The Encores! transfer of Into the Woods opened at the St. James Theater to absolute rave reviews. The simplicity of the staging allows for the hilarious and heartbreaking performances from this star-studded cast to shine and Sondheim’s wonderful score to soar. The critics are in full agreement on this one; you’d be a fool to miss this mounting of Woods.
New York Times Review of Into the Woods
Despite some cast changes, its humor, wonder and humanity have arrived intact. Indeed, they may glimmer even more brightly at the St. James Theater than they did at City Center. … Pleasure, anticipation, celebration. When the lights came up, the crowd screamed and screamed and screamed. … If the production’s style is minimal, it is never austere and on this mostly blank canvas, deBessonet, aided by Lorin Latarro’s playful choreography, paints in rich and plentiful tones. Kindness is a watchword of deBessonet’s work, as seen in her many Public Works productions. A recognition of shared humanity, too. Here it seems to extend everywhere, to actors and audience both. I have rarely seen a show in which the cast had this much fun.
TimeOut Review of Into the Woods
Now, after a smash spring engagement at City Center’s Encores! series, the show returns for a limited Broadway run in a focused, funny and thoroughly satisfying staging by director Lear deBessonet. … True to its semi-concert roots, this production is low on spectacle. … The emphasis is on Sondheim’s twisting, punning, verbose score and on the easy charisma of the performers, who seem to be having an infectiously good time and who strike an expert balance between charming and sincere. … Into the Woods’s legion fans are well-served by this revival, and at both the Encores! performance and the Broadway press performance that I attended, the audience response was overwhelming.
Deadline Review of Into the Woods
New Yorkers and visitors to this city currently have a chance to witness the transcendence of a musical theater masterpiece. … To say it delivers on its promise is an understatement. A cast as fine as any on Broadway this year – Sara Bareilles, Brian D’Arcy James, Patina Miller, Phillipa Soo, Gavin Creel, Joshua Henry (and that’s just for starters) – musical direction and orchestrations that bathe some of Sondheim’s most breathtaking pieces of music in arrangements and execution that can’t be improved upon, a warm, lovely lighting design that envelops the stage and soothes the audience as if leading us down a wooded path where things might not always be so nice, well, this Into The Woods has us at its every beck and call. Resistance is futile.
Variety Review of Into the Woods
The revival that opened on Broadway Sunday night is not just a glorious lifeline for fans reawakening to the wonders of live performance after a long, dark hiatus. It’s a crystalline showcase for sensational performances from an all-star cast of marquee veterans, and a testament to the enduring genius of the beloved musical. … There are no grand set changes or special effects, nor anything to distract from the score’s slippery-sweet melodies and a cast that seems to be having the time of their lives. … If a production this radiant can make you laugh and laugh (and even cry a little) as the world burns, isn’t that all that anyone could wish for?