And you thought Into the Woods was already fully cast!
Add Dame Judi Dench to the roster. The much-decorated thespian will be the voice of the Giantess in the Broadway-bound revival of Into the Woods. Dench recorded the lines last week in England, where she is appearing in The Royal Family and filming "James Bond 20." They will first be heard Feb. 1 at the Ahmanson Theatre.
Film, stage and recording star Vanessa Williams is on her way Into the Woods with a cast of Broadway's new and known, but before they get to the Broadhurst April 13, the company will give Los Angeles a preview of the revised revival Feb. 1-March 24. Opening night at the Ahmanson Theatre is Feb. 10.
Joining Williams in the the cast of the Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine's 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. Into the Woods opens at Broadway's Broadhurst Theatre April 25, 2002 following previews beginning April 13.
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 in $35-$70. For reservations, call 213-628-2772. The Ahmanson is on the web at http://www.taperahmanson.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.