Last Friday was the opening night of Drama Center of City Arts’ Into the Woods, a musical that weaves together several different fairy tales and highlights the darker side of the characters. I’ll admit that it takes a few seconds to get settled into the musical since it begins with a song right off the bat. But it’s well worth it. The voices that were on stage last week were absolutely incredible.

I was blown away, especially by the young and developing talent. Sondheim’s musical is beautiful, challenging and even funny. Almost the entire show is comprised of musical numbers by the characters, with a narrator off to the side who explains the rest of the story to the audience.

Keep an eye on the adorable Little Milky White cow who almost steals the show, as well as Little Red Riding Hood. All of the actors do a great job adding a little more “character” to their character. The semi-dark comedy continues at Weaver Academy this weekend, Thursday through Sunday. Not all of the characters live happily ever after—or even live at all.

While Into the Woods more closely resembles the original Brothers Grimm version of the fairy tales, Community Theatre of Greensboro is presenting a feel-good Disney version. Friday through Sunday, the youth from its summer camp are performing The Little Mermaid, Jr. at its Starr Theatre.

Thursday through Saturday, Piedmont Players Theatre presents another Disney classic, Tarzan, at the Norvell Theatre, 135 E. Fisher St., Salisbury. Apparently this week’s theme is childhood stories.

Also this week is Theatre Alliance’s Tick, Tick, Boom, an autobiographical rock musical, which runs Wednesday through Sunday. The show features the composer of Rent and his life of struggles before he finally wrote a successful Broadway.

Next Wednesday a local actor will shave his head for Open Space Café Theatre’s production of Bat Boy: The Musical. The protagonist is a half-boy, half-bat that lives in a cave near Hope Falls, West Virginia. When he can no longer hide, he’s forced to assimilate and eventually reveal secrets of his past. The production is “funny, clever and intriguing.” Look for a feature on the play in next week’s issue. !