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Into the Woods (2002 Broadway Revival Cast) [Cast Recording]

Stephen Sondheim, John McMartin, Into The Woods (Related Recordings), Vanessa WilliamsAudio CD
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (92 customer reviews)

Price: $26.59 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 25, 2002)
  • Original Release Date: 2002
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Cast Recording
  • Label: Nonesuch
  • ASIN: B000067G5Z
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (92 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #61,171 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Prologue: Into the Woods
2. Cinderella at the Grave
3. Hello, Little Girl
4. I Guess This Is Goodbye / Maybe They're Magic
5. Our Little World
6. I Know Things Now
7. A Very Nice Prince / First Midnight / Giants in the Sky
8. Agony
9. It Takes Two
10. Stay with Me
11. On the Steps of the Palace
12. Ever After
13. Prologue: So Happy
14. Agony (Reprise)
15. Lament
16. Any Moment / Moments in the Woods
17. Your Fault / Last Midnight
18. No More
19. No One Is Alone
20. Finale: Children Will Listen

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

Into the Woods, a trip to the dark side of fairy tales, usually doesn't show up on lists of Stephen Sondheim's finest offerings, but its broad appeal has turned it into the composer's most licensed project since its 1987 opening. It's no surprise, then, that it's become the object of a revival. The new production (which won the 2002 Tony for Best Revival of a Musical) was directed by James Lapine, the other half of the original creative team. Vanessa Williams, stepping into Bernadette Peters's shoes as the Witch, offers a powerful performance in what is, as written, no more than an ensemble part. The rest of the cast is wonderful, with special mentions to Laura Benanti as Cinderella and Stephen DeRosa and Kerry O'Malley as the Baker and his wife (all three will be familiar to New York musical buffs for their excellent performances in the Encores! series). All right, so the show's second act is still a lot less winning than the first one on stage, but the recording emphasizes the fact that it does boast some prime Sondheim numbers: "Last Midnight," "No One Is Alone," and "Children Will Listen." And we even get "Our Little World," a song that had been added to the 1990 London production. All in all, it's nice to have Into the Woods back, as it can both appeal to adults and provide an introduction to musicals for some kids. --Elisabeth Vincentelli

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Amazing!! June 29, 2002
By M
Format:Audio CD
This recording is wonderful and was worth every penny. It's quality is good and besides that, it comes with the full libretto along with the synopsis and some color pictures from the production. The orchestrations are beautiful and, as far as I can tell, haven't changed a bit from the original. I've found from past experience that it's hard for me to evaluate something in a paragraph, so this might be a little long...
-Vanessa Williams is fine as the Witch, but she lacks "witchyness" that the character needs. She is, without a doubt, an amazing performer, but her interpretation doesn't quite fit the character. She HAS grown on me quite a bit from when I first heard the recording, and I have to respect the fact that she is not Bernadette Peters, but a whole other Witch. She is a bit more haughty and sarcastic, maybe. But I still do think she needs to be more witchy. Other than that, she does a great job.
-Marylouise Burke as Jack's Mother is fine--it's shocking the first time you hear her go so low to sing, but you totally get used it. There are a couple of times in the prologue where she gets off tune, but for the most part, she does fine. It's not like she has any huge solos or anything.
-Laura Benanti is great as Cinderella. She has got to be one of the most beautiful sopranos I've ever heard. Wonderful take on the character... There are times when she reminds me of Kim Crosby, but there are others when she is a totally different Cinderella.
-I loved Stephen DeRosa as the Baker. He's got a deep, strong voice that fits the Baker's character, as opposed to Chip Zien's original "nervous" Baker. Chip Zien was good, but I have to say that I loved Stephen DeRosa's voice much better. He gives a wonderful performance.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not the original...that makes better and worse September 4, 2002
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
Overall this recording is quite good. The addition of a second wolf coming back after following the Three Little Pigs was amusing. I had always wondered why only one of the Princes was a wolf. I also enjoyed the new ending to "Steps of the Palace". To me it had always been a song much too long for only Cinderella to sing.
I am quite partial to some of the casting of this revival as well. Molly Ephraim is the perfect Little Red in my opinion. Danielle Ferland was a fantastic actress but her voice tended to get on my nerves. I enjoy the fact that Molly does not belt everything.
Stephen DeRosa is also wonderful. Chip Zien I found to be too whiney of a Baker.
John McMartin I found to be a much more interesting Narrator than Tom Aldredge. Tom put me to sleep.
There were some casting mistakes, however. Vanessa Williams is nothing compared to Bernadette Peters as the Witch. She sounds beautiful when she is supposed to be mean and she sounds less beautiful when she is supposed to be beautiful. I cannot understand it.
Kerry O'Malley has a beautiful voice and I am thankful that she belts the end of "Maybe They're Magic". My one complaint with the original, Joanna Gleason was that she could not belt those notes. Despite Kerry's beautiful voice, I feel that she is a little too young for the role. Give her a few years and I think she'd be perfect!
Adam Wylie makes an interesting Jack. He took a much more animated approach to the role. I prefer Ben Wright's youthful voice to Adam's nasal voice, though.
Marylouise Burke I believe to be fine in the role of Jack's mother. Barbara Bryne was not much of a singer, either, in my opinion. The two women took very different appraoches to the role so much so that they even sang in different octaves.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Into the Woods (2002 broadway revival cast) June 26, 2002
Format:Audio CD
The new Into the Woods is a must have! This new cast of Into the Woods took me completely by surpirse. The new cast is almost as good as the original cast and Vanessa Williams shines as the witch, but lacks some of the power that Bernadette Peters used to make the witch come alive. I was afraid when I heard that Sondheim had made a few changes to the show. I believe that the original cast album is a gem. The changes include 3 little pigs, a second wolf, minor alterations of words to a few songs like "On the Steps of the Palace", and the editon of "Our Little World" in act one. The song was cut from the Broadway production but appears on the London cast album. These changes enhance the show which I thought was already perfect. This is a must purchase if you love the original cast album. You will not be disappointed!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
Yes, basically the recording of the new revival of "Into the Woods" sounds the same as the original just with different singers. There are some minor changes, most of them will not make fans cringe. Here's my view on each song on the new recording:
"Prologue: Into the Woods" - They added a little chime intro before the Narrator begins. They have added some dialogue that was cut out from the original. My only problem with this song is that all of the parts sung by Marylouise Burke, who plays Jack's Mother, have been transposed drastically lower because of her limited and extremely low range. Her portrayal is nowhere near the caliber of the original Mother, Barbara Bryne.
"Cinderella at the Grave" - This is interesting, mainly because Laura Benanti sings both Cinderella and Cinderella's Mother. Laura is brilliant as always.
"Hello, Little Girl" - More dialogue added, one Wolf added. As Wolf #1 lusts for Little Red Ridinghood, Wolf #2 goes after the Three Little Pigs. The song is probably more effective when acted out on stage.
"I Guess This Is Goodbye"/"Maybe They're Magic" - We see a glimpse of Jack, sung by Adam Wylie. Kerry O'Malley is refreshing as the Baker's Wife; it's nice to hear someone younger-sounding sing the part, although I personally loved Joanna Gleason's performance.
"Our Little World" - This song was cut from the original. We get to hear Rapunzel sing more. The song is sung as the Witch climbs up Rapunzel's hair and the end is quite amusing.
"I Know Things Now" - Molly Ephraim seems fitting for Little Red Ridinghood but I would like to see her act the song out rather than listen to the song since it sounds almost exactly like the original.
"A Very Nice Prince"/"First Midnight"/"Giants in the Sky" - They cut half of "A Very Nice Prince"!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars I am so sorry but Dissappointing!!!!!!!
OMG!!!!! I am a Broadway fan and when I heard that Vanessa Williams, would be playing the Witch I could not wait to hear this cd and it took me along time to buy it because... Read more
Published 10 months ago by kevin
5.0 out of 5 stars Helpful
I bought this because I was doing a Cabaret that had Into the Woods as one of the shows shown. Even after the show is over I still can't stop listening to it!
Published 17 months ago by krissy girl
5.0 out of 5 stars Love the play and the music.
This is one of my favorite plays and I love this recording and cast. If you are a fan of this play you will love the CD/MP3 of it.
Published 19 months ago by Kristopher D. Michaels
2.0 out of 5 stars Lifeless
Until I got this CD home, I was unaware that this rewritten "revival" existed, and I do wish I had continued in that state of happy ignorance. Read more
Published 21 months ago by Eaglewalker
5.0 out of 5 stars That rare thing, a totally successful revival
As a newcomer to reviewing musicals at Amazon, I'm astonished that every single album gets the whole range of one to five stars. Read more
Published on December 30, 2010 by Santa Fe Listener
2.0 out of 5 stars Great packaging, not much else
I would have given this recording one star except for the fact that the album is presented beautifully by Nonesuch records. Read more
Published on June 27, 2009 by Daniel J. Anderson
5.0 out of 5 stars quintessential sondheim
brilliant brilliant brilliant. Those familiar with Sondheim's dissonance with pay off and poetic lyricism will love this application to fantasy. Read more
Published on May 31, 2008 by Amazon Customer
3.0 out of 5 stars Nothing over the original
My flatmate and I listened to this recording, both being fans of the OBC. And we were constantly looking at each other in disbelief. Read more
Published on May 3, 2008 by Kenneth Ogilvie
1.0 out of 5 stars This revival is a concern for me...
Into the Woods is definitely one of my favorite musicals of all time. I first saw the OBC on video a very long time ago. Read more
Published on July 16, 2007 by Max J. Kellogg
4.0 out of 5 stars Almost great, but not quite.
First off, revivals tend to be bad. Think about that. Why does it seem like whenever there is a revival, it tends to be bad? Is it because the acting is just worse? Read more
Published on June 22, 2007 by ALI the not so great but still very good
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