The Last Midnight: Vanessa Williams Exits Into the Woods Dec. 22

News   The Last Midnight: Vanessa Williams Exits Into the Woods Dec. 22 Pop and Broadway star Vanessa Williams will hang up her pyrotechnic staff Dec. 22, leaving her Tony-nominated role of the Witch in Into the Woods. There is no word yet on replacement casting.

Pop and Broadway star Vanessa Williams will hang up her pyrotechnic staff Dec. 22, leaving her Tony-nominated role of the Witch in Into the Woods. There is no word yet on replacement casting.

Williams will also not be performing the following dates in November: the 7, 8, 10, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16 and 17.

Williams is the second major cast member to leave the Stephen Sondheim-James Lapine tuner. Laura Benanti, who starred as Cinderella, left the show in early October due to an undisclosed illness. Her understudy, Melissa Dye, has been covering the role, although as-of-yet unconfirmed rumors have named The Boys from Syracuse star Erin Dilly as her future replacement.

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 to Into the Woods are $95-$40 and are currently on sale through Feb. 2, 2003. The Broadhurst Theatre is located at 235 West 44th Street. Into the Woods is on the web at http://www.intothewoodsbroadway.com.