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Into the Woods Junior – Culbreth edition

Following the Lego-palooza, we went over to Culbreth Middle School to see Tucker’s classmates perform the Lapine/Sondheim musical “Into the Woods, Junior.” This is a version of the award winning “Into the Woods” which has been “specially adapted for young performers-abridged to 60-80 minutes, with music transposed into keys appropiate for young voices.”
It was a delightful show, well sung and well played. I was left wondering what was abridged from the adult version. With a little research, I found out. The whole second act. The controversial darker and more imagined section. The first act is a confluence of fairy tales which come to a “happy ever after” ending.

We are, now that I think about it, prepared for a post-happy ending act. We have a dead giant in the backyard. We have to impossibly pompous princes newly married. We have a witch who has become young and beautiful, but she has also lost her powers and become estranged from her daughter. And new family beginning. We have the makings of further drama for sure.
The song titles of the second act give you some idea of what’s up (from Sondheim Guide):
# “Prologue: So Happy” – Narrator and Company
# “Agony” (reprise) – Cinderella’s Prince and Rapunzel’s Prince
# “Lament” – Witch
# “Any Moment” – Cinderella’s Prince and Baker’s Wife
# “Moments in the Woods” – Baker’s Wife
# “Your Fault” – Baker, Jack, Little Red Ridinghood, Witch, Cinderella
# “Last Midnight” – Witch
# “No More” – Baker and Mysterious Man
# “No One Is Alone” – Cinderella, Little Red Ridinghood, Baker, Jack
# “Finale: Children Will Listen” – Witch and Company
If you read the synoposis of Act Two, you’ll agree it’s pretty Grimm.

1 Comment

  1. If you’ve never seen the whole production, I seriously recommend the 1991 production: Bernadette Peters as the Witch is really inspired. Also, Into The Woods has what I think is the best pun in any musical: in Agony, the princes sing:

    They lie there for years
    And you cry on their biers

    And your dyslexia has served you well here: Act 2 is pretty Grimm? That’s funny. Was it intentional? It’s hard to tell.

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