Broadway May Get Its Wish for Into the Woods Transfer

By Adam Hetrick
August 14, 2012

The Public Theater's Shakespeare in the Park production of Into the Woods may materialize on Broadway this season, the New York Times reports.



Joey Parnes, the former executive director of the Public Theater, who is represented on Broadway this season with End of the Rainbow, told the Times that he is currently working to raise funding for a $6 to $7 million Broadway transfer of Into the Woods, which opened to mixed reviews at the Delacorte Theater Aug. 9. It is currently playing an extended run through Sept. 1.

Parnes was also instrumental in transferring the Public Theater productions of Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, Hair and The Merchant of Venice to Broadway in recent seasons. He also stepped in as an interim executive director in 2011 when Andrew D. Hamingson departed the Public.

Parnes is also aiming to secure key players from the Shakespeare in the Park production for a Broadway run. Leading lady Amy Adams, who plays the Baker's Wife, has filming commitments through 2012, and Jessie Mueller, who portrays Cinderella, is contracted for the Broadway revival of The Mystery of Edwin Drood this fall. Into the Woods could cast its spell on Broadway in early winter or spring 2013.

Parnes told the Times, "Some critics made good points about the park production that we would take to heart, and it's worth remembering that when we moved Hair from the park to Broadway, it changed, it got tighter, it got better. The reviews might make my job a little harder. But I think a lot of the production’s issues would be assuaged indoors – the lighting and sound and staging focus issues would all change in an intimate Broadway house, and story-telling issues would be addressed with time and rehearsals."

Amy Adams and Denis O'Hare
photo by Joan Marcus

The new, more contemporary take on Into the Woods is based on the 2010 Regent's Park Open Air Theatre London staging. The Public Theater enlisted original London co-directors Sheader and Steel to re-explore the production in a new incarnation for Shakespeare in the Park. The musical has a Tony-winning score by Stephen Sondheim and a Tony-winning book by James Lapine.

The cast is led by original 1987 Broadway Into the Woods cast member Chip Zien as the Mysterious Man, with Tony Award winner Donna Murphy (Passion, Wonderful Town) as the Witch, Tony Award winner Denis O'Hare (Take Me Out, Assassins) as the Baker, Academy Award nominee Amy Adams ("Enchanted," "The Fighter") as the Baker's Wife, Tony nominee Jessie Mueller (On a Clear Day...) as Cinderella and Tony Award winner Glenn Close (Sunset Boulevard, Death and the Maiden, "Damages," "Fatal Attraction") as the voice of the Giant.

Completing the company are Jack Broderick (Narrator), Gideon Glick (Jack), Cooper Grodin (Rapunzel's Prince), Ivan Hernandez (Cinderella's Prince/Wolf), Tina Johnson (Granny), Josh Lamon (Steward), Laura Shoop (Cinderella's Mother), Tess Soltau (Rapunzel), Sarah Stiles (Vanities) as Little Red Ridinghood, Kristine Zbornik (A Catered Affair) as Jack's Mother, Ellen Harvey (How to Succeed...) as Cinderella’s Stepmother, and Bethany Moore (Spider-Man) and Jennifer Rias (Rock of Ages) as the Stepsisters.

Here's a look at the production: