"Into the woods and out of the woods and on Broadway in springtime." Casting and pre-production work have begun in earnest on a revised revival of Into the Woods, reaching Los Angeles' Ahmanson Theatre Feb. 1-March 24, 2002 and due on Broadway this April. The all-new production will be directed by the musical's original director and bookwriter, James Lapine. Paul Gemignani will serve as musical director, with John Carrafa choreographing. The revival is produced by Dodger Theatricals.
A casting call for the roles of Jack and Little Red Riding Hood will be held in New York Sept. 16 at the New Dance Group, 254 West 47th Street. Call (212) 719-9393 ext. 9372 for details.
Billed as a family show, Into the Woods twists popular fairy tales, infusing them with an adult sense of what happens after the "Happily Ever After." Jack's murder of the giant (of beanstalk fame) provokes the wrath of his giant wife, Cinderella's prince is a hopeless philanderer, the witch is not wicked but overprotective, and a slightly psychotic Little Red Riding Hood proudly wears the grey skin of the wolf she cut up from the inside out. The score is one of Sondheim's most popular, with the comic and manic "Into the Woods," "Agony" and "On the Steps of the Palace" contrasting with the dramatic and wondering "Children Will Listen" and "Giants in the Sky."
At the May 16 Tony Awards nominations brunch at New York City's Marriott Marquis, Dodgers producer Michael David confirmed that Woods would be targeting Broadway after the Ahmanson. He also mentioned that Sondheim and Lapine would do some revisions the show's book. "When the original show toured, it already had changes in the second act from what was on Broadway," David told Playbill On-Line, "so Stephen and James are definitely taking a look at it again and seeing what they'll do with it."
The Dodgers, producers of 42nd Street, are also in preliminary stages of developing Dirty Dancing and Frank Wildorn's Dracula The Musical for Broadway. Their Off-Broadway production of Urinetown: The Musical moved moves to the Henry Miller Theatre, former home of Cabaret, this month.