- Prologue: Into the woods
- Cinderella at the Grave
- Hello, Little Girl
- I Guess this is Goodbye / Maybe They're Magic
- Our Little World
- I Know Things Now
- A Very Nice Prince / First Midnight / Giants in the Sky
- IT Takes Two
- Stay with Me
- On the Steps of the Palace
- Ever After
- Prologue: So Happy
- Agony (Reprise)
- Any Moment / Moments in the Woods
- Your Fault
- Last Midnight
- No More
- No One Is Alone
- Finale: Children Will Listen
Into the Woods, composer Stephen Sondheim and librettist James Lapine's musical based on fairy tales, closed its original Broadway production on September 3, 1989, after 765 performances and went on to be mounted by community theaters and high schools frequently thereafter. The first Broadway revival opened April 30, 2002, only 12 and a half years later. Given the relative brevity of that interregnum and Lapine's return as director, it is not surprising that the later version is very similar to the original. Fans of the original Broadway cast album will note slight alterations here and there in the music, usually having to do with singing parts. In several instances, sections that were sung by one performer are sung by two or more. For example, there are now two wolves serenading Little Red Riding Hood in "Hello, Little Girl," which parallels the other pairs of characters in the show (the two princes, etc.). The added vocal participation also emphasizes the ensemble nature of the show. This time around, Vanessa Williams, as the witch, and John McMartin, as the narrator, are given above-the-title billing, but they are no more the stars of the show than are a half-dozen other performers. This cast compares favorably with the original one. If Williams is shriller and more one-dimensional than Bernadette Peters, McMartin is a better singer than Tom Aldredge. But the entire new cast manages to navigate Sondheim's intricate, witty lyrics, bringing out the puns and other elaborate wordplay. (Referring to an aging cow, one character sings, "We've no time to sit and dither/While her withers wither with her.") Meanwhile, Jonathan Tunick's orchestrations are as effective as ever. Those who own a copy of the earlier album don't need this one, but new fans may prefer this one, especially if they've seen this production.
Performance CreditsVanessa Williams Vocals,Track Performer
John Beal Bass
John Campo Bassoon,Woodwind
Paul Gemignani Conductor,Musical Direction
Marilyn Reynolds Violin,Concert Mistress
Ron Sell French Horn
Mineko Yajima Violin
Nancy Billmann French Horn
Richard Brice Viola
Paul Pizzuti Percussion
Dominic Derasse Trumpet
Beth Robinson Harp
Deborah Assael Cello
Gregg Edelman Vocals,Track Performer
Laura Benanti Vocals,Track Performer
John McMartin Vocals,Track Performer
Adam Wylie Track Performer
Larry Lelli Percussion
Mark Mitchell Keyboards
Christopher Sieber Vocals
Stephen DeRosa Vocals
Molly Ephraim Vocals
Amy Zoloto Clarinet,Woodwind
Into The Woods Pit Orchestra Performing Ensemble
Technical CreditsStephen Sondheim Lyricist
Robert Hurwitz Executive Producer
Jonathan Tunick Orchestration
Todd Whitelock Engineer
James Lapine Director,Book
Judy Steinmeyer Illustrations
Susan Hilferty Costume Design
Gregory Meeh Special Effects
Dan Moses Schreier Sound Design
Jim Carnahan Casting
Gregg Schaufeld Editorial Coordinator
Douglas W. Schmidt Scenic Design
Gragg Schaufeld Editorial Coordinator
Steven Epstein Producer
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This is unlike me to judge a soundtrack so harshly, but here it goes. Vanessa Williams cannot bewitch anyone with an IQ of over 60. Her voice is beautiful, yes, but not a witch's voice. She can sing pop music, but when it comes to actually sounding like you are in agony, she falls short. The witch makes the show. Therefore: -3 stars Next, we have Jack's mother, who is supposed to have a significant singing role in the prolouge, but she doesn't sing a bloody thing! -1 star Here is the only exceedingly good part about it. Its Sondheim. Plain and simple. Both that and the far away hope that for an anniversary show or something like that Bernadette Peters will come back for a while and be the witch, and hoping they recast Jack's mother soon.
Being not a typical theater fan, I am a person who is eager for reinterpreted incarnations of famous theatrical works (i.e Angela Lansbury and Bernadette Peters as Mama Rose in "Gypsy") unlike many theater and film fans who always feel that the "original" is the definitive interpretation. I have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed this recording of the classic musical, even more so when I saw it in December 2002 at the Broadhurst Theater. Vanessa Williams gives a wonderful and scary take on a part that was mostly broadly comedic. She gives it a distressed touch, reinforcing the theme of overprotective and scary mothers who would do anything for her children. Plus, people forget that she is actually interpreting the Witch as her "own", not a carbon copy of Bernadette Peters's famous role. How can you compare scary and comedic? They were directed differently by the great James Lapine. Laura Benanti is a joy as Cinderella, elevating the character from featured to leading character. Other words, this is a great recording of an interesting revival.
"Into the Woods" is one of my favorite musicals and I would recommend it to anyone. However, you'll fall in love with the magic and themes of this tale much more through the original cast recording. Though some of the characters voices are better trained and more lyrical in the revival, what is sacrificed are distinctive characters. (For example, the Baker in the original has a simple singing style which compliments his peasant status.) No one can hold a candle to Bernadette Peters (original Witch)--her emotion and character just pour out of the original recording. Some of the voices in the revival are actually harsh to listen to (Witch, Jack and his mother). In short: Add this musical to your collection--just add the original cast recording!
This recording is not for those of you who enjoy the original cast recording of INTO THE WOODS. Although the enhanced sound quality on this recording surpasses that of the original, the voices are awful (with the exception of Cinderella, the Baker's Wife, the Baker, and Rapunzel). Vanessa Williams plays a very fake Witch in Act I--she sings with a weak ''Witch voice'' that is not at all funny, and it does not serve the music justice at all. However, in Act II, when she sings uninhibited, she is satisfactory. In addition, there are a few score changes on the album (especially in ''Last Midnight,'' ''Witch's Lament,'' ''Hello, Little Girl,'' ''On the Steps of the Palace,'' and ''Our Little World''). Some of the lyric changes help clarify the Witch's character, which are very nice, but others are superfluous and do little but add to the length of the CD. My advice: Stick to the original; the revival is not needed...it is a disappointment.
Into the woods was great. The music was fun to listen to and it was lively!!!! I could listen to it for hours! I would defently rate it a five!!!
Wow!! This recording is amazing. Everybody is so upbeat and enjoyable to listen to. There is not a boring moment in the whole thing. Vanessa Williams has a great witchy attitude,which brings out a whole new her. Her voice is wonderful along with the rest of the cast. The baker and his wife are younger and have more angelic voices compared to Chip Zien and Joanna Gleason in the Orignal one. Cinderella sounds gorgeous. If you have seen the show or love Into the Woods than without a doubt this is a must. It will have you singing and dancing to all of the songs. It is something you don't want to miss!!!!
I am just glad that I bought the cd before investing $95 a ticket to see the show... This recording is very hard on the ears. There are a some very nice voices but mostly not. Songs are spoken instead of sung and many are shrilly and shouted out, the witch and little red in particular. Stick to the original cast recording where the characters at least sing and act out their songs.
Even though I'm usually not interested in revivals, this was probably the best broadway show I've ever seen. Vanessa Williams, Kerry O'Malley, Laura Benanti, Molly Ephraim, John McMartin, Stephan Derosa and everyone else make this CD (and show) absolutly fantastic. Although some may argue, I think the changes in the lyrics of some of the songs help justify the character of the Witch and also make the songs themselves more interesting.
I just saw the Broadway revival of this show, and I was very impressed. Definetely not my absolute favorite, but it impressed me, a very bug musical theatre fan. Though sometimes a bit hard to follow (many characters singing different things at the same time), I found myself captivated by the songs, and the story; showing that even after the ''happily ever after'', people are still not satisfied. I never heard the original one, so I cant compare the two, but I would definetely recomend seeing this show, or buying the soundtrack.
I can't understand the other comments before mine. This recording is almost perfect. Having worked with Sondheim in the past, I know what a perfectionist and a stickler he is when it comes to his shows and recordings. Since he and James LaPine who created the music, book, and characters, this cast seems to be exactly what they were looking for. The voices are marvelous. I'm a huge Bernadette Peters fan, and althought Vanessa's interpretation is different, hers is done equally as well as Bernadette's. The rest of the cast is marvelous. Everyone who enjoys and admires Sondheim should add this new recording to their collection. It's five stars all the way!! After all, this is a musical play and one of the best, and acting goes forth ahead of singing. In this case the acting, as well as the singing is superb!!
I LOVE THIS CD!!!!!!!!!IT'S GREAT!!!!!!!!!!
The revival of Into the Woods is arguably the best stage production I've seen in years. Vanessa Williams gives an incredible performance, as do the others. This soundtrack doesn't disappoint.
Anyone who thinks this album isn't good needs to recheck their interest in Broadway, because this is as good as it gets! Vanessa Williams has the voice of an angel, and the music just has you dancing and singing along wishing you could join the baker, little red, and everyone else! It is a must have!
Why did they need to 'revive' the original? When you have an all-star cast, namely Bernadette Peters, Chip Zien and Joanna Gleason- how can one think that another could succomb to anything better. I love you broadway, but you failed. This new version is rushed, the feeling is lost and the talent is that of a poorly done middle school musical production(which I believe could have done better). I cried in agony(mind the pun) and out of absolute love when I heard the original talent and story in the forst ITW version- I cried tears of hatrid after hearing what an awful thing this show has now become. Please, if you have any musical sense or passion for stage- buy the orginal- it's cheaper in price- but certainly much richer in talent and passionate meaning.
The new cast of Into the Woods does a terrific job, in my opinion. It's different than the original yes, but if you're open minded to accept a few changes, then it's awesome. I like all the changes that were made. And for anyone who doesn't know Into the Woods, I reccomend it. It's two fairy tales in one, with a clear journey. All the characters go through moral decisions and explore their full personalities in the wilds of the woods. Act One is a children's fairy tale. Act Two is an adult's soap opera. It's an amazing work of art. Sondheim wins!
This CD is absolutly awesome!!!!! I love it!
Venessa Williams voice is horrable I would rether listen to nails on a chalk board. Jack's mother's voici is just as bad. I own the OBC and it is much more enjoyable to listen to. I don't know who the casting director was but they need to be Fired. The music is very good but not the cast. The school district I go to did the show and it had much more talent. That is not saying to much to the cast. Do yourself a faver and buy the OBC.