So Christmas will come right on time this year for anyone who’s seen Into the Woods. The musical has a very special place in my heart as it was one of the first I’d ever seen on the VHS tape with my sister and grandmother. Added bonus? That old version starred none other than Bernadette Peters, who is a Broadway Legend.
We also thought we were related to her for a really long time. Turns out Peters was just a stage name. Bummer.
It’s not really a musical for kids, necessarily. It deals with adult themes like infertility, sex, bodily mutilation, getting eaten by wolves, that kind of thing. Well, if you think about where all these classic tales like Rapunzel and Cinderella came from, it’s more on the money than those Disney movies you saw as a kid. But don’t tell the little ones in your life that. Save it for when they are older.
This take has a ton of heavy hitters: Meryl Streep (as the witch), Johnny Depp (as the wolf) and Chris Pine (as Prince Charming) among others. From the preview shots of it, it’ll be a really great production, a true movie. The version of my youth was a taping of the show on Broadway, (which is an experience of its own) and something quite special.
My sister and I shared a deep love for this production growing up, making it an important part of our visits to see our grandparents (who are no longer with us). Looking back, maybe it wasn’t the most appropriate for a five-year-old (me) and her eight-year-old sister (my sister) but it sure gave us something to agree on. I’ll probably have a lump in my throat recalling those happy memories and the trips that went along with them.
Of course I will need to re-watch it and learn the songs. And, of course, Chris Pine better bring his A game to “Agony.” Homeboy can carry a reboot but can he carry a tune?
So I apologize in advance if I’m the jerk sobbing in your showing, clutching my teddy bear.
Into the Woods is directed by Rob Marshall (Chicago) opens on Christmas Day. The film stars: Meryl Streep, Anna Kendrick, Chris Pine, Johnny Depp, Lilla Crawford, Daniel Huttlestone, Tracey Ullman, James Corden, Emily Blunt and Christine Baranski.