Into the Woods features recording star Vanessa Williams, so why shouldn't the Broadway revival get a new recording? A spokesperson from the Boneau Bryan-Brown press office confirmed what has been whispered for weeks — the Stephen Sondheim-James Lapine musical will get a new CD.
Details on the release are pending. Nonesuch has been mentioned as a possible partner (they recently released a recording of Sondheim's The Frogs, featuring Nathan Lane and Brian Stokes Mitchell, and Evening Primrose with Neil Patrick Harris), but that could not be confirmed.
Williams has recorded a previously released cast album before. When she took over for Chita Rivera in Kiss of the Spider Woman on Broadway, Mercury recorded her in the title role, alongside her co-stars Stokes Mitchell and Howard McGillin. That album was billed as the New Broadway Cast recording, while Rivera's is referred to as the Original Cast Recording (most of Rivera's cast crossed the Atlantic to open Kiss on Broadway).
The Stephen Sondheim revival begins performances at the Broadhurst Theatre April 13. Opening night of the revised revival is April 25. When Into the Woods was first announced for Broadway, there were some naysayers who felt a revival of the musical — even a revised version — was coming too soon in the musical's history. After all, Into the Woods was little more than twelve years old, the original having played Nov. 5, 1987, to Sept. 5, 1989, at Broadway's Martin Beck. But the overwhelmingly postive Los Angeles reviews and the Left Coast word-of-mouth has turned Into the Woods into an anticipated event.
Alongside Williams in the the starry cast of the Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine musical are John McMartin (The Visit in Chicago) playing the Narrator and Mysterious Man, Laura Benanti (Swing) playing Cinderella, Gregg Edelman (late of Reefer Madness) as her Prince, Dennis Kelly as her father, Christopher Sieber (Triumph of Love) as Rapunzel's Prince, Melissa Dye as Rapunzel, Kerry O'Malley as the Baker's Wife, Stephen DeRosa (The Mystery of Irma Vep) as the Baker, Adam Wylie as Jack, Mary Louise Burke (Fuddy Meers) as Jack's Mother, Molly V. Ephraim as as Little Red Riding Hood, Trent Armand Kendall as the Steward, Pamela Myers as Cinderella's Stepmother, Tracy Nicole Chapman as Florinda, Amanda Naughton as Lucinda, Jennifer Malenke as Sleeping Beauty and Kate Reinders as Snow White. Completing the ensemble are Stephen Berger, Linda Muggleston, Chad Kimball and Adam Brazier.
The production is directed by the musical's original director and bookwriter, Lapine. Paul Gemignani is the musical director, with John Carrafa (Urinetown) choreographing. The revival is produced by Dodger Theatricals. Desinging the show are Brian MacDevitt (lighting), Susan Hilferty (costumes), Douglas W. Schmidt (set) and Dan Moses Schreier (sound).
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."
Tickets are $99-$40. The Broadhurst Theatre is located at 235 West 44th Street. For reservations, call (212) . Into the Woods has an official website at http://www.IntoTheWoodsBroadway.com.
For more information on the revisions and quotes from the stars, read the article Into the Woods Broadway Will Go — Dancing on the Journey.