Friday, February 22, 2013

Fairy Tale Fridays - Into The Woods

Y'all know I'm a big fan of musicals (not sure where I picked up the Southern twang, sorry) so it seems only fitting that I should feature the fairy tale musical on Fairy Tale Fridays. The problem is that I have never seen Stephen Sondheim's Into The Woods. I know it's come to Omaha many times in the past 17 years but, I'll be honest, it really hasn't interested me much. I didn't know the the music and all I really knew about it was that the Broadway show starred Bernadette Peters. Whose voice I really don't care for. Yeah, I know, it seems kind of silly to disregard all stagings of a musical because of that but there you have it.

Recently however, thanks to Pandora, I've become acquainted with the music. While it won't crack into my top ten of musicals for the music, it is still Sondheim and definitely worth a listen. Which, in turn, got me more interested in the story.

James Lapine's book weaves together several fairy tales into a new story. Into The Woods combines the stories of "Jack and the Beanstalk," "Cinderella," "Little Red Riding Hood," and "Rapunzel." Even the more original piece of the story, that of a baker and his wife, draws heavily from the world of fairy tales, evoking the story of the Gingerbread boy. Just to make things even more interesting, Lapine throws in a witch.

Original Broadway cast of Into The Woods
That's a lot of characters and there is a lot going on in this book, with all of the characters interacting with each other. There's so much going on in this musical, I'm quite sure that if it ever does come to Omaha again, I won't be taking The Big Guy to a matinee. Because he naps at matinees. I don't want to spend the entire second act explaining to him that even though it seemed like everyone was going to live happily ever after at the end of Act I, things aren't quite as rosy as they seem. Which, as it happens, if pretty much how life works, isn't it?

Have you seen this musical? What did you think of the story? The music?


  1. Makes me think of another boo I want to read - Scarlet, the retelling of the Little Red Riding Hood story as cyber fiction... I'd love to see Sondheim's musical too.

  2. Not a musical I'm familiar with, it sounds like more than one visit is needed.

  3. I absolutely love Into the Woods. It's one of the first musicals I was ever acquainted with due to my brother being in the musical in high school. He bought the cds and we watched the filmed version from the original cast. So funny. So much going on. It's just one of my favorites.

  4. I haven't seen (or even heard of!) this musical, but the mention of fairy tale elements caught my interest. I'll keep an eye out for any performances in my area.

  5. My son played Cinderella's prince in a local dinner theatre production of Into the Woods and I fell in love with the show. The songs are great, and the characters are so interesting--sort of like watching Fractured Fairy Tales. I absolutely adored the song my son sang, "Agony," with the other prince. It might be my favorite song that he's performed!

    I also find the witch to be a really interesting character. The only part I didn't care for was Cinderella's mother in the tree--her moaning and screetching got on my nerves.

    Definitely see it when it comes to town!

  6. I would love to see it. How is it possible I haven't? I don't even know if it's in NY. Is it?

  7. Have not seen the show nor really knew anything about it until your post. I'm such a loser, sometimes!! I did however watch two musicals for the first time ever last weekend, Singing in the Rain and Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. I loved them both!

  8. Love this show and the music. But I also love the way sex, sexuality, and AIDS is explored through the story, though never in to heavy handed of a manner. If you are unaware of the connection, most people woudn't even notice, and just enjoy the show for what it's worth.