Into The Woods is a cleverly written musical that intertwines the stories of several fairytale characters into a hilariously fun but twisted story. Now the songs are stuck in my head and it's definitely one of my favorite musicals too.
This review is particularly about the 1991 film recording of the of the Original Broadway Cast but since many of you probably haven't heard of this musical it will focus on the musical in general. I also have a few words to say about casting news for an exciting new movie version planned for 2014.
|The Witch visits the Baker and His Wife.|
|Cinderella sings about Prince Charming.|
|Jack, his mother, magic harp and Milky White.|
|Cinderella's happily ever after.|
"Hello Little Girl" - The wolf delays Little Red Riding Hood on her way to grandmother's house and fantasizes about eating her. Red is such a funny character, probably my favorite!
*Watch Song On YouTube
"Hello, little girl, What's your rush? You're missing all the flowers. The sun won't set for hours, Take your time."
"A Very Nice Prince" - In the woods Cinderella meets the Baker's Wife and tells her about attending the balls at the King's Festival and about meeting the Prince.
*Watch Song On YouTube
-He has charm for a Prince, I guess...
-I don't meet a wide range.
"Giants In The Sky" - This is probably my favorite song now! Jack tells about climbing the beanstalk and meeting giants. A fairly simple melody but a strong voice is needed to do the song justice!
*Watch Song On YouTube
"A big tall terrible Giant at the door, A big tall terrible lady Giant sweeping the floor."
"Agony" - Brother princes meet in the woods and talk about the frustrations of wooing Cinderella and Rapunzel. Definitely quite hilarious!
*Watch Song On YouTube
-Am I not sensitive, Clever, Well-mannered, Considerate, Passionate, Charming, As kind as I'm handsome And heir to a throne?
~You are everything maidens could wish for!
-Then why no-?
~Do I know?
-The girl must be mad!
"It Takes Two" - A very sweet song sung by the Bake and his Wife as they finally decide to work together to get the items the Witch demands.
*Watch Song On YouTube
"You've changed. You're daring. You're different in the woods. More sure. More sharing. You're getting us through the woods. If you could see- You're not the man who started, And much more openhearted Than I knew You to be."
|Little Red Riding Hood and the wolf.|
- Tom Aldredge as The Narrator - He starts out the story with the ever famous words "One Upon A Time" and helps move the story along. There is a hilarious moment when the story characters realize he's there and take him captive! "Some of us don't like the way you've been telling it." Yes, the story does get a bit crazy!
- Bernadette Peters as The Witch - One of the main characters, the Witch appears all evil but there is more to her than first meets the eye (literally!). Bernadette Peters adds so much to the Witch including amazing humor, and makes her one of my favorite characters. Her voice is quite amazing too, "Last Midnight" is just amazing! "A giant, a giant's just like us only bigger. Much much bigger. So big!"
- Chip Zien as The Baker - He's sort of the moral compass of the story, always doing what is right even though he'd really like to steal the items he needs. He does have some funny moments but overall is very sweet. Chip Zien's voice is very smooth and perfect for the character.
- Joanna Gleason as The Baker's Wife - An interesting character who does have quite a few humorous lines. Joanna Gleason is perfect in the role, such light and movement, warmth and smarts. Her voice is strong and blends perfectly with each character she sings with. It's no wonder she won a Tony award for Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical for this role!
- Kim Crosby as Cinderella - The perfect fairytale heroine she is sweetness itself, talks to birds, has her wishes granted and cares for everyone. In an interesting twist she attends a series of balls at the King's festival and though she dances with the Prince each time she runs away from him uncertain whether she really wants to be pursued by him. Kim Crosby's voice is gorgeous and she's usually quite graceful but she does have amazingly funny pray falls that get the audience giggling at her.
- Danielle Ferland as Little Red Riding Hood - Probably my favorite character from Into The Woods! Red is greedy and comically stuffs her face at every chance, she is also very matter-of-fact and says whatever comes to mind whether it's nice or not! "You can talk to birds?!?" Danielle Ferland was amazing in this role, her song "I Know Things Now" is pure genius!
- Ben Wright as Jack - Young and devoted to his mother and his cow but easily led astray. Played by an older actor but he captures the youthfulness of the character.
- Barbara Bryne as Jack's Mother - Very concerned about providing for herself and her son, she sends Jack through the woods and on to the market to sell their cow Milky White. Although she's slightly annoying she also has her funny moments brought to life amazingly by Barbara Bryne.
- Robert Westenberg as The Wolf - A bit creepy and very greedy but he too has his funny moments. Only one song but long enough for us to realize that the guy under the wolf suit also plays Cinderella's Prince, a similarly greedy character. The costume they have him wear is a bit odd.
- Tom Aldredge as The Mysterious Man - With his funny introductions and mysterious appearances he helps the story along but without making much sense until toward the end of the first act.
- Robert Westenberg as Cinderella's Prince - "I was raised to be charming, not sincere." This quote just about sums up both princes. He is bold in his pursuit of the maiden and rescuing her but not very heroic when it comes to his kingdom. Robert's voice is very rich and suits the character perfectly. An interesting fact is that in real life the Cinderella and Prince Charming characters met and married through this production!
- Pamela Winslow as Rapunzel - Very young and a little dim witted. She sings constantly and isn't very interesting although her story is made interesting by being part of the Witch's story. Her screeching scenes toward the end of the production is pretty funny.
- Chuck Wagner as Rapunzel's Prince - I rather like him more than Cinderella's Prince but his character is very similar. The duets he does with his brother prince are brilliantly done and some of my favorite songs! "Dwarfs are very upsetting!"
- Lauren Mitchell & Kay McClelland as Lucinda & Florinda - Cinderella's stepsisters who are both very mean and have endings they deserve. Small characters but well done.
- Edmund Lyndeck as Cinderella's Father - Another small part but he's a bit like a Mr. Bennet character and has a few witty lines.
- Joy Franz as Cinderella's Stepmother - A very mean character she leads her daughter is absurdities to try to get the Prince's attention. The way Joy Franz speaks sometimes was odd but she did a good job.
- Merle Louise as Red's Grandmother & Cinderella's Mother - Small parts but necessary to the story.
- Philip Hoffman as King's Steward - Another small part but he moves the story along helping with the search for Cinderella and has a few funny lines.
|Rapunzel in the tower.|
The ending songs make up for all the messes and the cast is given a well deserved standing ovation. I highly recommend Into The Woods (1991) if you love musicals and fairytales like I do.
Into The Woods (2014) - A film adaptation of Into The Woods has been in the works for quite a while now and it seems close to being made and released! It seems Disney may have a hand in the production and that James Lapine who wrote the original story/book has written the screenplay for it but there's rumors that some of the characters have been cut. There's a lot of rumors going around about cast but here's what IMDb is currently listing and I like them very much in the roles! James Corden as The Baker, Emily Blunt as The Baker's Wife, Meryl Streep as The Witch, Anna Kendrick as Cinderella, Chris Pine as Cinderella's Prince, Johnny Depp as The Wolf, Daniel Huddlestone as Jack (Gavroche!!!!), Christine Baranski as Cinderella's Stepmother, Lucy Punch as Lucinda, Tammy Blanchard as Florinda, Mackenzie Mauzy as Rapunzel, Billy Magnussen as Rapunzel's Prince, Tracey Ullman as Jack Mother and Sophia Grace Brownlee as Little Red Riding Hood. Traditionally the roles of Jack and Red have been played by older actors so having actual children in those roles could be great, especially having Gavroche in another film! Meryl Streep will make a great Witch but I'll miss the original Witch Bernadette Peters. James Corden could be hilarious as could Emily Blunt and Johnny Depp. Anna Kendrick will be a perfect Cinderella! Looking forward to more news about this film!
|"Wishes may bring problems,|
Such that you regret them.
Better that, though,
Than to never get them..."
Have you heard of Into The Woods or ever seen this or another stage production of it?
Did you watch the film clips? Which was your favorite?