"Into the Woods you go again, You have to every now and then"…- Into the Woods Reunion in Orange County

Into the Woods Reunion - Chip  Zien, Joanna Gleason, James Lapine, Stephen Sondheim, Mo Rovca - by Doug GIfford (2)

The evening of November 9th at Segerstrom Center for the Arts a very near and dear event to me was held, an Into the Woods reunion with the original Broadway cast! It was part conversation and part musical selections featuring Bernadette Peters, Joanna Gleason, Chip Zien, Kim Crossby, Danielle Ferland, Ben Wright, Robert Westenberg as well as the creators of the show: James Lapine and Stephen Sondheim! Below are some of the highlights of the night.

First of all, in the lobby of the Segerstom Center they had various props and costumes from the original show such as Milky White (the cow), the giant’s golden harp, the carriage and various costumes. It was exciting walking around and being able to get a gander at what these Broadway stars once wore and used. Also at the Segerstrom Center they had various stations selling a never before released Blu-Ray version of the original Broadway show for $20.00.

Into the Woods Reunion - Chip Zien, Ben Wright, Danielle Ferland, Kim Crosby -by Doug GIfford (2)

The show, which was moderated by Mo Rocca, featured many stellar performances such as “It Takes Two,” “No More,” “On the Steps of the Palace,” Hello Little Girl,” “Moments in the Woods,” Giants in the Sky,” “Your Fault,” “No One is Alone,” “Witch’s ‘Rap,’” “Stay With Me,” “Your Fault,” “Last Midnight,” “Children Will Listen,” and “Act II Finale.” All of the numbers sounded absolutely fantastic and you could tell all of the actors truly felt each and every song. The audience members were completely enthralled; laughing at the choreography like in “Hello Little Girl” and giving multiple standing ovations. It was truly a magical evening full of laughs and tears. This was definitely true especially when Bernadette Peters sang a heart-wrenching rendition of “Stay With Me,” or when Chip Zien, Kim Crossby, Danielle Ferland and Ben Wright sang “No One is Alone.”

Segerstrom Center - Into the Woods Reunion - Bernadette Peters - by Doug GIfford (4)

The musical numbers were sang intermittently, separated by the cast and director’s anecdotes of the show’s inception, Broadway performances and some of the aftermath of the show. To note some of the memorable things that were said were:

Crossby admitted she received some advice from Gleason saying that her (Gleason’s) character had a secret that no one in the show would know about; that secret? she was pregnant once more at the start of Act II.

Lapine wrote the role of Little Red Riding Hood with Danielle Ferland in mind.

Sondheim revealed that the only song he has written without a rhyme is “I Guess this is Goodbye”

Gleason admitting that she and Zien (the baker and his wife) had a very close and relationship that Zien has been the only actor whom she has hit.

Westenber and Crossby talking about the wolf’s costume and its anatomically correct suit that would often upstage the actor. So much so that each show they had to readjust and reduce the well endowed package.

Another touching moment was when each of the cast members revealed which line was their favorite line in the show and Bernadette’s answer of: “No One is Alone” and what it meant to her. Sondheim then added to her answer and stated that many people often misconstrue what it means; most people take it literally that no one is ever truly alone. What Sondheim revealed was that the song is actually saying is that your actions and words have consequences for you and those around you; what you do isn’t something that won’t have an effect on other people and so no one is alone.

As Sondheim stated when he was asked how it felt watching the original actors performing once more as “very upsetting” we too felt the same way realizing that we would not be able to watch them all perform the songs together again after that night. It was a spectacular, one that I for one will never forget and I know many in the audience would say as well. Thank you Segerstrom Center for the Arts for allowing us to attend and hosting this wonderful evening.

Segerstrom Center - Into the Woods Reunion - Danielle Ferland and Robert Westenberg - by Doug GIfford (4)

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