Arts & Entertainment

West Orange Heads "Into the Woods" at Liberty Middle School

The cast and crew of Into the Woods Jr. at LMS. Credits: Cynthia Cumming
Credits: Cynthia Cumming
Credits: Cynthia Cumming
Credits: Cynthia Cumming
Teachers Patti Richardson, Vince DeJesus, and John Hellyer are at the helm. (Not pictured: Christina Alamo and Amy Shera.) Credits: Cynthia Cumming

WEST ORANGE, NJ - Based on the smash Broadway musical, "Into the Woods-Jr." will premiere at Liberty Middle School, 1 Kelly Drive, on Thursday, May 8 at 7:00 pm, with an encore performance Friday, May 9, also at 7:00 pm. Performances will be held in the auditorium.

In the Woods Jr. is adapted from the original three-act Broadway production and is geared for school-aged performers. The play incorporates the First Act of the Broadway show and includes music from the Second Act as well. There are 36 cast members and 14 crew members, who are led by Chorus teacher John Hellyer and assisted by teachers Vince DeJesus, Patricia Richardson, Christina Alamo and Amy Shera.

The appeal of Into the Woods is its unique interaction of several storybook characters, including Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel, Jack (and his beanstalk), and the Witch. The central characters are a baker and his wife who want a child; Cinderella, who wishes to attend the king's festival; and Jack, who wishes his cow would give milk. When the baker and his wife learn that they cannot have a child because of a witch's curse, the two set off on a journey to break the curse and everyone's lives are changed forever.

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"All the costumes were loaned to us," noted Mr. Hellyer as he gathered the actors onstage to perform "Into the Woods," the signature song of the show. Hanover Park High School, Smiling Rhino Theater in Pompton Lakes, and Montville High School loaned some spectacular costumes to the performers.

"Edison Middle School Art Teacher Melanie Racaniello also donated her time and talent to paint our amazing backdrops," Hellyer continued. "Parents and families members should order their tickets online now to get the best seats. The show is sure to sell out!"

Each year, Mr. Hellyer and several members of the staff make 'cameo' appearances during the show.  What will they do this year? Get tickets today to find out.

Tickets are $10.00 and can be purchased by visiting  

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