So, when I was growing up, many people would say I was a bossy kid. A bossy, creative, distracted, lazy kid. For my 8th birthday party I wrote, cast, directed, and performed in a play, The Princess and the Cage, and forced my closest friends to participate with me. That tape is at my parents house still, and, OH MY GAWD do I want to digitize it and edit it and make it something hilarious (so watch out there Angela, Stephanie, Joelle, Andrea, Natalie, and Christina – the day is coming). I went to drama camp, artsy fartsy high school, and loved going to the theatre, watching broadway productions on PBS and learning the words well enough to sing along.
My FAVOURITE by far was/is Into the Woods. The 1988 Broadway production with Bernadette Peters is just simply divine and perfect, and when I heard they were making a movie my first reaction was horror, then fear, then excitement. I think I decided early on that I really didn’t care how bad it might end up being, and that I would watch it over and over again in the theatre and sing along until I was asked to leave.
My coffee table has a copy of the playbook (script) from Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine, complete with four or five stage production stills from the iconic ’88 play. In my VHS collection is the original taped-from-PBS showing of Into The Woods (the one where “the witch”‘s voice cuts out at the “In the past, when you were no more than a babe” part). In my YouTube queue is several versions of Into The Woods just so I can practice the more wordy parts of songs. So, needless to say, when I received CHRISTMAS DAY MATINEE MOVIE TICKETS for the new movie, Into The Woods, this year for xmas, I was excited and full of beans, and just SO READY for Christmas to end so I could go see the movie (SUCH a spoiled brat, I am, eh?). Anyway. We finished opening whatever else it was that I got, and arrived at the theatre just before show time. Stupid me thinking the movie would be big enough to be in a LARGE theatre, it was in one of the smallest, and MAN was it was packed. The choice of seats no longer an option, we crunched up front in that first aisle where persons in wheelchairs can comfortably maneuver. I left a seat next to the wheelchair area (just in case someone came with friends and wanted to sit on either side of friend in wheelchair) and I got ready to sing along, get kicked out, and just have a ball living out a childhood dream.
THE MOMENT it started (“I Wish”) I was dumbstruck. So excited I had tears coming down my cheeks before anything happened. I couldn’t get the words out, but silently mouthed along for the whole movie, excitedly and (tooting my own horn here) near flawlessly (okay okay, except the bits they modified, but that was unforseen!). I remember seeing the man in a wheelchair (who arrived alone making the seat between us seem awfully weird) watch me during Giants in the Sky almost as much as he watched the screen. I don’t know if he was a fan of the musical, or was just flabberghasted at this chick in a pouffy pink dress and perm-like afro of curls and pearls being such a know-it-all. I planned my pee breaks for the parts of the film I cared less about seeing all over again (and, I AM going to see it a bazillion more times so it didn’t seem to matter much at the time), and was thrilled that my husband loved it and was moved by it as much as I was hoping he would.
“SO MANY GOOD LESSONS” he came out saying. Actually, my husband is hilarious. As we were coming out of the movie, after his exclaimation, I shush’d him (which I really didn’t need to do) about not ruining it for the people standing in line, so the bugger yells out “I know, I was surprised Darth Vader was Luke’s father too!”, and at least one ten year old double checked his ticket to see what the hell they were seeing again.
NOW, if you HAVEN’T seen it yet, have no idea what I’m talking about, and usually enjoy musicals or the Grimm fairy tales, please oh please oh please watch the 1988 broadway play too. There is so much charm in the original showing that couldn’t be matched by Hollywood.
Let me know what you think of the movie! What did you like? What didn’t you like?