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A starry 'Into the Woods' will play Broadway this summer
Sara Bareilles and Neil Patrick Harris in the Encores! production of “Into the Woods” at New York City Center, May 3, 2022. The fairy-tale musical, by Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine, will open on Broadway this summer with Bareilles again in the role of the Baker’s Wife. Sara Krulwich/The New York Times

by Michael Paulson



NEW YORK, NY.- A production of “Into the Woods” that garnered ecstatic reviews during a sold-out two-week run at New York City Center this month will transfer to Broadway this summer.

The Broadway production, scheduled to run for just eight weeks, will again feature singer-songwriter Sara Bareilles as the Baker’s Wife and Gavin Creel as a prince (and a wolf), but the other lead roles will be played by newcomers to the production — including Patina Miller, a Tony winner for “Pippin,” as the Witch; Brian d’Arcy James (“Something Rotten!”) as the Baker; Phillipa Soo (“Hamilton”) as Cinderella; and Joshua Henry (“Carousel”) as the other prince.

“When things don’t make sense anymore, this is the show that holds our hand,” said Jordan Roth, president of Jujamcyn Theaters and the production’s lead producer. “That’s why it resonated so profoundly deeply, and why we need to allow more people to have that experience.”

“Into the Woods,” which first opened on Broadway in 1987, is one of the great collaborations between songwriter Stephen Sondheim, who died last fall, and book writer James Lapine. The show, a cautionary mash-up of various fairy tales, is widely staged, both professionally and at schools, and in 2014 Disney released a film adaptation.

This new production, which began as part of the Encores! program at City Center, will start performances June 28 and open July 10 at the St. James Theater. It is again directed by Lear deBessonet, the Encores! artistic director. Writing in The New York Times, critic Alexis Soloski declared the City Center production “glorious,” and many other critics agreed.

The Encores! cast featured several performers who are not joining the Broadway production because of filming commitments, including Heather Headley, who played the Witch; Denée Benton, who played Cinderella; and Neil Patrick Harris, who played the Baker.

The Broadway run will be produced by Jujamcyn, Roth, and City Center, as well as Hunter Arnold, Nicole Eisenberg, Michael Cassel Group, Jessica R. Jenen, Daryl Roth, ShowTown Productions and Armstrong, Gold & Ross.

Jordan Roth said that the physical production would be the same as at City Center, with an onstage orchestra and minimal sets and costumes. “The simplicity and poetry of this production delivered this story right to our hearts,” he said.

A New York City Center production of “Sunday in the Park With George,” also written by Sondheim and Lapine, followed a similar path to Broadway. That production, starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Annaleigh Ashford, had a four-performance run at City Center in 2016, followed by a 10-week run on Broadway in 2017.

This article originally appeared in The New York Times.










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