Tuesday, January 20, 2015

The Top 10 INTO THE WOODS Criticisms Every Theatre Fan is [Not-So] Secretly Thinking

Ever since a certain Best Score Tony Award-winning musical was adapted for the screen, everyone and their GBF has been expressing their opinion on the piece. And yeah, no I'm not talking about the Annie remake. In fact, no one is talking about the Annie remake. I'm talking about the movie musical we actually care about. (Wow, I'm on a roll with these Annie zingers...)

After seeing Into the Woods with #TwitterlessTwin, who's a total Sondheim junkie, as well as some more Broadway-loving BFFs, of course we had to be typical theatre fans and discuss the film, venting about the parts that were omitted, changed, etc. Since the film's release, I've seen discussion after discussion about its flaws, and at this point, the responses are getting to be completely predictable! So I've compiled a list of my favorite and frequently-voiced criticisms, in no particular order.

Top 10 Into the Woods Criticisms Every Theatre Fan is [Not-So] Secretly Thinking

  1. "Like, how could they cut 'No More'?" Let's be real guys, who doesn't skip that song when you're listening to the album? Yeah, thought not.  I've loved seeing people's least-favorite song all of a sudden turn into hallowed ground.
  2. "What was up with how they cut songs but played the instrumentals in the background at the parts where they should have been sung?" YOU'RE NOT FOOLING ME DISNEY! But seriously, I thought that was a great nod to fans. Let's keep in mind that the musical is like 5 billion hours long, so they had to cut songs, and I say if you must cut the song, at least acknowledge it.
  3. "How could you keep Rapunzel alive?" Her fate was admittedly ambiguous, but very "Disney"-fied, in that rather than having her die, they had her make a poor decision and disappear. However, I think there was no doubt in the audience's mind that her story didn't end well.
  4. "Who do you think you are, cutting 'Agony (Reprise)'?!" Ok, the main issue I had with cutting the song in which Cinderella and Rapunzel's princes sing about loving Sleeping Beauty and Snow White was that it made Cinderella's Prince the only cheating sleaze. The original version made it less a spotlight and more an overall commentary on princes in general, saying that they're not all you wish them to be- none of them. Also, that song has my favorite reprisal line from the show, "Ah well, back to my wife..."
  5. "Why was there no narrator character?" I really can't see how that would have flowed in the movie version. But the part where the Narrator gets killed by the giant is one of my favorites, and it furthers the idea that nothing about fairy tales is certain, not even the safety of the storyteller himself.
  6. "What about the mysterious man?" As much as they had to cut from the show, I thought this was actually a good choice.
  7. "What happened to Cinderella's dad?" Oh wait, nevermind... No one's even pretending to care.
  8. "Did it seem just... Darker?" I totally agree with this one. Like for real, they cut so much that they had no room for the comic relief! Do y'all remember how humorous the entire show is on stage? There were a few funny moments in the movie, but only moments, as opposed to an overarching tone like the stage version has.
  9. "Why couldn't Lilla Crawford play all the roles?" Ok, maybe I'm the only one who said it, but this former Annie star (ironic, right?) was so powerful as Little Red. From the first moment she was on screen, she captured the Sondheim tone of the piece, as well as my heart.
  10. "Those pants, tho..." It's true. I'd say Rapunzel's prince's (played by Billy Magnussen) black leather pants rival the famous white Fiyero pants from Wicked  
Which parts of the Broadway show did you miss? And more importantly, does Meryl Streep deserve the Oscar nod?

Sally Henry www.BroadwayWorld.com/author/Sally-Henry // Twitter: @BwayGinger // Facebook: www.facebook.com/singularsensationbway

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