Light Mode

Into the Woods Broadway: Show Spotlight


Into the Woods is back on Broadway with a 2022 revival at the St. James Theatre. The musical combines multiple fairy tales into a convoluted plot where characters lie, steal, and con their way into getting what they want or need. Whether you have seen it before, know it because of the Disney movie, or know nothing at all, we’re going to tell you all about it.

What is the story of Into the Woods Broadway? 

into the woods broadway- the witch
Montego Glover./ CREDIT: Matt Murphy and Evan Zimmerman for MurphyMade.

The musical is several Brothers Grimm fairy tales combined and it explores the quests and dreams of these characters. The Baker and his wife have been cursed by the Witch who lives next door. They want a baby to start their family and are told they have to gather several items in order to have a baby. These items are what connect the stories together. The aforementioned Witch has a daughter in a tower, Rapunzel, who wants nothing more than her freedom. Little Red Riding Hood wants to bring bread to her grandma, but is being chased by a wolf. Cinderella wants to go to the King’s Festival where the two princes are looking for brides. Jack wants his cow, Milky White, to produce milk. Throughout the story, these characters intermingle in order to get their wishes fulfilled.

- Advertisement -

The history of the show

Into the Woods debuted in San Diego, California at the Old Globe Theatre in 1986, and then premiered on Broadway November 5, 1987. The musical, with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, won multiple Tony Awards including Best Score, Best Book, and Best Actress in a Musical. It has a rich history and has been repeatedly producing including, but not limited to, a US national tour, West End production, tenth anniversary concert, multiple revivals, and a Disney film adaption. The 2014 Disney film adaptation, directed by Rob Marshall, made over $213 million and received nominations at both the Academy Awards and the Golden Globe Awards.

The 2022 Broadway revival is currently nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater Album.

Past & current casts of Into the Woods Broadway 

Bernadette Peters played The Witch during the Broadway debut. She has had seven nominations for Tony Awards, winning two of them,  nine Drama Desk Award nominations, winning three of them, and four of the Broadway cast albums she’s been a part of have won Grammy Awards. She’s been in Annie Get Your Gun, Gypsy, Hello, Dolly!, and more. She has also been in The Muppet Show and the 1982 Annie movie. 

Joanna Gleason played The Baker’s Wife during the Broadway debut where she won the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical. She has also been in films such as Heartburn, Hannah and Her Sisters, Crimes and Misdemeanors, and Boogie Nights. She’s also had roles in Friends, The West Wing, The Good Wife, and The Affair.

Chip Zien played The Baker during the Broadway debut. He was also in Falsettos and Les Misérables. He also played Mark Rothenberg in United 93 and voiced the titular character in Howard the Duck.

Sara Bareilles played The Baker’s Wife in the early stages of the revival. If you don’t know her for her music, she also composed and wrote the lyrics for Waitress where she also played Jenna. She also worked on the musical Spongebob Squarepants.

- Advertisement -

Gavin Creel currently plays The Wolf and Cinderella’s Prince. He has been in Thoroughly Modern Millie, Book of Mormon, Hair, Hello Dolly!, Waitress, Mary Poppins, and others. You might also know him as Bill in the Eloise movies.

Philippa Soo played Cinderella in the early stages of the revival. You would most likely know her from as the titular character in Amélie or Eliza Hamilton in Hamilton

Every fairytale mentioned, and how it gets even darker 

into the woods- bakers wife, baker, red riding hood
Stephanie J. Block, Sebastian Arcelus, Katy Geraghty./ CREDIT: Matt Murphy and Evan Zimmerman for MurphyMade.

The Baker and his wife are from the original telling of Rapunzel. They are cursed by a Witch and are unable to start a family until the can gather materials from other fairy tales. This involves needing to lie and trick other characters in order to get their happily ever after.

Jack is from Jack and the Beanstalk. He lives with his mother and the two struggle with poverty. Jack wants his cow to be able to produce milk. He makes trades that result in magic beans, which eventually results in the giants, who are major antagonists.

Cinderella is from the story of the same name. She wants to go to the King’s Festival. Like the original story, she leaves her slipper behind, but the new addition of infidelity complicates her relationship.

Rapunzel is locked in her tower by the Witch. When her prince comes to visit her, the Witch begs her to stay sheltered from the world. When she refuses, her hair is chopped off.

- Advertisement -

Little Red Riding Hood wants to bring her Grandma bread, and, unlike the main story, Grandma survives the Wolf, but not the rest of the musical.

Sleeping Beauty and Snow White are also mentioned by the princes, who can’t commit to a relationship.

The show is compelling, deep, and engaging. The above examples are only a few ways it is dark and deep. Have you seen the musical? Do you have plans to?


- Advertisement -