Monday, May 27, 2013

Into the Woods as a movie?

I love Stephen Sondheim.  His work is biting, brilliantly conceived, complex, revelatory and generally amazing. 

I also love Joanna Gleason in her creation of the role of the Baker's Wife in Sondheim's Into the Woods (for which she won a Tony).  So, I was excited when I heard that there was a movie version of Woods in the works, but less so when I heard the role of the Baker's Wife was being played by an actress who is best known for her non-singing movie roles, Emily Blunt. 

From what I can find in various online sources, Blunt had a relationship with Michael Buble, a well known Canadian singer who has a lovely voice but nothing in her various online bios indicate that she herself sings. CORRECTION:  I found this video from a show she was in

While this is lovely, I don't know.  I need to hear some more.  Because the Baker's Wife sings.  A LOT.  She's really, with the Witch, the core that holds the show together.

Skip to 4:06 here, supposedly that's Miss Blunt doing background vocals.

So I'm still not sold on her....holding out hope that she can pull it off.

 The Witch is being played by Meryl Streep.  One of my favorite actors ever.  Stepping into a role best known for being played by one of my OTHER favorites, Bernadette Peters.

Unfortunately, as much as I love Meryl, she demonstrated rather clearly in Mamma Mia, that she really doesn't have the strongest singing voice.  Luckily for her, most of the Witch's songs are more about acting than singing, but the list builds, you can see why I'm slightly concerned that one of my favorite musicals is going to get BUTCHERED. 

Johnny Depp as the Wolf, that one I can see.  Really only there for a bit, just the one major song really.  He's being under-utilized in that role if you ask me.

The Prince's  Jake Gyllenhaal,  and Chris Pine.

Jake sang on SNL, and despite his obvious playing it for the laugh, his voice is not terrible.

According to sources, Chris really sings here

And it's not bad, but it's awfully low for someone who is going to be playing on of Sondheim's Prince's.  I want to know how his upper register sounds, because, if you compare that video, to THIS

As Rapunzel's Prince, which it appears he is?  Maybe.  I haven't looked at the sheet music in too much detail, but on the surface, it seems his range is more suited to Cinderella's Prince, at least they way the notes are divided in "Agony".  There, I could be wrong....

I'm not familiar with James Corden who is listed as playing the Baker.

No word on Cinderella or Little Red yet.  Cinderella is pretty important to the story, Little Red, not as much.  The only major male role left is Jack, who has a pretty challenging song in "Giants in the Sky"

Others agree with me apparently...we are nervous for this movie....

SOOO, not sure this is learning today.  More commentary.  Back to 'knowledge' tomorrow!

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