I am always amazed by all of the ways that new technology (specifically the modern internet) have made access to previously hard to come by art and culture possible. For example, out of the blue yesterday I remembered one of my favorite long lost childhood possesions. It was a video tape my mother made off the TV in 1991 of the PBS funded Broadaway performance of Stephen Sondheim’s musical Into the Woods.
I’ve honestly never been a big fan of musicals either as a child or as an adult. However, something about this particular story and performance struck a really strong cord with me. The story of Into the Woods explores a theoretical world in which all fairytales exist along side of and as a part of each other. The stories intertwine in such a way that the main characters of one tale play the secondary characters in the others. The musical continues in this manner till all of the traditional stories have been told (ie Cinderella marries the Prince, Little Red Riding Hood kills the Wolf, etc…). It then continues on to examine what fates befall all the characters after there tale is over. When I was little, this blew my mind.
Rewatching it as an adult is strange because,though I still love the music and the fantasy elements of Into the Woods, I now realize how sexual, dark, and fucked up the story was! Seriously, there is so much violence and sex in this that I am amazed that my parents let me watch it when I was only nine years old.
Below are the first three parts of the performance. Follow the link after them to watch the rest.
PS: I totally have no memory at all of the Wolf costume having that big prosthetic dick… Thank you PBS
PPS: OMG! It’s Bernadette fucking Peters!