12 thoughts on “Into the Woods (2014): Yes, Yes, No, Yes

  1. (Copied and pasted from Facebook because I will defend Sondheim on ALL the websites!)

    I will be posting an article about the costumes on Clothes On Film soon so please add that to your list when it goes up! I’m also writing an article for The Sondheim Review which I believe will come out in June.

    I completely disagree about the music! If you want the same song over and over go to Les Mis. Sondheim’s work for Into the Woods is gorgeous, combining traditional aspects of musical theater (big opening and closing numbers, reprises, etc) and putting his own twist on them. He takes different musical themes and develops them as the story and characters evolve. The show is as much about a musical journey as a plot journey. Same for the lyrics, which cleverly twist and turn. His genius is especially evident when there’s a reprise and you can see how the language has subtly shifted to echo plot/character development. The music and lyrics are so layered and complex, and on the surface you may not see it but really studying this show shows Sondheim’s typical genius.

  2. BUT I LOVE LES MIS! Or, at least my 17-year-old self does. I’m sure if I had seen Into the Woods on stage first, especially with the fabulous Bernadette Peters, my opinion would be different.

    1. To be fair I do enjoy Les Mis as much as the next girl, but it’s certainly no Sondheim. The original cast also features the incomparable Joanna Gleason as the Baker’s Wife! And a large wolf peen. I remember watching the video with my parents when I was really little and feeling rather awkward.

      Into the Woods is kind of in my blood because my mom photographed the original production. In fact I wouldn’t be here without Sondheim because my parents’ first date was to see Sunday in the Park with George. I came full circle last winter when I was in a concert production of Sunday in the Park, my mom says that both her and my dad cried.

  3. If you haven’t seen it yet, please watch the Bernadette Peters version – many of the songs were cut down (or completely left out) in the movie version, which changes the dynamic entirely and leads to the repetitive monotony. The reprise of the princes’ song alone is worth it, IMO.

  4. Oh man, can I just watch the evil stepsisters part? I just love their costumes, it’s like fantasy 18th C a la Ab Fab! Once again the bad girls get the best clothes.

  5. I was so not thrilled with the music, but I can’t really blame the actors. They did a beautiful job with what they were working with. But what they were working with sucked monkey butt. All of the imperfect rhyme and the dissonance and repetition… agh!!

  6. I’m super late in this comment,but have you considered taking a look at the 1991 filmed version of the Broadway Show?
    Cinderella and her step family are wearing 1830s style gowns, complete with Apollo Knots for hair.
    I’m not so sure about the other characters, I know Jack and his mother had unfortunate bigginses.

  7. I don’t think you can say you love musical theatre when you’re not familiar with Sondheim. He can be an acquired taste for some, but ignorance is no excuse. Les Mis is a half-step above Andrew Lloyd Weber in terms of good musical theatre. That is, it’s schmaltzy and pandering.

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