Into the Woods

Into the Woods

4.9 28
Director: James Lapine

Cast: Bernadette Peters, Chip Zien, Joanna Gleason

     
 

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Originally broadcast as part of the American Playhouse series on PBS, this video captures a performance by the original cast of the popular Broadway musical. With songs and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and a book by James Lapine, who also directed the stage production, Into the WoodsSee more details below

Overview

Originally broadcast as part of the American Playhouse series on PBS, this video captures a performance by the original cast of the popular Broadway musical. With songs and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and a book by James Lapine, who also directed the stage production, Into the Woods humorously combines a number of classic fairy tales into one over-arching narrative. A baker and his wife are assigned a number of tasks by a nearby witch; only after completing these duties will they be able to give birth. During their quest to fulfill the witches' demands, they encounter Little Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel, Cinderella, and numerous other fairy tale figures. The traditional stories are parodied and altered at will, yet the original fairy tales' sense of wonder and, at times, darkness remains intact. The score, winner of Broadway's Tony Award, includes such songs as "Children Will Listen," "Giants in the Sky," and "No One Is Alone."

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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
Since its Broadway debut, Into the Woods has become a staple of regional and community theatres around the country. The video translation captures much of the magic of the original production; however, because the stage show was essentially filmed as a stage show, rather than re-imagined for film, there is an inescapable static quality to the proceedings, as well as a "distancing" effect that keeps the viewer from really getting involved with the story. That said, there is still a great deal to recommend the video, especially for theatre enthusiasts. Stephen Sondheim's glorious score is presented in full, allowing one to enjoy the witty "Agony," the lovely "Children Will Listen," the amazing "Giants in the Sky," and the touching "No One Is Alone." James Lapine's witty dialogue and intricate plotting are also preserved, though they suffer significantly from the static filming. Bernadette Peters is a delicious Witch and Joanna Gleason a stand-out as the Baker's Wife. Gleason uses her wry delivery, guarded warmth, and underlying sense of restlessness to create a fairy tale character with considerable depth. Ben Wright is a lovably befuddled Jack and Danielle Ferland an amusingly tough Red Riding Hood. Into the Woods is a valuable record of an important musical, but it's a shame that such an imaginative musical did not receive a more imaginative video production.

Product Details

Release Date:
08/27/1997
UPC:
0014381395129
Original Release:
1990
Rating:
NR
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[Full Frame]
Sound:
[stereo]
Time:
2:33:00

Related Subjects

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Bernadette Peters The Witch
Chip Zien Baker
Joanna Gleason Baker's Wife
Tom Aldredge Narrator,Narrator/Mysterious Man
Kim Crosby Cinderella
Danielle Ferland Red Riding Hood
Ben Wright Jack
Chuck Wagner Rapunzel's Prince
Pamela Winslow Rapunzel
Kay McClelland Stepsister
Maureen Davis Sleeping Beauty
Barbara Byrne Jack's Mother
Robert Westenberg Actor

Technical Credits
James Lapine Director,Screenwriter
Sue Blane Costumes/Costume Designer
Michael Brandman Executive Producer
Ann Hould-ward Costumes/Costume Designer
Joanna Merlin Casting
Iris Merlis Producer
Stephen Sondheim Score Composer
Tony Straiges Set Decoration/Design

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