“Forbidden Broadway,” the longtime New York show that has deliciously satirized productions on the Great White Way over the years, has a song poking fun at Stephen Sondheim titled “Into the Words.” It’s actually quite an accurate description. Sondheim’s lyrics are known for their complexity, intelligence, poignancy and storytelling punch — and it can be a challenge for a singer to do them justice.
Sondheim’s “Into the Woods,” which opens tonight (Thursday, July 2) and continues through July 19 in a StageWorks Fresno production at the Dan Pessano Theatre, is filled with memorable lyrics. Two examples are especially dear to me. One is the song “No One Is Alone”:
Sometimes people leave you
Halfway through the wood.
Do not let it grieve you,
No one leaves for good.
You are not alone.
No one is alone.
I got the chance to meet up with five of the cast members to talk about the song and those lyrics. You can read excerpts from our discussion in my story in Friday’s 7 section.
The other song that deeply affects me is the finale of the show, when the Witch sings “Children Will Listen.” Again, the words are beautiful:
Careful the things you say,
Children will listen.
Careful the things you do,
Children will see.
Children may not obey,
Buit children will listen.
Children will look to you
For which way to turn,
To learn what to be.
I sat down with Amalie Larsen, who plays the Witch, for an emotional video interview about what the song means to her. It’s a touching and inspirational 3-or-so minutes. Don’t miss it.
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