There have been many musicals that have been adapted for the big screen and many of them have been directed by Rob Marshall. Marshall is the man behind Chicago and Nine. Chicago is one of my favourite films, and the only movie adaptation I can call better than the original. I don’t know about the Broadway version but the West End version of Chicago was flat. I was aware of Rob Marshall and had never heard of Stephen Sondheim. It was the cast that attracted me to Into the Woods: Meryl Streep, Emily Blunt, James Corden, Anna Kendrick, Chris Pine, and for five whole minutes: Johnny Depp!
The original musical premiered on Broadway in 1987, the main characters have been stolen from several Brothers Grimm fairy tales with all the gruesome bits left in. It’s a dark story of wishing and wanting and witches. Well, one witch, played by Meryl Streep. The childless baker is set the task of lifting the curse on his family tree. He heads into the woods and meets Little Red Riding Hood visiting her grandmother, Jack taking his cow to market, Cinderella escaping the Prince and Rapunzel hidden away in a tower.
As you can probably tell, a lot of the action takes place in the woods. It’s a dark sinister woods for a dark sinister musical. As catchy as the tunes were, I’ve just downloaded the soundtrack, it was awfully repetitive. It won a Tony for Best Original Score but it sounded like the same song with the same chorus about going into the same woods.
I didn’t know anything about this musical but I adored it. It was a black comical musical that was apparently toned down from the original, what with it being Disney. It poked fun at other musicals, I will never forget the song Agony. The very handsome Billy Magnussen and the very handsome Chris Pine go into the woods to find their princesses and sing about their anguish on a waterfall and they pull at their shirts. I would have paid the ridiculous cinema prices just for that three minutes. Oh my.