Into the Woodsis a musical with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and book by James Lapine. The musical intertwines the plots of several Brothers Grimm and Charles Perrault fairy tales, exploring 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 a story involving a childless baker and his wife and their quest to begin a family (the original beginning of The Grimm Brothers’ Rapunzel), their interaction with a witch who has placed a curse on them, and their interaction with other storybook characters during their journey.
“Be careful what you wish for” seems to be the ongoing theme in Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine’s Brothers Grimm inspired musical,Into the Woods. The storytrailsThe Baker and his wife who wish to have a child, Cinderella who wishes to go the King’s Festival, and Jack who wishes his cow would give some milk. When the Baker and his wife are visited by the neighborhood witch, who reveals to them that she placed a curse on their family, the two set off on avoyageinto the woods to reverse the curse. Also in the woods, we meet Little Red, who is trying to visit her grandmother, the Wolf who loves tasty little girls, the Witch’s daughter Rapunzel, and the Princes chasing after their loves. By the end ofActI, everyone has gotten their wish and will seemingly live happily ever after. But in Act II, when Jack’s beanstalk brings them a visit from an angry Giant, we see how thecostsof their actions haunt them indevastatingways. The community must come together to save each other and theirterritory, but sacrifices must be made.
The musical was a little hard to follow because there was a lot going on. It is one that you have to sit and watch the whole thing to understand what is going on. If you miss any part of itwill confuse you because the whole story is tied together. The themes are beloved childhood fairytales from long past that intertwine and is told as an overall story, such as when the witch toldthe Baker and his wife that if they want the curse reversed, they have to bring her some ingredients for a potion – a cow as white as milk, a cape as red as blood, hair as yellow as corn, a slipper as pure as gold. She needs it by midnight in three days’ time when the blue moon will come, which only happens every 100 years. If they can bring her the ingredients, she promises them a child.But it keeps going and brings more characters from the fairytales to the story.
The actors and actresses that I liked onInto the Woodswould have to be Cinderella because she works hard and finally after all the mistreating she has been through she finally finds her true love but things are twisted and not the way she wants it to go. Another character I like was the giant, because the giant was just misunderstood. She just wanted to be befriended. The characters I disliked would have to be the baker’s wife because she is a cheater and up to no good throughout the musical. Although she got what she wanted as it turns out none of them are happy and sometime later they realize it.
The lighting and set seemed a little drab to me. It was kind of dark and not too many props were used, this was very minimal.The costumes were pretty spot on the way I remember the stories. The sound was good for an open theatre, but a little hard to hear in certain areas. The makeup was great I loved how they had Rapunzel and her long flowing hair and how they had the baker’s wife she was plump.
I guess for the play the lighting was okay especially that it came out in 1999. Technology has come a long way since that period. Overall I liked the props and thelighting.
Overall the story could not keep me interested because I am not a fan of adultery and deceit. To me a fairytale is unrealistic but enjoyed as a child. Later one will realize that life is not that fairytale and be crushed that they can’t find their “prince charming”. The story has a great way of showing the true side of a fairytale in reality.