Best of C+S 2015: If The Slipper Fits: Into the Woods Character Bios

This holiday season has been all about some movie called Star Wars, but if we dig into our noggins, we can remember back to last year when it was all about a musical called Into The Woods. I mean, not the same hoopla or box office intake, but like, to us, the same.

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.

Witch

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

Baker

High school superlative: Actual Prince Charming

Famous Relatives: Mr. Mellark

Baker’s Wife

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.

Cinderella

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?

Cinderella’s Prince

Arch nemeses: T.L.C. ( chases waterfalls, despite their admonitions)

Nickname: McStreamy

Favorite Cologne: Sex Panther

Cinderella’s Stepmother

Weird Fetish: Feet

Famous Relatives: Anjelica Houston

Florinda

Hairstyling Secret: Uses the Air Curler on the daily

Hair inspiration: Amy March

Dislikes: Open-toed shoes

Lucinda

Secret wish: To hook up with Elsa from Frozen

Occupation: Studying to be a ballerina, working exclusively en pointe.

Top Google hit: “Lucinda + feet”

Little Red

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

Screenshot 2015-01-14 02.39.23

Allergies: Gluten

Famous Relatives: Old Rose from Titanic, Wendy Darling

Weaknesses: Befriending wild animals in the woods

The Wolf

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

Jack

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

Jacks’ Mother

Favorite TV shows: Dance Moms, House Hunters International, Gilmore Girls

Skills: Basketweaving, hairdressing, makes killer zucchini bread

Allergies: Beans

Giant

 

Famous Relatives: Jack Black (in Gulliver’s Travels), Shaq

Life Motto: “Size does matter”

Giant’s Wife

 

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

The Beanstalk

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)

Rapunzel

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

Rapunzel’s Prince

Hair inspiration: Derrick from Full House

Secondary hair inspiration: Dawson Leery

Awards: Was named fastest climber in elementary school P.E. rope climb test

Cow

Occupation: Cow

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.

 Stephen Sondheim

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)

‘Ello Gunvor! Getting To Know James Corden

Tonight, British import James Corden is taking over hosting duties at The Late Late Show – aptly titled – With James Corden. As he joins the ranks of fellow late night hosts Letterman, Fallon, Kimmel, and Meyers, he doesn’t exactly have the same popularity as said comedians. He’s a Brit who you “probably know from that thing” (Into the Woods, Begin Again), more on the ranks of Freddie Highmore and less like Daniel Radcliffe.

I personally was excited to hear of the news James was taking over because I had been a casual fan of his for years, so I’m glad he’s finally going to make a name for himself in America. Before he makes his debut tonight, here are six things to know about him that will hopefully make you love him as much as I, and a bunch of Brits do.

He is a Tony Award Winner Who Loves His Wife

In 2011, James starred in One Man, Two Guvnors, a one-man show about a guy who becomes employed by two men (see the amazingness here). The success in London led him to transfer the show to Broadway, and in 2012, the production received critical acclaim and allll the awards. This includes James’ first Tony, for Best Actor in a Play. He was up against household names like Phillip Seymour Hoffman, James Earl Jones, Frank Langella and John Lithgow for the prize, but even with that feat, the best moment is his speech in which he thanks his then-girlfriend for being by his side through everything. I’M NOT CRYING, YOU’RE CRYING.

He Cut Off Adele During Her Acceptance Speech

In 2011, James hosted the BRIT Awards, which is the British equivalent to the Grammys. Of course, this was during the time when Adele wasn’t in hiding and was winning all the awards, and she went up to the podium to accept her British Album of the Year prize. It being the last award of the night, producers were yelling in James’ ear piece to cut her off so they could have one last performance and end the show on time. But of course, that would mean interrupting ADELE. He hated that he had to do it, and when he did, she was not pleased and the crowed booed, she gave the middle finger and fans were outraged. James later said that although there was a bunch of shouting, in the end, it’s just an awards show and Adele was super understanding.

He had a Number One Song in the UK

Not only is he a Tony winner, but he’s also a best-selling recording artist. Okay, well he recorded a song that made it to number one. You know how countries participating in the World Cup make songs to pump up the nation and its players? James Corden and British rapper Dizzee Rascal collaborated for Shout, a song that samples Tears for Fears’ Shout and Blackstreet’s No Diggity. It debuted at the top spot in 2010, but it didn’t exactly help England win the top prize.

 He Was Given A Fancy Title By The Queen

Just this past year, James was awarded the Officer of the Order of the British Empire (or OBE, for short) for his services to drama and his charity work. I’m still not really sure what this means, but according to Wikipedia, he is “the most junior and most populous order of chivalry in the British and other Commonwealth honours systems.” Okay. Whatever it is, I think he met the Queen.

He’s Friends With One Direction

This may seem like an odd friendship, but when you think about it, it’s really not. I mean, they’re both British (Irish) and all Brit celebs are friends with each other, right? No you stupid American. However, in this case it’s true. James’ longtime BFF Ben Winston (who is now the executive producer on The Late Late Show) has done multiple projects with One Direction, including The X Factor and directing a bunch of their videos. The boys have already helped him promote the new show, and one time, James even gave Niall a tattoo of his face on his bum.

He Used To Be in a “Boy Band”

Boy band is a super loose term in this case, as James and his mates were more like 2Gether than 1D. As he explains in the clip above, he starred in a British show called Boyz Unlimited in 1999, the height of the boy band era. It was a comedy about a boy band and their attempts at fame, but it was art imitating life as he really thought he could make it big as a teen idol. He was in a band called Full Frontal as well as one called Insatiable, that had a “song” titled “Girl Are You Ready”. James’ boy band dreams came true when he sang and performed with Take That (Back for Good? Robbie Williams?) star Gary Barlow during one of his solo shows. Gary sang Take That hit Pray, and James came out and not only sang the shizz out of it, he danced his bum off too.

If The Slipper Fits: Into the Woods Character Bios

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.

Witch

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

Baker

High school superlative: Actual Prince Charming

Famous Relatives: Mr. Mellark

Baker’s Wife

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.

Cinderella

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?

Cinderella’s Prince

Arch nemeses: T.L.C. ( chases waterfalls, despite their admonitions)

Nickname: McStreamy

Favorite Cologne: Sex Panther

Cinderella’s Stepmother

Weird Fetish: Feet

Famous Relatives: Anjelica Houston

Florinda

Hairstyling Secret: Uses the Air Curler on the daily

Hair inspiration: Amy March

Dislikes: Open-toed shoes

Lucinda

Secret wish: To hook up with Elsa from Frozen

Occupation: Studying to be a ballerina, working exclusively en pointe.

Top Google hit: “Lucinda + feet”

Little Red

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

Screenshot 2015-01-14 02.39.23

Allergies: Gluten

Famous Relatives: Old Rose from Titanic, Wendy Darling

Weaknesses: Befriending wild animals in the woods

The Wolf

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

Jack

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

Jacks’ Mother

Favorite TV shows: Dance Moms, House Hunters International, Gilmore Girls

Skills: Basketweaving, hairdressing, makes killer zucchini bread

Allergies: Beans

Giant

 

Famous Relatives: Jack Black (in Gulliver’s Travels), Shaq

Life Motto: “Size does matter”

Giant’s Wife

 

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

The Beanstalk

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)

Rapunzel

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

Rapunzel’s Prince

Hair inspiration: Derrick from Full House

Secondary hair inspiration: Dawson Leery

Awards: Was named fastest climber in elementary school P.E. rope climb test

Cow

Occupation: Cow

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.

 Stephen Sondheim

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)