acting dimension and the story becomes lost. By honing the emotional skills of the cast I was able to use that in the songs. The songs are a huge part of the story and need to be acted out as if they were spoken. The melodies were added on after. Like any community theater show there are weaker singers but that is made up for in his or her understanding of the character and acting. One can hear the songs sung perfectly , but without the emotion behind it the show is boring

What is your favorite part of the show?

My favorite part of Into The Woods is the quote from Little Red’s song “I Know Things Now” when she says “Nice is different than good.” This song can be overlooked due to the cutesy singing and light melody, but the lyrics express a lot of great points about the woods.

What are you most excited for the audience to see/experience?

I am most excited for the audience to be introduced to our newest ART actor, Devin, who plays Jack. I am responsible for bringing him to the show and I, among many others, admire him.

What do you love about playing your character?

I like that I get to pretend I am back in my Miss America Pageant days while wearing the ball gown. I also enjoy giving the character a more nerdy, clumsy personality.

Besides yourself, who is your favorite character?

My favorite character is the narrator. The narrator has to have musical timing and personality to go with it.

What do you think makes this production different and special?

The closeup visual of the woods makes this production more intimate and easier to get into. Audiences can be lost and at times bored watching a stage play of Into The Woods because of the separation.