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?

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