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INTO THE WOODS Cast Recordings

DEClarke Profile Photo
DEClarke
Broadway Legend
joined:11/22/06
INTO THE WOODS Cast Recordings
Posted: 8/10/12 at 11:45pm
Ok, so I've never seen INTO THE WOODS and I'm pretty sure I've never heard a song from its score. Well, it's getting all types of buzz and I'm interested. Unfortunately, there is no production happening near me. Oh the joys of not living in NYC. So, now I'm turning to cast albums to get a feel for the show. So, I have three questions?

1.) Is there a complete recording of the score? I can only seem to find "abridged" recordings that are missing numbers like "Second Midnight."

2.) Which cast recording is the best?

3.) Is the DVD with Bernadette Peters worth watching? I liked the recording of SWEENEY TODD with Angela Lansburry... so if it is recorded in a similar style, I'd probably like it...

Thanks for all of your help in advance!
bwayphreak234 Profile Photo
bwayphreak234
Broadway Legend
joined:7/4/10
INTO THE WOODS Cast Recordings
Posted: 8/10/12 at 11:51pm
The video of the original production is definitely worth watching. I would also download digital theatre and watch the Regent's Park production. As for recordings, I find the 2002 revival recording gets the most playing time for me. I also have the OBCR and OLCR and like those as well, but I like the 2002 recording most.
"There’s nothing quite like the power and the passion of Broadway music. "
CATSNYrevival
Broadway Legend
joined:3/1/04
INTO THE WOODS Cast Recordings
Posted: 8/10/12 at 11:56pm
All three of the English language recordings are virtually identical in terms of content. "Second Midnight" has never been recorded, but I'd hardly call a recording abridged because it's missing one little piece of music. If that's the case then all cast recordings are abridged. (Which I guess is technically true in a sense.)

I actually like the revival cast recording with Vanessa Williams the best. I really like the changes that Sondheim made for the revival, but I know I'm definitely in the minority on that.

Most people will probably suggest the OBC and it is a good place to start, but it doesn't have "Our Little World." Both the revival recording and the London cast recording have "Our Little World."
Jordan Catalano Profile Photo
Jordan Catalano
Broadway Legend
joined:10/9/05
INTO THE WOODS Cast Recordings
Posted: 8/10/12 at 11:58pm
You're right, it doesn't have "Our Little World". For good reason. It's an awful song that was rightfully cut and put back in because....well, I don't know why. It's really awful.
CATSNYrevival
Broadway Legend
joined:3/1/04
INTO THE WOODS Cast Recordings
Posted: 8/11/12 at 12:04am
Forgive me for liking it. I know it's blasphemous.
DEClarke Profile Photo
DEClarke
Broadway Legend
joined:11/22/06
INTO THE WOODS Cast Recordings
Posted: 8/11/12 at 12:04am
Is "Second Midnight" all that's missing? It seems that the "Maybe They're Magic (Reprise)," "A Very Nice Prince (Reprise)," "Any Moment (Reprise)," and "No One Is Alone (Part 2)" are missing. But that's just going off track listing, and I know that sometimes numbers that are short are sometimes slipped in onto tracks without it being written in the track listing.

I may be weird in this aspect, but I prefer complete recordings. I am never found of cutting any moment from the score, even 30 second reprises that allow for extra time for a set change. I don't know why, but I really prefer a score to be captured in its entirety when I drop the money for a CD.

Thank you for all the input. It is extremely helpful, and that HD recording from Regent's Park looks beautiful. I'll definitely be purchasing that!
bwayphreak234 Profile Photo
bwayphreak234
Broadway Legend
joined:7/4/10
INTO THE WOODS Cast Recordings
Posted: 8/11/12 at 12:04am
I will admit that even though I like the 2002 receding best, Kerry O'Malley does NOTHING with the character of the Baker's Wife. Especially when compared to Joanna Gleason and Imelda Staunton on the OBCR and OLCR. She is bland and boring beyond belief. I can't imagine what it would have been like to watch her perform the role...
"There’s nothing quite like the power and the passion of Broadway music. "
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Jordan Catalano
Broadway Legend
joined:10/9/05
INTO THE WOODS Cast Recordings
Posted: 8/11/12 at 12:08am
bwayphreak, I need to politely ask you to never mention The Bakers Wife in the same sentence with that "person" again. She should be tried and convicted for butchering that role the way she did in the revival. Every time I see her I just want to throw something at her.
Jordan Catalano Profile Photo
Jordan Catalano
Broadway Legend
joined:10/9/05
INTO THE WOODS Cast Recordings
Posted: 8/11/12 at 12:10am
But you really should watch the original cast video. It's perfection, one of the greatest things ever made. And it's also available to stream instantly on Netflix.
wickedfan Profile Photo
wickedfan
Broadway Legend
joined:12/25/03
INTO THE WOODS Cast Recordings
Posted: 8/11/12 at 12:11am
Definitely start with the video of the OBC. It's available on Watch Instantly on Netflix and the DVD is readily available at many stores. The cast has never been beaten (though a few members have been equaled in following productions) and the video is presented without any cuts. After that, any cast recording you get is up to your personal preferences.

The OBCR has problems. The sound can feel very off and tinny on certain numbers, but as CATSNY mentioned, all 3 cast recordings are very similar in terms of content included. True, it doesn't have "Our Little World," but I've personally never found the appeal of that song. It's pretty, but it's really not needed.

The OLC is...odd. A lot of the performances are just strange but the orchestrations are similar to the OBC with a ton of little touches that make you appreciate new aspects of the music. This is also probably the least appetizing of all three cast recordings in terms of singing. Imelda Staunton and Julia McKenzie are both fantastic, though. I would recommend you listen to it last, so that you can judge the material separately first and then decide how you feel about this... interesting interpretation of the show.

And finally the much debated revival. There are some things to recommend. Laura Benanti, Greg Edelman, Christopher Sieber and Vanessa Williams (Prologue aside) are all wonderful. Beautiful vocals and a great sense of the tone for the show. However, I really hate all of the changes to certain songs ("On the Steps of the Palace," "Hello Little Girl," "Las Midnight" among others). They all just take most of the subtlety out of the show. Still, Benanti's "No One is Alone" is haunting, both of Edelman and Sieber's "Agony"'s are fantastic and Williams' "Stay with Me" and "Last Midnight" are very well done (altered lyrics notwithstanding).

So after all of that: DVD, OBC, Revival, OLC. Then decide for yourself which recording you prefer.
"Sing the words, Patti!!!!" Stephen Sondheim to Patti LuPone.
bwayphreak234 Profile Photo
bwayphreak234
Broadway Legend
joined:7/4/10
INTO THE WOODS Cast Recordings
Posted: 8/11/12 at 12:14am
bwayphreak, I need to politely ask you to never mention The Bakers Wife in the same sentence with that "person" again.

No problem I am guessing you had the misfortune of seeing her live...

And I also cannot recommend the video of the OBC highly enough. It is an absolutely beautiful production through and through.
"There’s nothing quite like the power and the passion of Broadway music. "
Jordan Catalano Profile Photo
Jordan Catalano
Broadway Legend
joined:10/9/05
INTO THE WOODS Cast Recordings
Posted: 8/11/12 at 12:15am
I'll never forget that night when I saw that show. I was sitting in the theater wanting to scratch my nails down a wall. It was the most infuriating experience of my life watching my favorite show butchered and shlt all over like everyone on that stage (Benanti, excluded) was doing.
wickedfan Profile Photo
wickedfan
Broadway Legend
joined:12/25/03
INTO THE WOODS Cast Recordings
Posted: 8/11/12 at 12:16am
Bernadette Peters' performance of "Last Midnight" on that video and Joanna Gleason's "Moments in the Woods" should be studied by every aspiring young actress. THAT is how you do it.

Also, Danielle Ferland's "You can talk to birds?" is a textbook example of how to perfectly deliver a one liner.
"Sing the words, Patti!!!!" Stephen Sondheim to Patti LuPone.
CATSNYrevival
Broadway Legend
joined:3/1/04
INTO THE WOODS Cast Recordings
Posted: 8/11/12 at 12:16am
DEClarke, where are you getting your song list from? Wikipedia? Those songs aren't even listed in the program. Most of those you mentioned are little 30 second reprises and most cast recordings rarely include those parts of a score.
Kad Profile Photo
Kad
Broadway Legend
joined:11/5/05
INTO THE WOODS Cast Recordings
Posted: 8/11/12 at 12:29am
The only thing that the OBCR lacks is "Our Little World" and a few very short reprises. Of those that you listed, only the reprise of "No One Is Alone" has been recorded- it's included in the finale track. (I don't know what else would be covered by the label "Part 2") But what it DOES have is the full-length "A Very Nice Prince", which includes the excised Baker's Wife lyrics. I believe it features another song that has lyrics that aren't performed, too. I can't recall which.

The 2002 revival is almost impossible for me to listen to. There is nothing worthwhile on it for me. Even Laura Benanti can't save it.

The London recording is decent.

The OBCR is the best way to go.
bwayphreak234 Profile Photo
bwayphreak234
Broadway Legend
joined:7/4/10
INTO THE WOODS Cast Recordings
Posted: 8/11/12 at 12:31am
Still, Benanti's "No One is Alone" is haunting, both of Edelman and Sieber's "Agony"'s are fantastic and Williams' "Stay with Me" and "Last Midnight" are very well done (altered lyrics notwithstanding).

I agree - Benanti's "No One is Alone" is absolutely stunning. Vanessa Williams' "Last Midnight" sounds great and I love her voice, but the lyrics are too butchered for my liking.
"There’s nothing quite like the power and the passion of Broadway music. "
wonderfulwizard11 Profile Photo
wonderfulwizard11
Broadway Legend
joined:7/30/05
INTO THE WOODS Cast Recordings
Posted: 8/11/12 at 12:36am
Kad, I think that the OBCR contains lyrics from the Witch's Lament that are normally cut. I'm not entirely sure, but I think Sondheim mentions it in his book.
I am a firm believer in serendipity- all the random pieces coming together in one wonderful moment, when suddenly you see what their purpose was all along.
CATSNYrevival
Broadway Legend
joined:3/1/04
INTO THE WOODS Cast Recordings
Posted: 8/11/12 at 12:41am
^There is one song on the OBC that has an extra verse that was later cut. I can't remember which. I know the "Lament" on the revival recording is the full version. In the actual show Vanessa didn't sing the full version. The second verse was cut.

* Oh, Kad said it. "A Very Nice Prince" has the Baker's Wife section.





Updated On: 8/11/12 at 12:41 AM
theatreguy Profile Photo
theatreguy
Broadway Legend
joined:7/31/03
INTO THE WOODS Cast Recordings
Posted: 8/11/12 at 12:46am
No One is Alone Part One is the first section sung by Cinderella. Part Two begins after Jack and the Baker talk in the tree. For all the cast recordings, that dialogue is cut and the first part goes direct. y into the second. Same for Parts One and Two of Any Moment - they are combined on one track and the Baker and Cinderella scene that divides them is cut.
Kad Profile Photo
Kad
Broadway Legend
joined:11/5/05
INTO THE WOODS Cast Recordings
Posted: 8/11/12 at 12:48am
Ah, found it!

The OBCR has an additional verse in "Any Moment", as well. "Days are made of moments, all are worth exploring..." through "one would be so boring."

jimmycurry01 Profile Photo
jimmycurry01
Broadway Legend
joined:5/28/05
INTO THE WOODS Cast Recordings
Posted: 8/11/12 at 12:53am
The OBCR is the one to buy first, and watch the original DVD. If you go that route, you will not be disappointed. The Revenge Park production is fun, and it brings some new ideas to the table, but nothing tops the original.
Kad Profile Photo
Kad
Broadway Legend
joined:11/5/05
INTO THE WOODS Cast Recordings
Posted: 8/11/12 at 12:54am
Regent's Park.

Revenge Park is... I don't even know what joke to make here.
CATSNYrevival
Broadway Legend
joined:3/1/04
INTO THE WOODS Cast Recordings
Posted: 8/11/12 at 12:55am
I'm sure it was just a typo, but I actually love the name Revenge Park.
westcoast_wannabe Profile Photo
westcoast_wannabe
Leading Actor
joined:9/10/07
INTO THE WOODS Cast Recordings
Posted: 8/11/12 at 01:37am
I agree with everyone who said watch the OBC video first. It's absolutely the best way to first experience the show. It looks like I'm alone in this thread, but my favorite cast recording is the OLC. The conductor of that recording brings a lot out of the orchestra that for me makes the music the most thrilling I've ever heard it. Though some of the performances on that recording pale in comparison to thier OBC counterparts. I suggest skipping the revival recording I can't ever listen to it for more than a few minutes before I change to one of the other recordings.
ComingUpRoses2 Profile Photo
ComingUpRoses2
Leading Actor
joined:3/14/11
INTO THE WOODS Cast Recordings
Posted: 8/11/12 at 08:36am
The OBC video first. I think that's how a lot of us first experienced the show. Thank God it was recorded! The OBCR should be next, then the OLCR, and finally, the revival recording.

I'm not a big fan of the revival. The only truly good thing about that production was Laura Benanti. She was touching and hilarious. She comes across wonderfully on the recording, but the rest is as dull as the production itself was.

I sort of really like the London cast.
jimmycurry01 Profile Photo
jimmycurry01
Broadway Legend
joined:5/28/05
INTO THE WOODS Cast Recordings
Posted: 8/11/12 at 01:10pm
Yeah, sorry about that Revenge Park, I was typing on the cell phone again while waiting in a parking lot. That auto correct spelling feature really hurts more than it helps.

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