Over the holidays, two more stage to screen musicals made their debuts in the theatres – Annie and Into the Woods. One featured a scantily clad Cameron Diaz taking over a role made famous by Carol Burnett, and one has Meryl Streep singing songs adapted for the big screen by the OG composer and lyricist. We went to see one of those movies, and it rhymes with Shminto the Shwoods (it’s Into the Woods).
Into the Woods is classic Stephen Sondheim, with a difficult and sophisticated score and complex characters who thrive (or don’t, I guess) in a group setting. But Sondheim’s works are like onions – there are so many layers to it that it’s incomprehensible that he’s managed to incorporate so many themes and plot lines and characters into one cohesive production. It’s why he’s one of the greatest composers/lyricists to ever exist.
That being said, Into the Woods specifically tells the tale (or tales) of mostly pre-existing characters from several Brothers Grimm fairy tales. While the idea of keeping up with 15ish people’s lives sounds daunting, Sondheim, along with Rob Marshall who directed the film version, make the big screen version easy to follow, even for non-theater nerds who have no idea what they’re getting into. But if you do fit into that category and still need help delineating who’s who, we have come up with brief character bios for everyone in the musical.
*Editor’s note: we clearly made these up ourselves. If you haven’t seen the movie yet, this will all make more sense once you do. For now, just assume we’re hilarious.
Musical training: learned to “rap” from an early 1990s “hip hop” tape that teaches multiplication to fourth graders.
Hair inspiration: The “colorful hair” tag on Tumblr
Secret Wish: To be Elphaba in Wicked
High school superlative: Actual Prince Charming
Famous Relatives: Mr. Mellark
Talents: grocery shopping without a written list
Non-talents: Staying near her damn cow
Personal gripe: Direct quote: “I have lived in my town for 15 damn years and nobody has even bothered to ask what my name is.” [It’s Wendy. No. Was it Stacy? Crystal. Probably. Wait… Lisa, maybe?]
Secret hobby: One-upping all of the other ladies on her infertility/ pregnancy planning message board. “Oh, that’s cute about your tilted uterus and IVF. I had a witch’s curse, and first we tried a cow as white as milk…” She seems sweet, but make no mistake: those broads hate her.
Hair inspiration: The prom issue of a late-90s Delia*s catalog
Height: Little Red / Jack
Weight: see above
Wardrobe secrets: really more into flats
Future career: organizing guru / sole proprietor of a housecleaning service
Side gig: motivational speaker, touring high schools with her presentation Losing My Shoe, Finding Myself: What I Learned In The Woods
Cinderella’s Dead Mother Tree
Famous relatives: Grandmother Willow from Pocahontas; Whomping Willow from Harry Potter
Weakness: Gossiping too much with the other trees about the fools running around the woods with cows and shit
Hidden talents: Nothing. She’s a tree.
Hobbies: photosynthesis, maybe?
Arch nemeses: T.L.C. ( chases waterfalls, despite their admonitions)
Favorite Cologne: Sex Panther
Weird Fetish: Feet
Famous Relatives: Anjelica Houston
Hairstyling Secret: Uses the Air Curler on the daily
Hair inspiration: Amy March
Dislikes: Open-toed shoes
Secret wish: To hook up with Elsa from Frozen
Occupation: Studying to be a ballerina, working exclusively en pointe.
Top Google hit: “Lucinda + feet”
Occupation: Cautionary Tale
Personal motto: Nice is different than good
Arch nemesis: Sophia Grace from The Ellen DeGeneres show; everyone who has ever played Annie
Life goals: To be the first child in musical theater to achieve MALRAC (playing the roles of Matilda, Annie, Little Red, Amaryllis, and Cosette)
Little Red Riding Hood’s Grandmother
Famous Relatives: Old Rose from Titanic, Wendy Darling
Weaknesses: Befriending wild animals in the woods
Criminal background: Allegorical Rapist
Deepest Secret: Sort of … really obviously human
You may know him from the TLC special: I Swallowed Two Humans!: The Man With The Cavernous Stomach
Personal history: emerged fully formed from a 22-year-old’s “Future Children 🙂 ” Pinterest board
Life goals: to be the first child in musical theater to achieve a BEJOG (playing the roles of Billy Elliott, Jack, Oliver, and Gavroche)
Weakness: Peer pressure
Favorite TV shows: Dance Moms, House Hunters International, Gilmore Girls
Skills: Basketweaving, hairdressing, makes killer zucchini bread
Famous Relatives: Jack Black (in Gulliver’s Travels), Shaq
Life Motto: “Size does matter”
Dislikes: Little kids messing with magic beans and killing giants, never finding clothes that fit at Talbots or Chicos
You May Know Her From The I.D. Special: Dateline Nightline: When Giant Housewives Snap
Favorite pastime: Messing with people’s front yards
Fun fact: Was up for the role of venus flytrap Audrey II in Little Shop of Horrors (1986), but deemed “not venus flytrap-y enough”.
Famous Relatives: The grapevine (of “heard it through the…” fame)
Biggest secret: Shhh! They’re extensions.
Fun fact: Secretly has her own line of extensions she sells on Etsy
Secret Wish: To be a lounge singer on a Disney Cruise Line
Hair inspiration: Derrick from Full House
Secondary hair inspiration: Dawson Leery
Awards: Was named fastest climber in elementary school P.E. rope climb test
Special Skills: Makes milk
Pet Peeves: Being led around a forest for hours by a kid and a singing British couple
Annoying habit: Says “my stomachs hurt!” whenever she doesn’t feel well. Yes. You have multiple stomachs. WE KNOW.
Occupation: Bad ass father of musical theatre
Brags The Most About: That one cameo he made in 2003 musical theatre film Camp (starring Anna Kendrick)
Fun Fact: Has Meryl Streep and Bernadette Peters’ phone numbers (probably)