(4/17/02 2:36:26 pm)
| Into the Woods|
Some of you may know already that Stephen Sondheim's musical "Into the Woods", which weaves together a number of fairy tales, is coming back to Broadway.
Now I enjoyed the musical the first time around - it had clever lyrics, intriguing melodies and woderful performances. But somehow, I found myself a tiny bit irked by the second act, where the fairy tale narrative is broken and the characters break free of their story lines. I know Sondheim was trying to prove a point, by freeing the characters to show that they're just like people, wandering and looking for direction in their lives. Good and evil are not clearly defined any longer. But I guess sometimes I just want the fairytale to end with "Happily ever after". Does that sound silly?
I am not sure why I had this reaction, when I have enjoyed all the adaptations and re-tellings from the wonderful authors on this board, as well as Angela Carter's dark tales, and too many others to list here!
I was just wondering what other people thought of this.
(4/17/02 3:20:50 pm)
| The irk-age quotient of Into the Woods ;)|
It irked me too, and I generally like altered fairy tales. I think the reason, for me at least, is that in _Into the Woods_, the changes just seem to be for the sake of change. There doesn't seem to be any _reason_ for the behavior of the characters--there isn't enough character development to explain it--so it just seems like the plot has been manipulated _just_ to shake us up. *shrug*
(4/17/02 4:05:34 pm)
| With feeling...|
I think it would be interesting to see how a group of fairy tale
and folklore enthusiasts performing _Into the Woods_ would affect
the atmosphere of it. I for one would love to be Little Red or Cinderella
(though after the cold I just suffered, I'm not sure I could hit
those high notes!), but would settle even for the Baker's Wife.
I saw it with Rent- after a few years, the heart went out of it
and the cast just seemed to be performing for the sake of performance.
I think a group of enthusiasts could really bring it alive. Same
with Once Upon a Mattress.
Soft whispers (almost out of necessity) and valley blossoms,
(4/18/02 3:01:02 am)
| My reaction|
I was just miffed when I saw INTO THE WOODS because I had wanted to write it! And now I couldn't.
(4/20/02 3:18:10 am)
| Do it anyway!|
Why not write a new one? Maybe something with the contes/cabinet
de fees (sp?) or a new group of tale tellers (like this board)?
I think something spectacular can be done with the wealth of stories
and ideas that follow. (If you do write one, can I help with the
Soft whispers and valley blossoms,
(4/20/02 6:35:17 pm)
| new musical?|
I would love it if you wrote a fairy tale musical! Surely the many talented people on this board could put together something stunning and spectacular.
I think the replies I got from my initial posing may have partially answered why I was irked by "Into the Woods". It's because Sondheim is a composer and not a student of folklore. And that is not a failing - not everyone can be a folklorist! He was trying to tell a certain kind of story and he saw something other than someone who knows these tales inside out does.
I am by no means an expert, but I do love wonder tales and fairy tales and so on, and sometimes I weary of how the public thinks Disney when they see fairy tales. When I lived in upstate NY, I did costumes for a community theatre and sometimes they would put on shows written by locals. (Ironically, their local production of "Into the Woods" bombed!) I was asked to do the costumes for a new version of "Beauty and the Beast" - I had to decline due to time conflicts. But I went to see the production because it is one of my favorite stories - I loved so much I did a short paper on the tale in college comparing and contrasting the animal metamorphical permutations across Europe - and also to show support. Imagine my dismay when I see a clumsily adapted ripoff of the Disney film. It was awful. Even the costumes seemed to be taken straight from the movie. I was so disappointed. I guess my expectations were kind of high...but still.
Personally, I think that "The 12 Dancing Princesses" and "Puss in Boots" offer a lot of potential for musicals. Had I any talent in composing, I'd take a crack at it. Any other suggestions for possible musicals?
(4/21/02 12:56:20 pm)
| Re: new musical?|
I think "The White Cat" would be spectacular! So much detail, so many layers...
Soft whispers and valley blossoms,