Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Stephen Sondheim, Imelda Staunton, Julia McKenzie|
Into the Woods (1991 Original London Cast)
Genres: Pop, Soundtracks, Broadway & Vocalists
Stephen Sondheim's Tony-winning take on fairy tales by the Brothers Grimm, Into the Woods is probably his most accessible show, with beautiful music, a strong plot line, recognizable characters--including Red Riding Hood a... more »
Listen to Samples
Stephen Sondheim's Tony-winning take on fairy tales by the Brothers Grimm, Into the Woods is probably his most accessible show, with beautiful music, a strong plot line, recognizable characters--including Red Riding Hood and Cinderella--and abundant humor (while not shying away from the occasional gruesomeness that Disney sanitized out of the original stories). This 1990 London production features a good cast headlined by stage veterans Imelda Staunton and Julia McKenzie, who are given the unenviable tasks of following Joanna Gleason and Bernadette Peters from the original Broadway cast. Unlike some shows originating in the U.S., Into the Woods works perfectly well with British accents due to the Old World subject matter, and this recording is noteworthy for a lovely duet between the Witch and Rapunzel, "Our Little World," that was not in the original production. All in all, a solid supplement to, but not a replacement for, the absolute rightness of the Broadway cast. The CD's 71 minutes are generously divided into 33 tracks, but lyrics are not included. --David Horiuchi
Similarly Requested CDs
A very good production . . .
Sean | LOOK | 06/29/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This recording benefits from British accents. I do indeed like Julia McKenzie (as The Witch), but I prefer the original Bernadette Peters. This recording also has the opening prolgue divvied up among several tracks, so if you just want to hear the "Witche's Rap" really quickly, you can skip right to it and give it a quick listen. "Our Little World," the new duet, is a gem. Some might say, "So, Steve sold out for a comedy song, huh?" But, hey -- who cares? It gives Rapunzel more to do than just walk around and go, "Aaahhhhh ... " (whether singing or screaming). But, it is more than just a comedy number underneath, because it shows the relationship between The Witch and Rapunzel better than any pages of dialogue could do. I thought that they would have the Prologue in full on this recording, but they did the truncated version that is featured on the OBCR. However, on the "No One is Alone" track, it does feature the dialogue between Jack and The Baker. The dialogue inclusion there, and the missing dialogue in the Prologue, makes for somewhat of an uneven recording (especially since The Baker's reprise of "Maybe They're Magic" and the Stepmother's "You'll Never Need to Walk" is also missing), but still enjoyable none-the-less. Some people say that the new song is dumb, and that London Cast Recordings are inferior, to which I say, "SO IS YOUR MOM'S FACE! " This recording is a must for any die-hard ITW fans."
A full exploration of a great score
Mr G | Lisbon | 02/17/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This recording of 'Into The Woods' seems to provoke extreme reactions among Sondheim lovers. For my part, I think it is a subtle improvement on the Broadway version, notwithstanding the excellent performers in the latter. The London version offers much darker readings of the songs, and the characters seem much more surreal. I bought the New York cast first, and loved every minute of it, but on balance I think I would be inclined to turn to the London one in future. The actors are very fine: Julia McKenzie offers a deliciously ripe performance as the Witch, much more the character of a nightmare than Bernadette Peters; the Wolf, similarly, is much more subtly realised, sounding altogether more dangerous. The other cast members are uniformly exellent. But, again, this is not to diminish the quality of the New York cast. The whole sound of this recording is sinister and treacherous, which to my mind fits the piece exactly. Remember, however, that as as any artistic work matures, performers are inclined to find hidden depths and darker meanings. It is this maturity which for me makes this recording definitive."
Kyra | California, US | 04/05/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"After hearing the other reveiws and listening to peices of the Broadway version, I decided to get the London one because it had an extra song and was darker. I'm really glad I did... although some of the vocal performances pale slightly in comparison to the Broadway cd, this is a lovely cd once you get used to the accents. And I personally cannot chose which Witch was better... they were simply different styles, although Bernadette Peters has a better singing voice. I like the narrator more on this recording for the speaking parts, but on Ever After, the broadway narrator is much better, Jack, Cinderella, the baker, the princes and the baker's wife were about the same on both. I also really enjoyed Little red riding hood and the wolf. The songs focus more on acting and putting emotions into the voice, making it more realistic than outstanding vocal performances as on the broadway cd. For anyone who enjoys faerie tales or who's interested in this play, I suggest getting this."