Search - Stephen Sondheim, Bernadette Peters, Joanna Gleason :: Into the Woods (1987 Original Broadway Cast)

Into the Woods (1987 Original Broadway Cast)
Stephen Sondheim, Bernadette Peters, Joanna Gleason
Into the Woods (1987 Original Broadway Cast)
Genres: Pop, Soundtracks, Broadway & Vocalists
 
  •  Track Listings (22) - Disc #1

A Classic Stephen Sondheim Musical Available Now at a New Low Price! Featuresbonus tracks, digitally remastered and new liner notes.

      
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CD Details

All Artists: Stephen Sondheim, Bernadette Peters, Joanna Gleason
Title: Into the Woods (1987 Original Broadway Cast)
Members Wishing: 1
Total Copies: 0
Label: RCA
Release Date: 3/20/2007
Album Type: Cast Recording, Extra tracks, Original recording remastered
Genres: Pop, Soundtracks, Broadway & Vocalists
Styles: Adult Contemporary, Vocal Pop, Musicals, Traditional Vocal Pop
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 828766863628

Synopsis

Album Description
A Classic Stephen Sondheim Musical Available Now at a New Low Price! Featuresbonus tracks, digitally remastered and new liner notes.

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CD Reviews

Charming AND sincere!
burghtenor | Washington, DC | 02/01/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"INTO THE WOODS is one of Stephen Sondheim's most beloved shows, but even more credit should go to book writer / director James Lapine. College courses across the nation study this intricate, entertaining, and thought-provoking musical. The book is at turns humorous and challenging.

THE STORY:
Lapine cleverly combines four of the Grimm brothers' most famous fairy tales, Jack and the Beanstalk, Cinderella, Rapunzel, and Little Red Ridinghood, and couples them with his own fairy tale about a childless Baker and his Wife. On one level, the show is simple enough. Act I introduces the characters and charmingly chronicles their well-known adventures of fulfilling their wishes on the way to "happily ever after." In Act II, the community faces a frightening new problem, one in which neither the characters nor we know how the story will end.

But on another level, we slowly come to realize that these characters' celebrated virtues can also be considered major flaws. Jack is a thief. Cinderella runs away instead of telling the truth. Rapunzel cannot cope in civilization after years of virginal isolation. Beauty is not the same thing as power. Those who fall in love at first sight may have wandering eyes....

Lapine and Sondheim's message is best summed up in Cinderella's lullaby to Red Ridinghood, "No One Is Alone." Every action we take has a consequence to others. Right and wrong, black and white, good and evil, give way to half-truths, shades of gray, and ambiguity. Only in hindsight can we evaluate if the ends justify the means by which we pursue our dreams. We must remember that our values and our stories will have a lasting impact on our children.

THE CAST:
Lapine has brought together a wonderfully talented cast, including Bernadette Peters, Chip Zien, Kim Crosby, Ben Wright, and Danielle Ferland. They have great comedic abilities to enhance the plethora of witty moments in the script, and most have good singing voices. The standout performance, however, is by Joanna Gleason as the Baker's Wife, humorous yet serious, conniving yet sincere, strong yet fragile.

THE RECORDING:
Sondheim's score is filled with songs perfectly crafted to propel the storyline forward, most notably the lengthy opening sequence. Other great moments include "It Takes Two," the "Agony" reprise, "Moments in the Woods," "Last Midnight," and "No One Is Alone." However, more than most shows, these songs lose some of their punch outside the context of the plot. Therefore, I recommend purchasing the video. Once you've seen the show, you'll get more enjoyment out of listening to the CD, if you still wish to purchase it."
Educational & Entertaining
RJStuart | Australia | 09/12/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I had to listen to "Into the Woods" a few times before I began to enjoy it. Unlike the musicals of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Boublil and Schonberg which I can enjoy from the moment I begin listening to them, I find that I have to listen to Stephen Sondheim's musicals several times before I begin to understand the plot (if there is a plot), and then become accustomed to the lyrics and music. After listening several times, I then realise what a clever lyricist and entertaining composer Sondheim is. 'Into the Woods' is, in my opinion, Sondheim's best musical, closely followed by 'Sweeney Todd'. Sondheim has placed numerous lessons and morals in 'Into the Woods', and entertains listeners with his music and comical lyrics, whilst educating them with these lessons which he has placed in the musical. The plot of 'Into the Woods' revolves around the lives of several well-known fairytale characters, consequently 'Into the Woods' contains a number of main characters. Bernadette Peters portrayal of the Witch is unbeatable, and I don't think it ever will be. Peters has an interesting voice, I don't know how to describe it; shrill? Nasal? I'm not really a big fan of her singing voice but it really suits the character of the witch. Her acting ability is also a credit to her. Listeners are first introduced to the Witch in the prologue where she sings the rap-like song about 'greens', which is rather comical and performed brilliantly by Peters. The witch's 'Lament' is one of the powerful songs which Peter's performs after her adopted daughter, Rapunzel, is trampled by a giant. Although she is playing a callous character, Peter's brings an emotional dimension to her character and makes profound statements about humanity as she sings; "Now you know what's out there in the world. No one can prepare you for the world, Even I. How could I, who loved you as you were? How could I have shielded you from her? Or them..." Another beautifully performed song by Peters is 'Children Will Listen', which she sings in the finale. This song is truly lovely, as well as being educational. Joanna Gleason plays the Baker's wife in 'Into the Woods', and plays the role brilliantly. It is Gleason and Peters which make 'Into the Woods' so effective in conveying Sondheim's messages to the listeners. Gleason portrays the Baker's wife as wise, and adds a touch of comedy to the role. Gleason has a fantastic range in her voice, she sings alto one minute and then soprano the next. Along with Peters' Witch, Gleason's Baker's Wife is the most entertaining character in the musical, because these actresses have fantastic dramatic abilities. Gleason's duets with the Baker (Chip Zien), "It Takes Two", Cinderella (Kim Crosby), "A Very Nice Prince", and Cinderella's Prince (Robert Westenberg), "Any Moment", reveal her versatile voice and acting abilities. 'Into the Woods' contains several other significant characters; Baker (Chip Zien), Cinderella (Kim Crosby), Jack (Ben Wright), Little Red Ridinghood (Danielle Ferland), Jack's Mother (Barbara Bryne), and the Narrator (Tom Aldredge). The plot of 'Into the Woods' is rather unpredictable, as most of the characters end up dieing, yet Sondheim makes their deaths entertaining, and listeners find themselves laughing at most of the deaths involved in the musical. 'Into the Woods' is more light-hearted than tragic, and I feel that Sondheim was attempting to create an educational musical moreso than to create an a simply entertaining one, but he has achieved both. In my opinion, Steven Sondheim is attempting to convey a message about society and humanity in his musical, 'Into the Woods', especially in the songs "Lament", "Your Fault", "Last Midnight", "No More", "No One Is Alone", and the finale. Listeners are subject to moments where they laugh and moments where tension is overflowing. Sondheim is a master of human nature and consequently is able to exploit the emotions of listeners with great precision. The Original Broadway Cast of 'Into the Woods' is the best recording to buy; as the Original London Cast seems drab and lifeless compared to it. But the recording only contains the songs, if you want the complete two and a half hour show then buy the video, you won't regret it."
Sondheim at His Best
Alex Hamberger | NY USA | 01/03/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"It's safe to say that INTO THE WOODS will go down as one of Broadway's classics. People have analyzed this show and applied it to so many areas of life, including the AIDS epidemic and 9/11. What this proves is the timeless quality of Sondheim and Lapine's musical that incorporates classic fairy tale characters into a story that teaches life lessons for all ages.

The voices on this recording are truly phenomenal. Bernadette Peters is often referred to as the last true Broadway actress as the Great White Way moves toward more Pop Musicals (WICKED, BROOKLYN, AVENUE Q, HAIRSPRAY), and it's true. She delivers a truly stunning performance.

Joanna Gleason deserved the Tony Award she received for her portrayal of The Baker's Wife. On the video recording of this production, she only confirms this.

Chip Zien is a perfect Baker, capturing the true meekness that the character calls for.

Having performed in two productions of this musical, I can say that I have the utmost respect for these actors and their talents. They are truly terrific.

I've listened to the 2002 recording and greatly prefer 1987. I'm sure I'm biased having grown up with the '87, but it is a great buy.

Also, the video recording for the musical is a great buy if you enjoy this CD. And a fun fact: This cast of INTO THE WOODS features cast members from Sondheim and Lapine's 1984 SUNDAY IN THE PARK WITH GEORGE. Common cast members include: Bernadette Peters, Barbara Bryne (Jack's mother), Robert Westenberg (Cinderella's Prince)

This touching musical is extremely clever and meticulous in that Stephen Sondheim way. Definitely a great buy!"