Into The Woods, Musical by Stephen Sondheim
From the infinitely gifted mind of Stephen Sondheim came Into the Woods, the wildly successful fairy tale musical that has been conquering hearts ever since its stage debut at San Diego’s Old Globe Theater in 1986 and its commanding Broadway premiere on November 5 of the following year. Full of beloved characters with whom generations of children have grown up, the work is a staple of the genre. This season Volksoper Wien stages a special production of Into the Woods in the German language to allow local and international audiences to experience the Broadway classic in a new, exciting form.
As is often the case, the talented Mr Sondheim provides both the music and the lyrics for Into the Woods. The book is courtesy of James Lapine who masterfully weaves popular tales by the Brothers Grimm and Charles Perrault into an original narrative that is entertaining, endearing, and a little spooky at times. As the onstage action unfolds, you can expect to meet many favourite characters. At the centre of the tale are three different wishes that drive the characters’ actions: the Baker and his Wife are longing for a child together; farm boy Jack wants his cow Milky White to start giving milk again, so she does not have to be sold; and Cinderella wishes to attend the ball where the prince’s affection can save her from the miserable life with her stepmother. A Witch reveals how each character’s desires play into each other. An old curse hangs upon the Baker’s family. The evil spell can only be broken if the pair delivers to the Witch four magical objects, each tied to one beloved fairy-tale character.
The Baker immediately sets out into the woods on the mission to find a snow-white cow, a blood-red cape, a corn-yellow strand of hair, and a golden slipper. His Wife secretly follows him, and a fantastical adventure of epic proportions ensues. Stephen Sondheim applies his storytelling gift to make Into the Woods a unique musical that teaches us that ‘No One Is Alone’, in the words of its summary musical number. Giants, bean stalks, tall towers, magic and adventure take over the stage of Volksoper Wien!