Witchy Earworm: INTO THE WOODS

Hello! We’re having a long weekend here, so my days are a little disorganized and I have a ton of work to do for school, and I’m therefore combining this (long) weekend’s Witchy Weekends post with today’s Monday Earworm. But you get two delightful items in one blog post, so that’s something, right?

Here are two of my favorite selections, sung primarily by The Witch, from the musical Into the Woods, written by Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine.

Fun fact: I have only a handful of musicals on the list of musicals I like. Into the Woods used to be my favorite, until Hamilton came along, and now that one is my favorite, but ITW is still definitely on the list.

The first song is the Witch’s Rap from the first act, and the second one is “Your Fault / Last Midnight” from the second act. I love them both for how beautifully they convey the complicated multiple facets of The Witch — not only in this play, but also in the rich pageant of literature and literary archetypes. (Maybe more on that later. We’ll see.)

A lot of amazing people have played The Witch in this musical. I’ve included here the original, Bernadette Peters, who is an icon and a legend to be sure. But Meryl Streep, Vanessa Williams, Hannah Waddingham, and countless others have rocked this character onstage (and perhaps also in film?). Who is your favorite? Tell us in the comments below, and feel free to link to a video of your favorite performance, too!

And the second one…

 

4 thoughts on “Witchy Earworm: INTO THE WOODS

  1. Meryl Streep’s “Stay With Me” is sad and sweet, and yet disturbing and toxic. It’s almost more frightening than “Mother Knows Best,” from Disney’s Tangled, because Streep’s witch is genuinely caught between caring and controlling, loneliness and rage at the world.

    Mother Gothel’s just a selfish villain pretending to be a concerned parent — her emotional abuse is easy to reject once her true motives are revealed — but the witch in ITW is *complicated.* It’s harder to renounce someone who seems to have *some* genuine intentions, deep down.

    Like

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