Into The Woods O.C.R.


aec.nns79686.2 6/25/02 New
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    Into The Woods O.C.R. Nonesuch

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Review Text Into the Woods, composer Stephen Sondheim and librettist James Lapine's musical based on fairy tales, closed its original Broadway production on September 3, 1989, after 765 performances and went on to be mounted by community theaters and high schools frequently thereafter. The first Broadway revival opened April 30, 2002, only 12 and a half years later. Given the relative brevity of that interregnum and Lapine's return as director, it is not surprising that the later version is very similar to the original. Fans of the original Broadway cast album will note slight alterations here and there in the music, usually having to do with singing parts. In several instances, sections that were sung by one performer are sung by two or more. For example, there are now two wolves serenading Little Red Riding Hood in "Hello, Little Girl," which parallels the other pairs of characters in the show (the two princes, etc.). The added vocal participation also emphasizes the ensemble nature of the show. This time around, Vanessa Williams, as the witch, and John McMartin, as the narrator, are given above-the-title billing, but they are no more the stars of the show than are a half-dozen other performers. This cast compares favorably with the original one. If Williams is shriller and more one-dimensional than Bernadette Peters, McMartin is a better singer than Tom Aldredge. But the entire new cast manages to navigate Sondheim's intricate, witty lyrics, bringing out the puns and other elaborate wordplay. (Referring to an aging cow, one character sings, "We've no time to sit and dither/While her withers wither with her.") Meanwhile, Jonathan Tunick's orchestrations are as effective as ever. Those who own a copy of the earlier album don't need this one, but new fans may prefer this one, especially if they've seen this production. ~ William Ruhlmann

Track Listing

CD: 1

  1. 1. Prologue: Into the woods - 12:25
  2. 2. Cinderella at the Grave - 2:40
  3. 3. Hello, Little Girl - 3:01
  4. 4. I Guess this is Goodbye / Maybe They're Magic - 2:47
  5. 5. Our Little World - 3:31
  6. 6. I Know Things Now - 2:50
  7. 7. A Very Nice Prince / First Midnight / Giants in the Sky - 4:24
  8. 8. Agony - 2:20
  9. 9. IT Takes Two - 3:30
  10. 10. Stay with Me - 3:30
  11. 11. On the Steps of the Palace - 3:33
  12. 12. Ever After - 2:28
  13. 13. Prologue: So Happy - 4:59
  14. 14. Agony (Reprise) - 2:13
  15. 15. Lament - 2:52
  16. 16. Any Moment / Moments in the Woods - 5:42
  17. 17. Your Fault - 2:38
  18. 18. Last Midnight - 3:26
  19. 19. No More - 4:54
  20. 20. No One Is Alone - 3:23
  21. 21. Finale: Children Will Listen - 5:06

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