Into the Woods journeys into Melbourne.
After the success of Stephen Sondheim's A Little Night Music, the Melbourne Theatre Company has decided to produce Into the Woods. Sondheim (music and lyrics) and James Lapine (book) looked at old fairy tales and combined the stories of "The Baker and His Wife" with "Cinderella,""Little Red Riding Hood," "Jack and the Beanstalk," and "Rapunzel." The production not only interweaves the old fairy tales but tells a new story of what happens after they all live "happily ever after." In this modern retelling, a woman-chasing Prince Charming says, "I was raised to be Charming, not sincere."
The Melbourne Theatre company production includes Rhonda Burchmore from Hot Shoe Shuffle, Peter Carroll from Les Miserables, Robert Grubb from Sunset Boulevard and the TV series "Flying Doctors," Lisa McCune from A Little Night Music and better known for the highly successful TV production "Blue Heelers," John McTernan from MTC'S Assassins and TV's "GP," and Gina Riley from TV's "Fast Forward & Big Girl's Blouse."
The director, Roger Hodgman, is known mostly for his directing of straight plays, but he has successfully directed three other Stephen Sondheim musicals; Sweeney Todd in 1987, Assassins in 1995 and A Little Night Music in 1997. The musical director Jean McQuarrie is also directing her fourth Stephen Sondheim musical with the Melbourne Theatre Company.
The season opens Wednesday January 21 at The Playhouse Theatre Victorian Arts Centre. Bookings: 11566 Subscription inquiries: 1800 810 256. --By Peter Kemp