Wish Fulfilled: Donna Murphy Is the Witch for Shakespeare in the Park Into the Woods

News   Wish Fulfilled: Donna Murphy Is the Witch for Shakespeare in the Park Into the Woods
Two-time Tony Award winner Donna Murphy will cast a spell as the Witch in the Public Theater's Shakespeare in the Park revival of Into the Woods this summer. The role of the wise but crooked-fingered Witch was created in the original 1987 Broadway production by Tony winner Bernadette Peters and played in the musical's revival by Vanessa Williams.

Donna Murphy
Donna Murphy

Murphy earned a Tony Award for originating the role of the obsessively lovelorn Fosca in the 1994 Stephen Sondheim-James Lapine musical Passion. The writers previously collaborated on Into the Woods and Sunday in the Park With George.

Visit the Playbill Vault page to learn more about Murphy's career. Murphy will also appear with Todd Almond in concert April 16 at Le Poisson Rouge.

Murphy joins a cast that includes Amy Adams (The Baker's Wife), Jack Broderick (Narrator), Gideon Glick (Jack), Cooper Grodin (Rapunzel's Prince), Ivan Hernandez (Cinderella's Prince/Wolf), Tina Johnson (Granny), Josh Lamon (Steward), Jessie Mueller (Cinderella), Laura Shoop (Cinderella's Mother) and Tess Soltau (Rapunzel).

Casting for the principal roles of The Baker, Little Red and the Mysterious Man remain to be announced.

The outdoor summer production of the 1987 musical by Sondheim (music and lyrics) and Lapine (book) runs July 23-Aug. 25. Opening night is Aug. 9. The 2012 Shakespeare in the Park summer production of Into the Woods is based on the Regent's Park Open Air Theatre London Production, produced by Timothy Sheader and William Village for Regent's Park Theatre Ltd. Read about the Broadway history of Into the Woods in the Playbill Vault.

Into the Woods — a musical conflation of fairytale characters and stories, with a few original characters (including The Baker and The Baker's Wife) sprinkled among them — is directed by Timothy Sheader with co-direction by Liam Steel, recreating work previously seen in an outdoor staging in London.

Into the Woods features scenic design by John Lee Beatty and Soutra Gilmour; costume design by Emily Rebholz; movement direction by Liam Steel; sound design by Acme Sound Partners; orchestrations by Jonathan Tunick; and musical direction by Paul Gemignani.

Here's how The Public characterizes Into the Woods: "In Into the Woods, a witch's curse condemns the Baker and his Wife to a life without children. They embark on a quest to find the four items required to break the spell: the cow as white as milk, the cape as red as blood, the hair as yellow as corn, and the slipper as pure as gold. Will they succeed? And what happens after 'happily ever after?' A Tony Award-winning masterpiece by musical theatre giants Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine, Into the Woods is a witty and irreverent reimagining of beloved classic fairytales: Jack and the Beanstalk, Little Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel and Cinderella."

Tickets to Shakespeare in the Park are free and are distributed, two per person, at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park the day of the show. The Public Theater will again offer free tickets through its Virtual Ticketing lottery at www.shakespeareinthepark.org on the day of the show.

The Delacorte Theater in Central Park is accessible by entering at 81st Street and Central Park West or at 79th Street and Fifth Avenue.


Also playing as part of NYSF's 50th season of free productions at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park this summer is Shakespeare's As You Like It, June 5-30. Tony Award winner Daniel Sullivan directs a cast that includes Robert Joy (Le Beau, Lord), Oliver Platt (Touchstone), MacIntyre Dixon (Adam), David Furr (Orlando), Renee Elise Goldsberry (Celia), Omar Metwally (Oliver), Lily Rabe (Rosalind) and Stephen Spinella (Jaques).

Grammy and Emmy winning actor/comedian/musician and bestselling author Steve Martin will compose original music for As You Like It. "Sullivan will set the play's famous Forest of Arden in the rural American South, circa 1840, where folk and roots music perfectly capture the mood of the time," according to The Public.

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