It is been 20 many years because “Into the Woods” was previous on Broadway, but it is the first time that Stephen Sondheim won’t be there in person to witness his show remaining revived for new audiences.
“I consider he’s smiling down on us from earlier mentioned,” T’Anika Gibson, who performs Cinderella’s stepsister Lucinda, informed Range on opening evening. “To share this display soon after COVID took place, he’d want almost nothing far more than to share this story.”
Right after a smash, two-week run as part of the New York City Center’s Encores sequence before this calendar year, “Into the Woods” moved to the St. James Theater on Broadway for an eight-week engagement, with many of its A-checklist solid, like Sara Bareilles, Gavin Creel and Julia Lester, and creatives returning. For the Broadway operate, Brian d’Arcy James, Patina Miller, Phillipa Soo and Joshua Henry joined the fairytale musical that mashes alongside one another tales like Cinderella, Rapunzel, Crimson Driving Hood and Jack and the Beanstalk.
This revival, nevertheless, spots the emphasis on Sondheim’s audio and James Lapine‘s tale by putting the orchestra on stage with the actors and forgoing any sets or particular consequences.
“This is about definitely stripping absent almost everything but the tunes,” Bareilles told Wide variety. “It’s about music and functionality. It genuinely lets [Sondheim’s] genius to be the star of the exhibit. It’s been a genuinely lovely experience to observe these tracks arrive to everyday living. Almost nothing is hidden about it, it’s all entrance and centre in a actually wonderful way. James Lapine shared that he thinks Stephen would be genuinely overwhelmed by this production in a attractive way.”
“Lapine wrote us a note and stated, ‘I know Stephen’s smiling down on all of you,’” Brooke Ishibashi who plays Cinderella’s other stepsister Florinda, told Selection. “I really feel like Stephen’s below with us. I hope we’re honoring him by bringing men and women to see his tale and share his information.”
The packed opening evening introduced in a star-studded group of Broadway and Hollywood stars, like “Stranger Things” direct Gaten Matarazzo, Tony winner James Iglehart, “Rent” star Taye Diggs, Disney composer Alan Menken and extra.
Michael R. Jackson, who created and just received two Tonys for “A Bizarre Loop,” reported that Broadway is entering a new age immediately after Sondheim’s demise.
“It feels like a new era dawning,” Jackson told Assortment. “We’ve experienced so several different eras in musical theater. This is a new era. He leaves driving these kinds of an remarkable and vital legacy of excellence, and I’m glad we go on to see his will work be celebrated.”
Even though the strike music of “Into the Woods,” like “No One particular Is By itself,” “Agony” and “I Know Points Now,” obtained rapturous applause, one particular of the most significant breakout stars may well be a bovine puppet named Milky White. Kennedy Kanagawa, who handles the cow and other puppets, provides out some of the most lifelike and charming expressions, in spite of Milky White’s face, ribs and udder being designed out of cardboard.
“The puppetry in this present is following amount,” Henry informed Variety. “I’ve under no circumstances found just about anything like it lead to these kinds of an significant tale. I questioned Kennedy how long he’d been undertaking this and he explained he acquired at Encores. I assumed he’d been executing it for 10 many years. The way he handles Milky White, you appear at that cow and you see the purity and innocence of another person ahead of they enter the earth. You see yourself in that cow I see myself in in Milky White.”