It is always interesting to see how elements from landmark professional productions of Sondheim’s shows eventually filter into the amateur field. Directors working within the amateur circle often gain inspiration from going to see a West End or Broadway production and this inevitably sparks off new creative ideas which can be very fruitful.
A typical example is Timothy Sheader’s ground-breaking production at the Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre in 2010, which has inspired Luton’s St Andrew’s Players current production of the show, and resulted in an intriguing take-over of the St Andrews Church building. Terry Mills, the St Andrews chairman, told me: “it promises to be quite something with director Alistair Brown working very hard with what is a very talented cast gathered from all around this area trying to recreate the award winning 2010 Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre production. As you will see we are presenting the show in St Andrew’s Church which itself offers a very atmospheric environment – that’s before we bring in the extensive staging with trees and tower!! We feel confident that we will put on a quite special production of this Sondheim masterpiece.”
The production is being staged at St Andrew’s Church, Luton from 22nd – 25th May. Tickets are just £10.00 each with family saver and group rates(10 plus) available on application to the box office – 07778 241457
In the meantime, over at Disney, casting for their film version of Into the Woods continues apace. 2012 Tony Award-winning Best Actor In a Play, James Corden, has been cast as The Baker, according to an official new casting notice that has gone out.
Corden joins Meryl Streep as The Witch and Johnny Depp as The Wolf
The casting notice reads: “Starring in “Into The Woods” is three-time Academy Award nominee and Disney favorite Johnny Depp, who is playing a hungry and sexy vicissitude of the fairy tale Wolf. Depp has made a number of blockbuster hit films for Disney including the “Pirates of the Caribbean” films, “Alice in Wonderland,” and “The Lone Ranger”. Also starring as the vain and charismatic Witch is three-time Academy Award winner Meryl Streep. Most recently Streep starred in “August: Osage County” alongside such A-list talent as Benedict Cumberbatch, Ewan McGregor, Julia Roberts, and Abigail Breslin. Rounding out the first three roles Disney has cast is Tony Award winner James Corden playing the role of The Baker. Corden, who is hugely popular in England, recently played the role of “Britain’s Got Talent” sensation Paul Potts in the film “One Chance”.”
Broadway World.com reports that Sondheim has written new material for the film, as well, with “Rainbows” – a duet for the Baker and his Wife – apparently appearing in the revised score and a reported new song for Streep as The Witch being incorporated into the songstack, as well, which already includes such beloved gems as “No One Is Alone” and “Children Will Listen”.