In case you’ve never heard of it, Into the Woods is basically the best musical ever. Literally. It is a work of genius born from the genius of the ever-magnificent Stephen Sondheim and bestowed upon our world as a heavenly gift.
Just to be clear, I’ve never actually seen it performed live on Broadway. I have, however, seen a film of its original, 1987 Broadway run (which featured total legend, Bernadette Peters as the witch). It must have been my watching that film (repeatedly), combined with my listening to the CD ceaselessly for 2-3 years, that led me to set aside a special place in my heart labeled “Best Musical Ever” for the sheer brilliance of Into the Woods.
I still fantasize that someday it’ll come back to Broadway and I’ll be able to see it. Like for realz.
But a new movie version of the musical is coming out on December 25th, 2014 and featuring Meryl Streep as the evil witch is a pretty amazing next-best-thing. Other stars include Emily Blunt, Anna Kendrick, Chris Pine, Johnny Depp, Lilla Crawford, Daniel Huttlestone, Tracey Ullman, and Christine Baranski...I know. I’m freaking out too.
Just a little background, Into the Woods is a fairy-tale mashup that includes the stories of “Cinderella”, “Little Red Riding Hood”, “Rapunzel”, “Jack and the Beanstalk”, “Sleeping Beauty”, “Snow White”… basically, if you can think of it, they probably reference it at some point during the show.
It opens with The Baker and his Wife, who desperately want a child, Jack and his mother, who are dead broke, and Cinderella, who just wants to go to the ball! I don’t want to ruin it for anyone, so I’ll just say that shenanigans ensue as their stories weave together into an epic, musical masterpiece.
The storyline is actually pretty good, feminism-wise, too! (These fairy-tale remakes can be kind of iffy on that, though we were all blown away by Maleficent.) Most of the main characters are women (Jack of “Jack and the Beanstalk” fame and The Baker from “Rapunzel” excluded). Little Red Riding Hood is delightfully bloodthirsty. Jack is devoted and loving in his treatment of his cow, Milky White. The Baker’s Wife totally has her shit together, even during *ahem* encounters with royalty.
What I’m really trying to say is that youhavetoseethismovieit’sgonnabesogoodandIampumped!!!! Basically.
Go see it.
Like, the day it premiers.
I’m gonna do it.
You should too.
It’ll be worth it.
Go see it.
Do you have it on your calendar yet?
You’ll be missing out if you don’t go!
Images courtesy of broadway.com.