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Into the Woods

Into the Woods
Your Price: $20.95 CDN
Author: Stephen Sondheim & James Lapine, with additional material by Hugh Wheeler
Lyrics by: Stephen Sondheim
Publisher: Theatre Communications Group
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 160
Pub. Date: 1993
ISBN-10: 0930452933
ISBN-13: 9780930452933
Cast Size: 10 female, 7 male

About the Play:

Into the Woods is a full-length dramatic comedy by the modern master of musical theatre Stephen Sondheim and book writer James Lapine. A childless baker and his wife endeavour to lift their family curse by journeying into the woods, where they encounter Rapunzel (and her witchly "mother"), Cinderella, Jack (of Beanstalk fame), Little Red Riding Hood and other classic fairy tale characters, and they all must learn the responsibility that comes with getting what you want.

Into the Woods tells a story of a baker and his wife who learn that they've been cursed by the witch next door and left unable to bear a child. They set out on a journey "into the woods" to break the spell. While in the woods, their story weaves in familiar themes from Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel, and Jack and the Beanstalk, but this production ventures beyond "happily ever after." What begins as a lively fantasy ends in lessons of responsibility, consequences for our actions, and what we teach our children. Little Red has strayed far from the path, Jack's found a second beanstalk, Prince Charming's eyes are wandering, and there's a Witch living next door. Stephen Sondheim's most popular musical turns the world of fairy tales topsy-turvy, reminding us that granted wishes often bring complications. Filled with exquisite music and brilliant lyrics, Into the Woods features notable songs such as I Know Things Now, No One is Alone, and Children Will Listen, and the show's title song.

Into the Woods premiered in 1986 at the Old Globe Theatre in San Diego, California. The musical later opened on Broadway at the Martin Beck Theatre in 1987. The original Broadway production, directed by James Lapine, opened in 1987 and ran for 765 performances at the Martin Beck Theatre. In 1988 it received Tony Awards for Best Score (Stephen Sondheim) and Best Book (James Lapine). Most of the original cast reunited for a tenth anniversary benefit performance in 1997. A national tour ran across the United States from November 1988 to September 1989, with a longer residency at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. It has since been produced throughout the world and and was revived on Broadway at the St. James Theatre in 2022.

Cast: 10 female, 7 male

What people say:

"That joyous rarity, a work of sophisticated artistic ambition and deep political purpose that affords non-stop pure pleasure. A ravishing explosion of color and melody and magic and laughter." — Time Magazine

"Total enchantment. A spellbinding score, witty enough to make old stories fresh for adults, lovely enough to enchant youngsters." — New York Daily News

"Bewitching... dazzling... triumphant." — New York Post

"[Sondheim's] lovely score – poised between melody and dissonance – is the perfect measure of our tenuous condition. The songs invariably follow the characters' thinking patterns, as they weigh their options and digest their experience. Needless to say, that doesn't make for traditional show-stoppers. But it does make for vivacity of another kind. And Sondheim's lyrics... are brilliant." — The Washington Post

About the Playwright:

Stephen Sondheim (1930-2021) was an American composer and lyricist known for his immense contributions to musical theatre for over 50 years. His musical compositions and lyrics earned him a Pulitzer Prize, an Academy Award, and numerous Tonys among other awards and honours. Described by Frank Rich of The New York Times as "now the greatest and perhaps best-known artist in the American musical theater."

James Lapine is an American stage director, filmmaker, playwright, screenwriter, and librettist. Regarded as a major figure in American theater, he has frequently collaborated with Stephen Sondheim and William Finn, garnering a Pulitzer Prize for Sunday in the Park with George. He has won the Tony Award for Best Book of a Musical three times, for Into the Woods, Falsettos, and Passion.

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