Monday, November 05, 2007

HAPPY 20TH ANNIVERSARY TO "INTO THE WOODS"


Twenty years ago tonight, a landmark Broadway musical opened. It was of course "Into The Woods" with the amazing songs "No One Is Alone" and "Agony". This show has an amazing twenty-six songs-- which I never realized numbered that many. So for those who have forgotten: here they are all again:\
Musical Numbers "Into The Woods"
Act I
Prologue: Into the Woods - Narrator & Company
Cinderella at the Grave - Cinderella & Cinderella's Mother
Hello, Little Girl - Wolf & Little Red Riding Hood
I Guess this Is Goodbye - Jack
Maybe They're Magic - Baker's Wife
Our Little World - Witch & Rapunzel (added during the Original London Production)
I Know Things Now - Little Red Riding Hood
A Very Nice Prince - Cinderella & The Baker's Wife
First Midnight - Company
Giants in the Sky - Jack
Agony - Cinderella's Prince & Rapunzel's Prince
It Takes Two - Baker & Baker's Wife
Stay with Me - Rapunzel & Witch
On the Steps of the Palace - Cinderella (with Jack & Little Red Riding Hood in 2002 Revival)
Ever After - Narrator, Witch, Florinda, Lucinda & Company

Act II
Prologue: So Happy - Narrator & Company
Agony (Reprise) - Cinderella's Prince & Rapunzel's Prince
Lament - Witch
Any Moment - Cinderella's Prince & Baker's Wife
Moments in the Woods - Baker's Wife
Your Fault - Jack, Baker, Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood & Witch
Last Midnight - Witch
No More - Baker & Mysterious Man
No One Is Alone - Cinderella, Baker, Little Red Riding Hood & Jack
Finale: Children Will Listen - Witch & Company

In most productions of Into the Woods, including the original Broadway production, several parts are doubled. Cinderella's Prince and the Wolf, who share the characteristic of being unable to control their appetites, are played by the same actor.
Similarly, the Narrator and the Mysterious Man, who share the characteristic of commenting on the story while avoiding any personal involvement or responsibility, are played by the same actor. Granny and Cinderella's Mother, whose characters are both matriarchal characters in the story, are also typically played by the same person.

Stephen Holden writes that the themes of the show include parent-child relationships and the individuals responsibility to the community. The witch isn't just a scowling old hag but a key symbol of moral ambivalence. She is also the only character in the show who always tells the truth. James Lapine said that the most unpleasant person (the witch) would have the truest things to say and the "nicer" people would be less honest.

The show covers multiple themes: growing up, parents and children, accepting responsibility, morality, and finally, wish fulfillment and its consequences.

William A. Henry III wrote that the play's "basic insight... is at heart, most fairy tales are about the loving yet embattled relationship between parents and children. Almost everything that goes wrong — which is to say, almost everything that can — arises from a failure of parental or filial duty, despite the best intentions."The musical makes heavy use of syncopated speech. In many instances, the characters' lines are delivered with a fixed beat that follows natural speech rhythms, but is also purposely composed in eighth, sixteenth, and quarter note rhythms as part of a spoken song.
Like many Sondheim/Lapine productions, the songs contain thought-process narrative, where characters converse or think aloud.
The score is also notable in Sondheim's output because of its intricate reworking and development of small musical motifs.
In particular, the opening words, "I wish", are set to the interval of a rising major second and this small unit is both repeated and developed throughout the show, just as Lapine's book explores the consequences of self-interest and "wishing." Sondheim drew on parts of his troubled childhood when writing the show; in 1987, he told Time magazine that the "father uncomfortable with babies [was] his father, and [the] mother who regrets having had children [was] his mother."
WELL ANOTHER DAY MANAGING MY STORE-- BOY ARE THESE EMPLOYEES SPOILED BY PAST AND EASY GOING MANAGEMENT STYLES. STAY TUNED FOR MORE.

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