Miller, Matarazzo, Williams, & Goldberg Among Initial Stars of Hollywood Bowl's INTO THE WOODS
Preliminary casting has been announced for the Hollywood Bowl's upcoming production of Into the Woods. The darkly humorous and hauntingly beautiful masterpiece, with book by James Lapine and music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, will be the 20th annual LA Phil / Hollywood Bowl-produced, fully staged summer Broadway musical.
Gaten Matarazzo, who began his career on the Broadway stage and currently stars as Dustin Henderson in the Netflix science-fiction drama series Stranger Things, has been announced for the role of Jack. Patina Miller, who stars as Daisy Grant on CBS' Madam Secretary and who won the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical for the 2013 revival of Pippin, has been announced for the role of the Witch. Shanice Williams, best known for her performance as Dorothy in NBC's The Wiz Live!, has been announced for the role of Little Red Riding Hood. Whoopi Goldberg, one of the few entertainers to have won an Emmy Award, a Grammy Award, an Academy Award, and a Tony Award, will lend her talent to the production as the voice of the Giant.
Additional casting will be announced at a later date.
Into the Woods will be directed and choreographed by Tony nominee Robert Longbottom and conducted by Kevin Stites, who will also serve as musical director.
The Hollywood Bowl will be transformed into an enchanted world of magic beans, towering giants, and handsome princes. As the Baker and his Wife travel through the forest trying to reverse a witch's curse, they come across Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel, and other iconic storybook characters, all in search of their own wishes...but "happily ever after" turns into a tale of "be careful what you wish for," when granted wishes have unexpected effects. This is Sondheim at his finest, with such memorable songs as "Children Will Listen" and "No One Is Alone."
Into the Woods will have three performances at the Hollywood Bowl this summer - Friday, July 26, at 8PM; Saturday, July 27, at 8PM; and Sunday, July 28, at 7:30PM, with individual tickets going on sale Sunday, May 5.
Gaten Matarazzo began his professional career in the original Broadway production of Priscilla Queen of the Desert as Benji. He also appeared as part of the Godspell cast of 2013 and drew rave reviews as Gavroche in the 2014 revival of Les Misérables, a role he also played on the 25th Anniversary North American tour. On tour, he was also seen in the Radio City Christmas Spectacular. Gaten is known as one of the young stars of Netflix's SAG Award-winning series Stranger Things. Matarazzo has also formed a six-piece band called Work In Progress, which features his sister Sabrina and his brother Carmen. The band takes inspiration from every decade since the '60s, drawing from classic rock, metal, alternative, and emo.
Currently starring on the CBS hit drama series Madam Secretary, Patina Miller is a Tony Award-winning actress with a resume that encompasses Broadway, TV, film, and music. She is most famously known for her role as Leading Player in the 2012/13 Broadway revival of Pippin, for which she won the Tony Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical. Miller made her Broadway debut (and earned her first Tony Award nomination) in the stage adaptation of Sister Act. Miller appeared in the renowned daytime soap opera All My Children, made her feature film debut in The Hunger Games series, and performed her first solo concert at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts during its 2013/14 season. Miller received a degree in musical theater from Carnegie Mellon University. She currently resides in New York City.
Shanice Williams is an actress, singer, and songwriter from New Jersey, best known for her breakout role as Dorothy in NBC's The Wiz Live! In 2018, she starred in the Off-Broadway production of Little Rock, which tells the legendary story of the first African-American students to attend their city's formerly segregated Central High School. Shanice was nominated for a Critics Choice Award for Best Actress in a Movie/Limited Series and won Best Actress at the NY SeriesFest for her role in HBO's Manic.
Whoopi Goldberg is one of a very elite group of artists who have won a Grammy, an Academy Award, a Golden Globe, an Emmy, and a Tony. She is also a prolific producer, best-selling author, and is well known around the world for her many humanitarian endeavors.
She earned a Tony nomination for the 20th-anniversary production of her original one-woman show, and her Broadway credits also include A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum and Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, which she also produced. She won the Tony for producing Thoroughly Modern Millie, prior to producing the hit West End production of Sister Act: The Musical, in which she also appeared as Reverend Mother in a special limited engagement. She has appeared in numerous film and television projects and is currently the moderator of ABC's The View.
Photo Credit: Patina Miller by Jennifer Broski; Gaten Matarazzo by Catie Laffoon; Whoopi Goldberg by Walter McBride / WM Photos