next_to_normal: Broadway cast of Into the Woods (Into the Woods)
[personal profile] next_to_normal
* The Into the Woods cast is doing interviews. Here's Meryl Streep and James Corden (funny they both mention new songs that ended up getting cut), and Anna Kendrick. Plus, here's a Q&A panel with the whole cast.

I did have a "Bwuh?" moment at two things in that panel: first, Emily Blunt saying that the Baker's Wife has "worked herself into a complete frenzy and distraction that she cannot put one foot in front of the other until she becomes a mother," which NO, she's one of the most level-headed characters in the show. She's more practical than her husband and yes, she's a little bit ruthless in her methods, but Emily makes her sound totally baby-crazy which she... isn't.

But then her dying is apparently punishment for the way she acted? Sorry, that's just GROSS, and also not what the show is about. It's about the consequences of our choices, not punishment. She doesn't get killed because she did morally questionable things a year earlier. She gets killed because she's in the wrong place at the wrong time, and some of that's her own doing and some of it's bad luck. If the only people who died were people who deserved it, then it would be a much happier ending. But if this show tells us anything, it's that there isn't always a "happily ever after." Sometimes giants just step on people.

The second thing was Rob Marshall (I think? It might've been James Lapine) talking about how movies have to have a three-act structure, whereas Into the Woods is so definitively a two-act show, and that a lot of the rewriting happened in trying to make it fit the three-act structure. And, granted, I'm not a screenwriter, but... why? Why does a movie HAVE to have a three-act structure? Why can't the story just be the story in however many acts it takes to tell it? (Remember when TV episodes used to have a three act structure, and then networks decided they wanted more commercials, so it became a four-act, and then even a five-act structure in some cases. Writers adapt.)

But other than that, I actually like a lot of the things they said in that Q&A. It's very reassuring. And... okay. I feel like I have to deal with my feelings about this, because we're at the point where people are starting to see the film in advance and are starting to talk about it, and they're saying that it's soooo good. And, like, I want to be excited? But I also am trying to keep my expectations at absolutely rock bottom, which is hard to do when the talk is all about how good it is and how faithful it is.

And it's not because I just love the original Broadway production and I want to hate the movie on principle because it's not that version. I don't. It's actually completely the opposite. In the purely hypothetical, I would LOVE an Into the Woods movie. I have dreamed of this day and fan-casted it many times over my lifetime (here's one). Once I even tried to write it as a screenplay. But I am also completely terrified of it actually happening?

It's not that I'm scared of a new version. I mean, yes, the fact that they cut "No More" breaks my heart, because that is a gorgeous song. That there is no Narrator to break the fourth wall in the second act is disappointing. But that's the thing about musicals - you can see them over and over and it's different every time, different cast, different production, and I have seen some TERRIBLE productions of Into the Woods, my god. It's partly my own fault, because I will go see ANY production of it anywhere. Doesn't matter if it's Broadway or a high school auditorium. And they do some weird shit. I've seen shows where the Witch was played by a man, where they added the three little pigs, where the whole thing took place in a library. But the bad shows just roll off my back because I can always see it again somewhere else - or I can always pop in my DVD of the original Broadway cast and relive the magic.

But a movie? You really only have one chance to get that right. If they fuck this one up, they're not going to make another Into the Woods movie. And when it's something I want so desperately, I want it to be the best possible version, you know?

And here's why: I am not exaggerating when I say that this is my favorite musical in the entire world, or when I say basically THIS SHOW IS MY CHILDHOOD. I am not exaggerating when I say that I have watched the PBS American Playhouse video literally thousands of times. How many times do you have to watch a videotape before you wear it out? Because I went through two of them before I finally got the thing on DVD. I have been watching it since before I was old enough to get half the jokes. I wish I could remember them, because I had some great misheard lyrics as a kid. At some point, I had watched it enough times to have the entire thing memorized word-for-word and performed impromptu one-woman-show versions (I am told my efforts to sing all the overlapping parts of songs all by myself was particularly awful, but I was spirited). My mom and I practically have our own language, made up solely of Into the Woods quotes. The first time we took my dad to see it, he kept turning to my mom and smacking her arm every time he recognized something. He didn't realize how much of what we said was actually from the show. I guess he thought we were just naturally that witty. I used to play dress-up as Cinderella, but not just any Cinderella - Cinderella from Into the Woods, post-Prince Charming, having adventures with the Baker and Jack and Little Red.

All of which is to say, I am trying really, really, really hard not to be disappointed, by lowering my expectations to the point that, like, as long as the cast doesn't literally trip over themselves on camera it will be better than I expected. I feel like that worked fairly well with Les Miserables, although I had less invested in that one, and there were fewer reported changes beforehand to make me wary. I don't know. At least my mother has promised to go see it with me and hold my hand through the whole thing.

And... wow. That got long. Now back to your regularly scheduled linkspam.

* And more reminiscing from the original Broadway cast.

* It's confirmed: Michelle MacLaren will direct Wonder Woman.

* James Gunn has some good points about putting the cart before the horse in developing shared universes.

* Another interview with Natalie Dormer about Mockingjay and Game of Thrones.

* Here's the trailer for next week's Flash vs. Arrow crossover. The cast of both shows also did a Q&A at a special screening of the two episodes - here's part 1, part 2, part 3, and part 4 of the panel.

* I think Matthew McConaughey would make an excellent Randall Flagg in The Stand.

* A series of interviews with Damon Lindelof about the first season of Lost.

* Here's a trailer for Agent Carter.

* The Jurassic World trailer looks hilariously ridiculous. Chris Pratt riding a motorcycle flanked by velociraptors! If at any point during this movie, he actually RIDES A DINOSAUR, automatic five stars.
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