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Sondheim Gets Hollywood Stars for "Into The woods"

before Hollywood gets its hands on it












The best is always yet to come except when it comes to Broadway Musicals where the best is Stephen Sondheim and if the second best is Adam Guettel (Richard Rodgers grandson) perhaps Adam’s inability to replace Sondheim has at least something to do with the times we live in.

Broadway Musicals in the 21st century are so far past their prime that a quick look at the Great white way finds “Annie” looking like a past master.

It is depressing though we still do have Sondheim.

And Sondheim did write the music (James Lapine wrote the book) for the Tony award winning 1986 “Into The Woods” –an extended fairytale set to music with Joanne Gleason and Bernadette Peters as THE WITCH. A baker and his family go off to find the witch who put on them  and hooks up with some popular fairty tale characters.

I caught a revival on Broadway in 2002 starring Vanessa Williams and liked it fine but that was a dozen years ago and now here is news that Rob Marshall *the man who directed “Chicago” for the screen would be bringing us “Into The Woods”. Well, while it would be hard pressed to be lamer than  the 1970s movie of “A Little Night Music” starring Liz Taylor, the cast seems equally ridiculous so who knows?.

Marshall is in talks with Chris Pine, Emily Blunt, Jake Glynenhall, Johnny Depp and Meryl Streep. So much for Broadway stars. Depp starred in Sondheim’s “Sweeny Todd”, so we can give him the benefit of the doubt whilesas Streep doesn’t deserve it despite the charm of her “Mamma Mia”. As a rule of thumb, it is substantially easier to sing Benny and Bjork than Sondheim. Everybody else is a nonstarter who probably took singing to round out their acting classes.

Is it too early to say that this will suck worse than the CBGB’s movie? Why bother bringing great Broadway plays to the bigcreen if you can’t cast them properly due to money men?

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