Into the Woods (Original Broadway Cast Album)
For many of us who grew up watching (and memorizing!) the wonderful American Playhouse video of the original cast of Into the Woods, Bernadette Peters' performance as the Witch is baseline Broadway. Within the opening number/title song, "The Witch's Rap" would be a challenging tongue-twister even without Peters' savvy use of a slight New York accent, but such personalization furthers Sondheim and Lapine's almost anachronistic treatment of Grimm's fairy tales, and it makes the Witch relatable to the audience early on. This pays off handsomely in Peters' moving performances of "Stay With Me" and "Lament," where her passion pushes to the break of her voice and heart.
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