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Fall Arts: Into the Woods—To Broadway and Beyond

How a Sondheim musical that began in Balboa Park traveled the world and ended up as a feature film starring Meryl Streep


Photography by Keith Bedford/Getty Images; Danial Norwood photography; Jim Cox

December 4, 1986 
Opens at the Old Globe Theatre in Balboa Park. James Lapine directs a cast that includes Joanna Gleason as the Baker’s Wife and Ellen Foley as the Witch. The production runs for 50 performances.

November 5, 1987 
Opens on Broadway at the Martin Beck Theatre, and runs for 764 performances. Lapine again directs. Bernadette Peters plays the Witch.

Vanessa Williams as the Witch, 2002

June 5, 1988 
Wins Tony Awards for Best Score (Sondheim), Best Book (Lapine), and Best Actress in a Musical (Gleason). Loses Best Musical award to The Phantom of the Opera.

November 22, 1988 
National tour begins in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, with Cleo Laine as the Witch and Charlotte Rae as Jack’s Mother. The tour lasts 10 months but does not come to San Diego.

February 22, 1989
Wins Best Original Cast Show Album at the 31st annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles.

August 30, 1990 
Opens at Moonlight Amphitheatre in Vista, the first reappearance in the San Diego area since its Old Globe debut. Gary Krinke directs, with choreography by Ray Limon.

September 25, 1990 
Opens at the Phoenix Theatre in London. Directed by Richard Jones, it runs for 197 performances with a cast that includes Imelda Staunton of the Harry Potter films.

March 20, 1991 
TV version airs on PBS’ American Playhouse. The original Broadway cast appears, with Lapine directing.

February 1, 2002
Los Angeles production opens at the Ahmanson Theatre. Vanessa Williams stars as the Witch.

April 13, 2002 
Broadway revival production opens at the Broadhurst Theatre and runs for 279 performances and 18 previews. Williams reprises her role as the Witch, and Lapine directs.

The musical retelling of classic fairy tales has Red Riding Hood banding together with Cinderella to battle a giant. (Fiasco Theater presents Into the Woods at the Old Globe, summer 2014)

January 22, 2008 
Barcelona production opens at the Teatre Victòria in Barcelona, Spain. The show is titled Bosco Endins.

July 24, 2012 
Public Theater production opens at the Delacorte Theatre in New York’s Central Park. There are 21 performances based on the version created in London’s Regent’s Park.

July 17, 2014 
Summer Shakespeare Festival production opens at the Old Globe Theatre, by way of the New York-based, actor-driven Fiasco Theater Company. This production will move to the Roundabout Theatre Company in New York City.

December 25, 2014 
Projected opening of the feature film adaptation, a Walt Disney Production directed by Rob Marshall (Chicago), with a screenplay by Lapine. The cast includes Meryl Streep as the Witch, Johnny Depp as the Wolf, Emily Blunt as the Baker’s Wife, and Anna Kendrick as Cinderella.

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