Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine's Into the Woods is headed back to Broadway via New York City Center Encores!, whose concert production of the fairy tale mashup musical played a sold-out limited run earlier this month. Again directed by Encores! Artistic Director Lear deBessonet, the production will play an eight-week limited engagement June 28–August 21 at Broadway's St. James Theatre, with opening night set for July 10. The revival, which will be the musical's third Broadway outing, is dedicated to the memory of Stephen Sondheim, who died last year.
Newly joining the cast for the Main Stem bow are Brian d'Arcy James as the Baker, Tony winner Patina Miller as the Witch, Phillipa Soo as Cinderella, and Joshua Henry as Rapunzel's Prince.
Reprising their performances from the City Center run will be Tony winner Gavin Creel as Cinderella's Prince/Wolf, Sara Bareilles as the Baker's Wife, Cole Thompson as Jack, Julia Lester as Little Red Ridinghood, Annie Golden as Cinderella's Mother/Grandmother/Giant's Wife, David Patrick Kelly as Narrator/Mysterious Man, Ta'Nika Gibson as Lucinda, Albert Guerzon as Cinderella's Father, Brooke Ishibashi as Florinda, Kennedy Kanagawa as Milky White, and David Turner as Steward. Rounding out the company will be Jason Forbach, Mary Kate Moore, and Cameron Johnson.
Additional casting, including for the characters of Rapunzel, Jack's Mother and Cinderella's Stepmother, will be announced in the coming days.
DeBessonet has reunited her Encores! creative team as well, including music director Rob Berman, choreographer Lorin Latarro, scenic designer David Rockwell, costume designer Andrea Hood, lighting designer Tyler Micoloeau, sound designer Scott Lehrer (now co-designing with Alex Neumann), puppet designer James Ortiz, and hair and makeup designer Cookie Jordan. Casting is by Telsey & Co, and Cody Renard Richard will serve as production supervisor.
With a book and direction by Lapine and a score by Sondheim, Into the Woods combines the fairy-tale stories of Cinderella, Jack and the Beanstalk, Rapunzel, and more, ultimately going beyond "ever after" to explore what happens next. Boasting a score that includes such favorites as "Children Will Listen," "No One Is Alone," and its title song, the musical has become one of Sondheim's most beloved and frequently performed works both on professional stages and at schools and community theatres worldwide.
The work originally opened at Broadway's Martin Beck Theatre in 1987, with a cast including Bernadette Peters, Joanna Gleason, and Chip Zien. Up against Andrew Lloyd Webber's juggernaut The Phantom of the Opera, Into the Woods went on to win three 1988 Tony Awards, including Best Score, Best Book, and Best Actress in a Musical, the latter for Gleason. A Broadway revival played the Broadhurst Theatre in 2002 with a cast including Vanessa Williams, Laura Benanti, and Christopher Sieber, and Off-Broadway revivals were mounted by The Public Theater's Free Shakespeare in the Park in 2012 and Roundabout Theatre Company in 2014, the latter a collaboration with Fiasco Theater.
The upcoming revival will be the seventh Encores! production to play the Main Stem, following earlier transfers of Chicago, The Apple Tree, Gypsy, Finian's Rainbow, After Midnight, and Violet, the latter of which originated as a New York City Center Encores! Off-Center production. A 2000 Encores! concert of Wonderful Town also inspired a full Broadway revival in 2003.