You’ve Gotta See: Into the Woods

Julia Stanski, Staff Writer 
Edited by Victoria Chiu


Although it’s recently been popularized as a movie, “Into the Woods” has been a cult classic musical since 1987. A creation from the minds of Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine, this show is often referred to as “two shows in one”. The first act, which twists together a bunch of Grimm’s fairy tales, is more or less family-friendly, and ends with happily-ever-after conclusions. The second act is much darker, becoming a very adult piece dealing with fear, moral ambiguity, and crises. The show as a whole looks at parent-child relationships, right and wrong, and the human condition. It’s fantastic theatre and incredibly entertaining, yet very cerebral, multi-layered, and enigmatic—you could write a hundred essays analyzing this show and still miss things.The original production featured Bernadette Peters as the Witch, and introduced one of the most fascinating and fun numbers in musical theatre, the Witch’s Rap. Youtube it—this cross-genre combination about vegetables requires impressive vocal dexterity and rhythm. Other standout songs are “Children Will Listen”, the moving finale, and “Giants in the Sky”, a wonderful and difficult song sung by Jack (of the beanstalk). Trust me—seeing the movie is not the same as seeing this show.

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