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Well, my "little vacation" ended up lasting two and a half years... funny how life steers your life in directions you weren't planning on. I'll start off with occasional posts, but I fully plan to resume this blog to full speed by the new year.

I hope you'll come back for frequent visits, to see new reviews, to share opinions, to take a survey (or two), and to celebrate the shows and show people that have made the TheatreScene!

Jeff

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Back in Time: 2002: Into the Woods (Revival), Part IV

In the last installment of this blog-series, we took a look at the supporting cast of the 2002 revival of Into the Woods.  In this, the final part of the series, we take a look at the main cast of the show.  While Vanessa Williams and John McMartin were the above-the-title stars - both box office names to be sure, even they would likely admit that they were in an ensemble of leading characters that bring the intricate weave of several fairy tales together.  In keeping with that thought of ensemble, here are the rest of the cast members in alphabetical order:



Gypsy

Laura Benanti (Cinderella)

Before Into the Woods: The Sound of Music, Swing! (Tony nomination - Best Featured Actress in a Musical)
During Into the Woods: Tony nomination: Best Featured Actress in a Musical
After Into the Woods: The Violet Hour, Nine, The Wedding Singer, Gypsy (Tony Award Winner - Best Featured Actress in a Musical), In the Next Room, or The Vibrator Play, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown

(Left) The Savannah Disputation

Marylouise Burke (Jack's Mother)

Before Into the Woods: Fuddy Mears, Kimberly Akimbo (both off-Broadway), Inherit the Wind
After Into the Woods: Is He Dead?

A Broadway holiday benefit

Stephen DeRosa (The Baker)

Before Into the Woods: The Man Who Came to Dinner
After Into the Woods: Hairspray, Henry IV, Twentieth Century


Gregg Edelman (Wolf/Cinderella's Prince)

Before Into the Woods: Cats, Les Miserables (original production), Anything Goes (1987), Cabaret (1987), City of Angels (Tony nomination - Best Actor in a Musical), Falsettos, Anna Karenina (Tony nomination - Best Featured Actor in a Musical), 1776, Passion
During Into the Woods: Tony nomination - Best Featured Actor in a Musical
After Into the Woods: Wonderful Town, A Tale of Two Cities

(3rd from Left) Fiddler on the Roof

Molly Ephraim (Little Red Ridinghood)

During Into the Woods: The show marked her Broadway debut!
After Into the Woods: Fiddler on the Roof

(Left) Is He Dead?

John McMartin (Narrator/The Mysterious Man)

Before Into the Woods: Sweet Charity (original cast, Tony nomination ; Best Featured Actor in a Musical), Follies (original cast), The Great God Brown, Don Juan, Show Boat (1995 revival - Tony nomination - Best Featured Actor in a Musical), High Society (Tony nomination - Best Featured Actor in a Musical)
During Into the Woods: Tony nomination - Best Actor in a Musical)
After Into the Woods: Grey Gardens, Is He Dead?, Anything Goes (2011 revival)

(Left) Irving Belin's White Christmas

Kerry O'Malley (The Baker's Wife)

Before Into the Woods: Cyrano: The Musical, Translations, Annie Get Your Gun (1999 revival)
After Into the Woods: Irving Berlin's White Christmas

(Left) With Shrek Broadway Bear


Christopher Sieber (Wolf/Rapunzel's Prince)

Before Into the Woods: Triumph of Love, Beauty and the Beast, Chicago, Thoroughly Modern Millie
After Into the Woods: Spamalot (Tony nomination - Best Featured Actor in a Musical), Shrek: The Musical (Tony nomination - Best Featured Actor in a Musical), La Cage aux Folles (2010 revival)

Kiss of the Spider Woman

Vanessa Williams (The Witch)

Before Into the Woods: Kiss of the Spider Woman
During Into the Woods: Tony nomination - Best Actress in a Musical
After Into the Woods: Sondheim on Sondheim, TV's Ugly Betty and Desperate Housewives

Wicked (National Tour)

Adam Wylie (Jack)

During Into the Woods: He made is Broadway debut!
After Into the Woods: Wicked (National Tour)


  Interesting just who were supposed to be the breakout stars of Into the Woods, as annointed by various news papers and theater websites: Stephen DeRosa and Kerry O'Malley, both of whom have maintained careers on the New York stage, but are hardly "breakout stars."  Meanwhile, one of Broadway's favorite guys, Christopher Sieber, has gone on to considerable acclaim - and his "helping out" La Cage aux Folles might just propel him even further.  (A coincidence that just this week, Christopher Sieber was announced to return to Chicago, then was called in to join the La Cage aux Folles company following the abrupt departure of Jeffrey Tambor in that show.)  Of course, Broadway stars Vanessa Williams, Marylouise Burke, Gregg Edelman and the legendary John McMartin continue to share their considerable gifts with the world via stage, television, music and film.  And it should have been no surprise that Laura Benanti went on to huge stage success, and is today considered one of Broadway's best actresses, but it was surprising considering her rough departure from both Into the Woods and later The Wedding Singer, as serious back and throat injuries, respectively, could have spelled the end of what has become an acclaimed career.

Look for another "Back in Time" series of blogs coming this summer.


Comments?  Leave one here, email me at jkstheatrescene@yahoo.com or Tweet me!
Jeff
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