A staged presentation of Into the Woods will be presented by New York City Center as part of its Tony-winning Encores! series on dates to be announced. Casting and creative team members will be revealed at a later time.
Led by Encores! Artistic Director Lear deBessonet, Encores! Music Director Rob Berman, and Encores! Creative Producing Director Clint Ramos, the long-running series now offers varied expressions of musical theatre revivals: hidden gems from the Broadway canon, productions where artists reclaim work through their own personal lens, and celebrations that look at the ways classic musicals connect us. Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine’s twist on beloved fairy tales will be the first production of this third tenet.
Encores! Artistic Director deBessonet said, “If the reason to revive a hidden gem is to discover it, then the reason to revive a beloved musical that holds enormous meaning to so many people is to discover what we have in common, and how our experience with these shows connects us. One of the things I find remarkable about musical theatre is the space it holds in America—against all odds, providing a touchpoint of commonality. Among its many rich layers, Into the Woods is a fable about how humans pursue their wishes, and what happens when they set aside their individual wishes to create a greater community wish.”
With a book and direction by Lapine and a score by Sondheim, Into the Woods originally opened at Broadway's Martin Beck Theatre November 5, 1987, playing 765 performances before closing September 3, 1989. The original Broadway company boasted Bernadette Peters, Chip Zien, Robert Westenberg, Joanna Gleason, Tom Aldredge, Barbara Bryne, Kim Crosby, Chuck Wagner, and Ben Wright. The musical won Tonys for Best Book, Best Score, and Best Actress in a Musical (Gleason). The 2002 revival—starring Vanessa Williams, Laura Benanti, Stephen DeRosa, Gregg Edelman, Kerry O'Malley, and Christopher Sieber—played 18 previews and 279 regular performances at the Broadhurst Theatre. Meryl Streep headed the cast of the film version.
The Sondheim score features such tunes as "Agony," "On the Steps of the Palace," "Children Will Listen," "Giants in the Sky," "No One Is Alone," and the title tune.
In related news: The new digital series Encores! Inside the Revival, which streams for free on City Center’s website and YouTube channel, explores future Encores! productions (The Life, The Tap Dance Kid, and Into the Woods) and canceled shows from the spring 2020 season—providing a look inside the creative process of these revivals. The first installment of the series, released November 18, features Emmy and Tony winner Billy Porter, who takes audiences through his forthcoming reimagining of the 1997 Tony-nominated musical The Life.