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)

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)

I’m Just Not That Into You: Pop Culture Blind Spots

One of my favorite pop culture sites, Vulture, recently posted an article about their staff’s “Pop Culture Blind Spots.” Basically, this is a term coined for people who usually tout their knowledge of entertainment, but have those few shameful gaping holes that the rest of the world has been privy to – except you.

Here is my list of blind spots, that I fully own up to, and will probably never rectify any time soon.

Star Wars

I feel like for most people, correct me if I’m wrong, the Star Wars franchise was something they grew up with, a movie tradition passed down generation to generation. But I grew up as a first generation offspring of Filipino immigrants. I think they were stuck somewhere in the 1950s/60s because I remember watching The Lawrence Welk Show every weekend and listening to the Oldies station on the radio. Needless to say, I was never ‘shown’ Star Wars. But in all honesty, I have no interest. Like most of the things on the list, I can tell you the main characters, perhaps a plot point or two, but if you start talking to me about death stars and the force or something, I will most definitely tune you out.

Lord of the Rings

Gay Gandalf FTW

In 6th grade, we were required to read The Hobbit. That is the closest I’ve ever gotten to Lord of the Rings. I don’t remember being really into Frodo and his gang then, and I certainly am not as an adult. But like, Sir Ian McKellen played like a gay Dumbledore-like guy, right?

Pirates of the Caribbean

One time at a party in my high school years, I remember that one of the movies was playing (I was really cool back then). It’s not like everyone was forced to watch it, it was one of those things that it was on in the background while everyone mingled and ate cool ranch Doritos. I tried focusing my attention on it for like 10 minutes but lost interest. Sorry Johnny Depp. I’m just not that into you. The ride at Disneyland is pretty dope though, I’ll give you that.

Godfather/Scarface/etc.

I’d consider watching Scarface if he attacked people with a banjo

In the same vein as Star Wars being a tradition thing, I also did not see any of those gangster type movies. This blind spot also has a lot to do with the fact that I hate anything with a lot of violence in it, so it bodes well that I haven’t seen these.

Tarantino films

oh my god what is happening here

Continuing with the theme of ‘Traci hates gruesome violence,’ I have never seen any of Quentin Tarantino’s films except Inglorious Basterds. I thought I’d give that a try because a couple of my friends loved it, and Brad Pitt AND BJ Novak were both in it. I watched it on a Saturday and it literally took me all day because I either couldn’t bear to watch it, walked away, or fell asleep. The violence and brutality was wayyy too much for me, and just confirmed the fact that I am not the target demographic for any of his films.

What are some of your pop culture blind spots?