“Into the Woods”

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As an avid Stephen Sondheim fan, I have been fortunate to see many of his plays on Broadway.  However, even though I have enjoyed the music from “Into the Woods,” I have never made an attempt to see this production.  With the recent release of the movie version, I thought here is a less expensive chance to see another Sondheim work.

“Into the Woods” screenwriter James Lapine weaves Grimm’s familiar fairy tales into a story for adults.  Two thirds of the movie, follows the exploits of Cinderella, Jack, Little Red Riding Hood and others as they look for happiness in their lives.  All their adventures involve traveling through the woods.786936845884_p0_v1_s114x166In the last third of the film, the characters face the consequences of their actions, which lead to tragedy and vast changes in their futures.

Campy and, at times, very funny, “Into the Woods” is superbly acted by its cast.  Meryl Streep is cast as one of the most ugly witches of all  time.  Her challenge to the childless baker and his wife, forms a key element of the plot.  The major cast members are not usually known for their singing ability, but all meet the acting and singing challenges of their roles.

Many Broadway musicals have not been successful made into films.  “Into the Woods” is one of the best.  Traveling with this group of story book characters through the woods was great fun.

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