They're out of one woods, but it's into the next one — Broadway. The company of Into the Woods, led by film, stage and recording star Vanessa Williams, finishes their run at Los Angeles' Ahmanonson Theatre March 24 to transfer to the Broadhurst Theatre on Broadway. Previews in New York begin April 13. Opening night of the revised revival is April 25.
Joining Williams in the the cast of the Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine 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.
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.