Everyone knows the stories: Cinderella is rescued by her prince, Little Red Ridinghood survives the wolf attack, Jack steals his riches and Rapunzel escapes from her tower.
But what happens to them after the "happily ever after" is another story … and it's woven into one tale in the musical comedy-drama "Into the Woods."
For months, a cast and crew of more than 50 students at McCaskey High School have been busy preparing the stage for three performances of the Tony Award-winning show March 29-31.
The musical is being directed by the longtime directing duo Timothy and Lisa Sterner. This is the 18th show that Timothy Sterner, who also is the high school choral director, will be a part of at McCaskey.
While Timothy Sterner said that "Into the Woods" ended up being the perfect vehicle to showcase his students' talents, it wasn't his first choice.
"The kids came to me and said they really like 'Into the Woods,' but I wasn't sure because we'd just done it 10 years ago," he said. "In the end, we decided to make it a reunion - all the kids who were in it a decade ago can be our guests this year."
The musical, written by Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine, is hung on the original tale about a baker and his wife.
Cursed with childlessness by the witch next door, the couple ventures deep "Into the Woods" on a quest for the special objects they need to break the spell. By swindling, lying to and stealing from Cinderella, Little Red and Jack, they reach what appears to be a happy ending at the conclusion of Act One.
But what awaits them in Act Two is anything but happy. The consequences of their actions mount - along with casualties - until the survivors are taught a valuable lesson about the transforming powers of love, truth and brotherhood.
The only big issue that the Sterners came across while putting the show together was not having enough parts to go around. So, they put their own spin on things.
"We added a bunch of characters that aren't in the original because we wanted to get everyone involved," Timothy Sterner said. "We have a very talented group of kids this year."
The musical will star Zander Gawn and Johanna Reynoso as the baker and his wife. Esther Verkouw is Cinderella, Will Broaddus is Jack, Katy Mauer is Little Red, Tara Horn is Rapunzel, Taylor Chase is Sleeping Beauty, Maggie Campbell is Snow White, Lorenzo Simpson and Ian Sanchez play the princes and Madeleine Scott is the witch.
Andrea Amos leads the supporting cast as Jack's mother, Luke Harnish is the mysterious man and Jordan Tracy is the narrator of the tale. Erika McCandless is Cinderella's stepmother, with Phoebe Radcliffe and Megan Elbert as the wicked stepsisters, Andrew Linder as Cinderella's father, Becca Smith as Cinderella's mother and Florian Beaupre as the prince's steward.
Show times are March 29, 30 and 31 at 7 p.m. Tickets are $7 for adults and $5 for students and senior citizens. For more information call 291-6211.