After a year-long postponement CHMCC’s ‘Into the Woods’ hits the Jetty Memorial Theatre stage

Some of the cast in rehearsal for the show. Photo: supplied.


COFFS Harbour Musical Comedy Company’s (CHMCC) long awaited production of Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine’s multi award winning Broadway musical ‘Into the Woods’ opened at the Jetty Memorial theatre on Friday 7 May.

Originally planned to be on stage in May last year, the production has seen many changes to personnel over that time, including a new Director and Musical Director, and numerous changes in the cast as well.

It has been worth the wait.

The show weaves together fairytales from the Brothers Grimm, and features familiar characters including Cinderella, Little Red Ridinghood, Jack and the Beanstalk, and Rapunzel.

Under the tutelage of director Tim Gibbs and Music Director Sharyn Messner, both newcomers to CHMCC, this extremely challenging musical has come to life.

Sondheim and Lapine’s work is complex and technically demanding, asking a lot from amateur performers, and this cast delivers in style.

The vocal work from the entire cast is spot on, and while some of the songs are almost confusingly intricate there were no false steps in this performance.

With a mix of well-known and polished performers that Coffs Harbour audiences are familiar with and a slew of newcomers and developing talent, the cast presented a Broadway level show.

Particularly enjoyable was the two Prince’s rendition of ‘Agony’, and the portrayal of the Wolf was a highlight.

Also impressive were the newcomers on stage, none of whom were overwhelmed by their more experienced peers.

Staging was simple and very effective, costumes were excellent, and the large group choreography was crisp and fresh.

The clever use of a small ensemble to cover a myriad of incidental but essential roles was also impressive.

It appeared that the audience became more and more engrossed in the story as the show progressed and they seemed captivated by the intensity of the performances.

The show runs until the end of the month, and tickets are available from the Jetty Theatre website at, with Dine and Discovery vouchers redeemable for tickets at the box office.


By David TUNE

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