"Careful the things you say, Children Will Listen...."
How did I not know that Stephen Sondheim's Broadway hit was in production for the big screen thanks to Walt Disney and Warner Bros?
Broadway World have let slip that Meryl Streep is in talks to play the role of The Witch. INTO THE WOODS takes classic fairytales and turns them on their head. To begin with the fairytales play out as they should with only mild deviations where the stories cross paths but after the happy ending what comes next? In the Pursuit of happiness what were the consequences of Cinderella's wish, Rapunzels escape from the tower, Little Red Riding Hoods thirst for Wolf Blood, The Baker's Wife' need for a child and of course The Witches search for former glories? What happens when selfish wants of the few throw a kingdom into turmoil?
That's the story of Stephen Sondheim's Into The Woods and it's brilliant. My first foray into the show was when the BBC aired the filmed version of The Broadway cast back in the 90's. Starring Bernadette Peters as the Witch, Joanna Gleason, Chip Zien, Kim Crosby, Danielle Ferland and a whole host of talent which made that production the best production I've ever seen.
With the news that Into The Woods is now in full swing to become a fully fledged movie, I'm over the moon but is Rob Marshall the man for the job? He did a great job on Chicago but then his next Musical dip NINE played more like a boring drama with MTV videos thrown in for good measure. Into The Woods will need to be the traditional style musical where characters spontaneously burst into song, it also needs the setting to be just right or the content will appear too dark and the humour littered throughout will be lost. Lets just be thankful Tim Burton hasn't got his hands on this one as he drummed out all the humour from Sondheim's last big film Sweeney Todd.
With a screenplay reading rumoured to have already taken place, the names attached so far are: Nina Arianda as The Baker's Wife, Victoria Clark as Cinderella's Mother, James Corden as The Baker (NO NO NO NO!!!!!), David Garrison as the Narrator, Megan Hilty as Lucinda, Anna Kendrick as Cinderella, Allison Janney as Jack's Mother and Donna Murphy as The Witch.
The cast has yet to be officially announced but Meryl Streep famously went after a Broadway role back in the 90's which Glenn Close beat her to in the end, that role was Norma Desmond in Sunset Blvd and it looks like Streep will be fighting tooth and nail for yet again for the fantastically challenging role as The Witch in Into The Woods.
Who wouldn't want to play her with great songs like "Children Will Listen", "Last Midnight" and "Stay With Me" to melt audiences hearts around the world.
This will either be a masterpiece or a mess.... treat it well and the material will work for you, don't fight it... go with it. I can't wait!!!