James, who attended the first public performance of Into the Woods, responded to the production with negative feedback. Immediately following the performance, the actress, who was also seen in Broadway's Wonderland and The Addams Family, commented harshly on the acting and musicianship of the piece, concluding with "#horrified." The tweet was deleted shortly thereafter.
As previously reported, the production's first performance was canceled due to "weather delays," and heavy rains during the July 18 week caused delays in the production schedule — a crucial time for the cast and creatives of the mammoth Sondheim musical.
Broadway actor Matt Doyle, who has been seen in Spring Awakening, Bye Bye Birdie, War Horse and the Broadway-aimed production of Giant, was of the first to respond to James' criticisms. "Really don't like seeing Broadway actors trashing other shows on twitter," he tweeted. "Have a little tact. We're all in this together."
James' comment about the production was shortly removed from Twitter and replaced with, "And note: supporting my theatre community — which I DO — does not mean I have to *like* everything." She later added that the production "just wasn't for [her]."
Composer-lyricist Scott Alan replied directly to James over Twitter, saying, "then don't tweet your opinions, love. it IS about supporting. It's a FIRST preview featuring FRIENDS and IDOLS we respect. people read your tweets & you need to be apart of this industry & be respectful & feel honored to be working in it." Following a long back-and-forth conversation — and multiple opinions from Broadway actors and fans — James apologized for her comments. "G'morning twitterverse..." she said July 25. "S'pose I should apologize for offending so many people. Did not mean to make so many people angry."
At 6 PM July 25, the actress again reached out on Twitter, posting, "I am really sorry for this firestorm. For my words, for responses, for the chaos. I am so sorry. I had NO idea this would turn into this. And I apologize to the cast, crew and creatives of the show and everyone at the Public."