Wednesday, October 22, 2014

What We Talk About When We Talk About Into the Woods

My dear readers, you know by now I'm sure that I am a theatre kid. I did theatre in high school, I have a degree in theatre, I co-founded a theatre company, I toured a theatre show in exotic places such as Canada, I am going to a theatre tonight to do theatre type things, I spell theatre with an RE at the end because I am just that theatre-y.

 During most of these years of being theatre-y, there is something I tried to hide - a true self I sought to deny. I tried to pretend to hate musicals. WHICH IS HILARIOUS considering I am physically incapable of being introduced to a person named Bob or Robert without thinking "Bobby...Bobby...Bobby baby...Bobby bubbi...Robby...Robert darling..." Anyway, I've now decided it is dumb for me to deny my longstanding love for musical theatre any longer.

Which is one of the reasons we need to talk about the Entertainment Weekly covers featuring the cast of Into the Woods in costume.

It's not just that it seems like one of the big things I was worried about seems to be, uh, well worth worrying about. *COUGHjohnnydeppCOUGH* For me, it's deeper than that.

You see, I like to believe in the best of people. I like to believe that no matter how crappy this season was (and boy howdy was it sure crappy) that the Phillies will be awesome next year. I like to believe that even though the televised Sound of Music production earlier this year was kind of a mess (except Audra's solo and Laura Benanti's epic and continuous bitchface) that the upcoming televised production of Peter Pan is going to be glorious.

I know, I know.

I desperately wanted the Sweeney Todd movie to be wonderful but to be honest I found it somewhat boring. It was stylistically BEAUTIFUL but overall the voices weren't terribly strong (for Sondheim) (I mean come on! It's not like it was going to be easy!) and it fell flat.

But still I had hope for Les Miz to be awesome. Epic! Sweeping! Hugh Jackman! But... I mean... I was so disappointed I almost cried (in private after leaving the company of my friends who would have rightfully made fun of me). But there are no tears, only laughter when you remember that "Stars" mostly took place in front of this giant stone eagle making a Laura Benanti bitchface.

As if the eagle was like, "Psssht, I cannot believe they didn't cast me as Javert. I can sing circles around this dude." Fun fact: this is one of two  Les Miz scenes not shot in extreme closeup.

Okay, but even with all of this disappointment about movie musical adaptations piling up in recent years, when I heard that a big time major motion picture adaptation of Into the Woods was coming around, I was SO EXCITED!  I did Into the Woods in high school and, like all high school kids doing a big challenging show, it meant the world to me. So there's part of me that feels nostalgic when I hear that music and there's part of me that just can't help but feel as optimistic as I did at 17 with my whole life waiting for me and then I saw these covers of Entertainment Weekly...

...and I see how everyone looks lovely and perfect except that Johnny Depp has a weird anachronistic zoot suit on and I immediately realized that it's not going to be perfect. Indeed it may well not be very good at all. And I have to tell you: I'm feeling pretty crushed. I'm still going to see it and I'm going to be excited about seeing it. But I definitely reserve the right to be disappointed.... bitterly so. After all, I am a Philadelphian - we get bitter when our high hopes get shattered.

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