“That joyous rarity, a work of sophisticated artistic ambition and deep political purpose that affords nonstop pleasure.”–William A. Henry III, Time
Into the Woods is a musical that includes lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and book by James Lapine. It debuted in San Diego at the Old Globe Theatre in 1986, and premiered on Broadway on November 5, 1987.
This picture book-adaptation of the Broadway musical brings together many favorite characters in one tale, including the childless baker and his wife, Cinderella, Rapunzel, Little Red Riding Hood and Jack with his beanstalk. Talbott’s adaptation retains the flavor of Sondheim’s lyrics, and those who know the score will find themselves singing along. All ages. – Publishers Weekly
Bernadette Peters’s performance as the Witch and Joanna Gleason’s portrayal of the Baker’s Wife brought acclaim to the production during its original Broadway run. Into the Woods won several Tony Awards, including Best Score, Best Book, and Best Actress in a Musical (Joanna Gleason), in a year dominated by The Phantom of the Opera. The musical has been produced many times, with a 1988 US national tour, a 1990 West End production, a 1997 tenth anniversary concert, a 2002 Broadway revival, a 2010 London revival and in 2012 as part of New York City’s outdoor Shakespeare in the Park series.
The musical intertwines mainly the plots of several Brothers Grimm fairy tales and follows them to explore the consequences of the characters’ wishes and quests. The main characters are taken from “Little Red Riding Hood”, “Jack and the Beanstalk”, “Rapunzel”, and “Cinderella”, as well as several others. The musical is tied together by an original story involving a childless baker and his wife and their quest to begin a family, their interaction with a witch who has placed a curse on them, and their interaction with other storybook characters during their journey.