EXCLUSIVE: Regent's Park Theatre's INTO THE WOODS to Play Central Park's Delacorte Theater in 2012

By: Jan. 09, 2012
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BroadwayWorld.com has learned that the hit open-air production of INTO THE WOODS that played London's Regent's Park Theatre in 2011 is now planning for a transfer to Central Part's Delacorte Theater as part of The Public Theater's Summer 2012 programming. Casting is said to be underway already for the role of 'The Witch' and that the producers are seeking a big name. Nothing officially has been announced on a possible transfer, as The Public is expecting to announce the 2012 summer season at the Delacorte sometime next month. The Public Theatre had no comment by press time. 

Celebrating Stephen Sondheim's 80th birthday, the 2010 season at Regent's Park Open Air Theatre closed with Sondheim and Lapine's 1987 musical INTO THE WOODS, co-directed by Timothy Sheader and Liam Steel. With designs by Soutra Gilmour, movement by co-director Liam Steel, musical supervision and direction Gareth Valentine, lighting by Jon Clark, orchestrations by Chris Walker and sound by Mike Walker, Into the Woods became the highest selling single production at Regent's Park Open Air Theatre and received the Olivier Award for Best Musical Revival. That production was filmed and is now available at www.digitaltheatre.com. Click here for the reviews. Click here for photos. Click to page 2 for a video preview. 

The cast included: Eddie Manning as the The Narrator, Helen Dallimore as Cinderella, Ben Stott as Jack, Mark Hadfield as Baker, Jenna Russell as Baker's Wife, Gaye Brown as Cinderella's Stepmother, Amy Ellen Richardson as Florinda, Amy Griffiths as Lucinda, Marilyn Cutts as Jack's Mother, Beverly Rudd as Little Red Ridinghood, Hannah Waddingham as Witch, Gemma Wardle as Cinderella's Mother, Billy Boyle as Mysterious Man, Michael Xavier as Wolf and Cinderella's Prince, Valda Aviks as Grandmother, Alice Fearn as Rapunzel, Simon Thomas as Rapunzel's Prince, Mark Goldthorp as Steward, Sophie Caton as Snow White/Harp, Marc Antolin as Woodsman, with Judi Dench as the voice of the Giant.

INTO THE WOODS debuted in San Diego at the Old Globe Theatre on December 4, 1986. Directed by James Lapine, it played 50 performances. The show then moved into Broadway's Martin Beck Theatre on November 5, 1987. Playing 764 performances on Broadway, the original production garnered three Tony Awards, the New York Drama Critics' Circle Award, the Drama Desk Award for Best Musical, and a Grammy Award. The original cast featured Bernadette Peters (The Witch) and Joanna Gleason (The Baker's Wife). The original cast was videotaped for PBS' "Great Performances" series and is now available on DVD.

INTO THE WOODS' Broadway run was followed by a successful 17-month national tour in 1988, much-heralded West End productions in 1990 (available as an RCA cast album) and 1998, as well as a star-studded a tenth anniversary concert in 1997.

INTO THE WOODS' 2002 Broadway revival also began out of town at the Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles. Directed by James Lapine and starring Vanessa Williams, New York previews began on April 13, 2002. The production opened April 30, 2002 at the Broadhurst Theatre. Playing 279 performances, the revival won the Tony Awards for the Best Revival of a Musical and Best Lighting Design.

The Public Theater was founded by Joseph Papp in 1954 and is now one of the nation's preeminent cultural institutions, producing new plays, musicals and productions of classics at its downtown home and at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park. The Public Theater's mandate to create a theater for all New Yorkers continues to this day on stage and through extensive outreach programs. Each year, more than 250,000 people attend Public Theater-related productions and events at six downtown stages, including Joe's Pub, and Shakespeare in the Park. The Public Theater's productions have won 42 Tony Awards, 158 Obies, 42 Drama Desk Awards and four Pulitzer Prizes. Fifty-four Public Theater Productions have moved to Broadway, including Sticks and Bones; That Championship Season; A Chorus Line; For Colored Girls...; The Pirates of Penzance; The Tempest; Bring in 'da Noise, Bring in 'da Funk; The Ride Down Mt. Morgan; Topdog/Underdog; Take Me Out; Caroline, or Change; Passing Strange; the revival of HAIR; Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson and The Merchant of Venice. For more information, visit www.publictheater.org.