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Amy Adams

Amy Adams' fairy-tale return in "Into the Woods"

By Jessica Turgeon

Returning for another stage performance, the Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine Brothers Grimm fairy tale, "Into the Woods," is set to play this summer at Central Park's Delacorte Theatre as part of the Public Theatre's summer series.

As Mark Kennedy of the Huffington Post said, after a few of her popular musical movies, actress Amy Adams will be "returning to fairy tales, starring opposite Cinderella and a witch." After a few bouts of the musical bug, the three-time Academy Award nominee will be playing the role of the Baker's Wife this summer. This role was originated by Tony Award winner Joanna Gleason who, Mark Snetiker tells Entertainment Weekly, is coincidentally also a redhead.

Although she is known for her movies, this won't be Adams' first stage performance. According to a Los Angeles Times blog post, Adams "paid her dues on the dinner-theater circuit in Colorado and elsewhere." Adams' performances have gotten her three Academy Award nominations for "Junebug," "Doubt," and "The Fighter."

Sondheim's "Into the Woods" debuted in 1986 at the Old Globe in San Diego, California, moving on to "Broadway the next year, where it won multiple Tony Awards. This upcoming performance of the fairy-tale musical will also feature actors Jack Broderick as the Narrator, Jessie Mueller as Cinderella, Gideon Glick as Jack, Ivan Hernandez, Cooper Grodin, and more. Playbill.com announced Wednesday that two-time Tony Award winner Donna Murphy will be playing the Witch, a role originated by Bernadette Peters in the 1987 Broadway production, and Vanessa Williams in the musical revival. A full cast list has not yet been released, and actors playing the Baker, Little Red, and the Mysterious Man are unknown at this time. Preview performances are set to begin July 23 and the show will run through the end of August.

"Into the Woods" is more than just a fairy tale. As Mark Snetiker of Entertainment Weekly describes, "[it] retells the interwoven stories of a handful of fairy tale characters — including Rapunzel, Little Red Riding Hood, and Jack (of beanstalk fame) — as they embark on different quests to fulfill their wishes in the woods."

Also described by Entertainment Weekly, the show's popularity is apparent through its two successful revivals, a film recording, and countless community theatre productions. It is no surprise that it has been chosen as one of the two plays that will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Shakespeare in the Park series. The other show being performed this summer is Shakespeare's "As You Like It," which will be directed by Daniel Sullivan and star Lily Rabe as Rosalind. "As You Like It" will run prior to "Into the Woods," from June 5 to June 30.

The show features scenic design by John Lee Beaty and Soutra Gilmour, costume design by Emily Rebholz, sound design by Acme Sound Partners, movement direction by Liam Steel, orchestrations by Jonathan Tunick, and musical direction by Paul Gemignani. Tickets for the show are free, and will be distributed (two per person) on the day of the performance at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park.

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