Review of Into the Woods
More than once, I’ve heard the show’s own lyrics used to explain how “Into the Woods” devotees feel about the adaptation. “Excited and scared,” as Little Red Riding Hood has it.
One needs a proper intermission, perhaps, to let this crucial bifurcation work its strange magic, and Disney’s movie version, directed by Rob Marshall, all but skips right over the gap, scrambling to the forlorn finish line. Yet even if viewers new to Sondheim’s meticulous piece of mischief miss the point of divergence, they’re unlikely to miss the point, so strong is this great artist’s worldview. As both play and movie, Into the Woods successfully operates on two levels: to celebrate the durability of fairy tales yet also reveal their shortcomings.