BPN Logo
BPN Logo
Giants in the Sky
Podcasts

Giants in the Sky

How Sondheim and Lapine went Into the Woods

All Episodes

#62 - Heidi Ettinger, the Original Producer and Graphic Designer

#62 - Heidi Ettinger, the Original Producer and Graphic Designer

Heidi Ettinger explains how a she came to design the logo art for Into the Woods while producing the show. Join host Ben Rimalower for this candid conversation exploring how Sondheim and Lapine went Into the Woods.

29 mins
Jun 5
#61 - Mary D'Arcy, Cinderella in the Playwrights Horizons Workshop

#61 - Mary D'Arcy, Cinderella in the Playwrights Horizons Workshop

Mary D'Arcy recalls Paul Gemignani teaching her the score to Act One of Into the Woods and speculates on why she wasn't cast when the production moved forward. Join host Ben Rimalower for this candid conversation exploring how Sondheim and Lapine went Into the Woods.

31 mins
May 22
#60 - Michael Chybowski, First Assistant to the Lighting Designer

#60 - Michael Chybowski, First Assistant to the Lighting Designer

Michael Chybowski shares what it was like to work under Richard Nelson in designing the lighting for the original Broadway production of Into the Woods. Join host Ben Rimalower for this candid conversation exploring how Sondheim and Lapine went Into the Woods.

33 mins
May 15
#59 - Patti LuPone, Broadway Legend/Rejected Cinderella

#59 - Patti LuPone, Broadway Legend/Rejected Cinderella

Patti LuPone spills all the tea about her audition to play Cinderella in Into the Woods, why she passed on playing the Witch twice, and whether she might be up for taking a crack at the role now. Join host Ben Rimalower for this candid conversation exploring how Sondheim and Lapine went Into the Woods.

24 mins
May 8
#58 - Tom Galantich, Replacement Prince on Broadway

#58 - Tom Galantich, Replacement Prince on Broadway

Tom Galantich talks about his time on Broadway as an understudy and replacement in the original Broadway production. Join host Ben Rimalower for this candid conversation exploring how Sondheim and Lapine went Into the Woods.

28 mins
May 1
#57 - Stuart Zagnit, Replacement Steward on Tour

#57 - Stuart Zagnit, Replacement Steward on Tour

Stuart Zagnit gives the ins and outs of acting on a national tour, and drops some delicious show biz tidbits along the way, including a hilarious experience with Carol Channing and Betty White. Join host Ben Rimalower for this candid conversation exploring how Sondheim and Lapine went Into the Woods.

41 mins
Apr 24
#56 - Judy McLane, Replacement Baker’s Wife on Tour

#56 - Judy McLane, Replacement Baker’s Wife on Tour

Judy McLane checks in from the current national tour of Company to talk about this full circle Sondheim moment in her long and varied career. Join host Ben Rimalower for this candid conversation exploring how Sondheim and Lapine went Into the Woods.

27 mins
Apr 17
#55 - Robert Duncan McNeill, Jack on the National Tour

#55 - Robert Duncan McNeill, Jack on the National Tour

Robert Duncan McNeill remembers the good times on tour with Into the Woods and reveals his participation in the Public Theater workshop of Sondheim and Lapine’s Muscle, including some major co-stars! Plus, Ben discovers the original table reading cast of Into the Woods!

1 h 23 mins
Apr 10
#54 - Eric Stern, Co-Musical Director at The Old Globe

#54 - Eric Stern, Co-Musical Director at The Old Globe

Eric Stern recalls how Paul Gemignani mapped out their sharing of musical director duties as well as his own contributions to the underscoring. Join host Ben Rimalower for this candid conversation exploring how Sondheim and Lapine went Into the Woods.

40 mins
Apr 3
#53 - Marianne Cane, Stage Manager on Broadway

#53 - Marianne Cane, Stage Manager on Broadway

Marianne Cane offers a detailed depiction of the rehearsal process for Into the Woods on Broadway and in the final workshop, including vivid descriptions of Betty Buckley's vocal performance, and what it was like to be in the room with her.

59 mins
Mar 27
#52 - Robert Sean Leonard, Jack in the Playwrights Horizons Workshop

#52 - Robert Sean Leonard, Jack in the Playwrights Horizons Workshop

Robert Sean Leonard remembers working on the early incarnation of Into the Woods and how James Lapine told him he wouldn't be going forward with the show. Join host Ben Rimalower for this candid conversation exploring how Sondheim and Lapine went Into the Woods.

39 mins
Mar 20
#51 - Maureen Davis, the Original Sleeping Beauty and Stunt Witch

#51 - Maureen Davis, the Original Sleeping Beauty and Stunt Witch

Maureen Davis explains how all the magic worked transforming Bernadette Peters from the old crone to the beautiful enchantress. Join host Ben Rimalower for this candid conversation exploring how Sondheim and Lapine went Into the Woods.

48 mins
Mar 13
#50 - Bernadette Peters, the Original Witch

#50 - Bernadette Peters, the Original Witch

Bernadette Peters opens up about when she first fell in love with Stephen Sondheim's songs and how James Lapine pulled her back from the broad comedy she initially brought to the role of the Witch.

40 mins
Mar 6
#49 - RJ Cutler, Assistant to the Director (Broadway and Final Workshop)

#49 - RJ Cutler, Assistant to the Director (Broadway and Final Workshop)

RJ Cutler remembers walking Betty Buckley's dog and and waiting with bated breath for the big songs that would complete Act Two of Into the Woods. Join host Ben Rimalower for this candid conversation exploring how Sondheim and Lapine went Into the Woods.

53 mins
Feb 28
#48 - Jean Louisa Kelly, the original Snow White

#48 - Jean Louisa Kelly, the original Snow White

Jean Louisa Kelly was excited and scared to join Broadway star Bernadette Peters in Into the Woods as Snow White and understudy to Rapunzel and Little Red Riding Hood. She left the cast to resume her normal high school life just in time to miss filming the show for PBS, but went on to a successful Hollywood career anyway.

31 mins
Feb 21
#47 - David Warren, Assistant to the Director (Playwrights Horizons, Old Globe, and National Tour)

#47 - David Warren, Assistant to the Director (Playwrights Horizons, Old Globe, and National Tour)

David Warren was in the room where it happened and remembers everything from the moment he first heard No One Is Alone to leaving Sondheim lost in the middle of San Diego. Join host Ben Rimalower for this candid conversation exploring how Sondheim and Lapine went Into the Woods.

1 h 9 mins
Feb 14
#46 - Kay McClelland, the original Florinda and Replacement Baker's Wife

#46 - Kay McClelland, the original Florinda and Replacement Baker's Wife

Kay McClelland comes clean on how she never felt her job was safe in her three years with Into the Woods and how the only job security she got was, as the Baker's Wife at the end of the run, being told the show would close soon so it was too late to replace her.

1 h 2 mins
Feb 7
#45 - Tony Straiges, the original Set Designer

#45 - Tony Straiges, the original Set Designer

Tony Straiges tells all the secrets of his magical scenic design. Join host Ben Rimalower for this candid conversation exploring how Sondheim and Lapine went Into the Woods.

39 mins
Jan 31
#44 - Phylicia Rashad, Replacement Witch

#44 - Phylicia Rashad, Replacement Witch

Phylicia Rashad recalls her happiness at being asked to audition for Into the Woods and recounts her embrace of the challenges of performing Stephen Sondheim's songs. Join host Ben Rimalower for this candid conversation exploring how Sondheim and Lapine went Into the Woods.

33 mins
Jan 24
#43 - Daniel Henning, the Witch in James Lapine's Blocking Exercises

#43 - Daniel Henning, the Witch in James Lapine's Blocking Exercises

Daniel Henning was a Senior at NYU when he got the opportunity of a lifetime, to play the Witch in James Lapine's blocking exercises. His vivid memories set the tone for a far-ranging and colorful conversation about the show and the actors who came before and after him in it.

44 mins
Jan 17
#42 - Marcia Milgrom Dodge, Auditioned Choreographer

#42 - Marcia Milgrom Dodge, Auditioned Choreographer

Marcia Milgrom Dodge dishes on her audition to choreograph Into the Woods and how--at the eleventh hour--James Lapine invited her back to the final workshop for one more look, just in case. Join host Ben Rimalower for this candid conversation exploring how Sondheim and Lapine went Into the Woods.

38 mins
Jan 10
#41 - Jacqui Dankworth, Cinderella in London & Cleo Laine's Daughter

#41 - Jacqui Dankworth, Cinderella in London & Cleo Laine's Daughter

Jacqui Dankworth fell in in love with Into the Woods watching her legendary mother Cleo Laine play the Witch in the National Tour. Little did she know, she'd be originating the role Cinderella on the West End just under two years later.

38 mins
Jan 3
#40 - Jonathan Hadley, Rapunzel's Prince on the National Tour

#40 - Jonathan Hadley, Rapunzel's Prince on the National Tour

Jonathan Hadley has vivid memories of his time on tour with Into the Woods, recalling everything from his abbreviated rehearsal process as standby to Charlotte Rae's plastic covered furniture and star Cleo Laine's salty sense of humor backstage.

57 mins
12/27/23
#39 - Tracy Katz Paladini, Little Red Riding Hood on the National Tour

#39 - Tracy Katz Paladini, Little Red Riding Hood on the National Tour

Tracy Katz Paladini got the plum role of Little Red Riding Hood on the National Tour of Into the Woods fresh out of school, but her talent and training could hardly have prepared her for the strain of life on the road.

50 mins
12/20/23
#38 - Douglas Sills, Rapunzel's Prince on the National Tour

#38 - Douglas Sills, Rapunzel's Prince on the National Tour

Douglas Sills opens up about everything from the challenges of being an out actor in the 80s and 90s to his almost #MeToo moment with Sondheim and message from the master beyond the grave. Join host Ben Rimalower for this candid conversation exploring how Sondheim and Lapine went Into the Woods.

1 h 16 mins
12/13/23
#37 - Ben Wright, the Original Jack

#37 - Ben Wright, the Original Jack

Ben Wright confesses how he struggled with the high notes and explains why he had thought Betty Buckley wasn't taken to Broadway. Join host Ben Rimalower for this candid conversation exploring how Sondheim and Lapine went Into the Woods.

45 mins
12/6/23
#36 - Steve Saklad, Assistant to the Set Designer

#36 - Steve Saklad, Assistant to the Set Designer

Steve Saklad shares his experience assisting Set Designer Tony Straiges, with fascinating tidbits on color and light and Rapunzel's tower. Join host Ben Rimalower for this candid conversation exploring how Sondheim and Lapine went Into the Woods.

42 mins
11/29/23
#35 - Nancy Dussault, Replacement Witch

#35 - Nancy Dussault, Replacement Witch

Nancy Dussault opens up about her work with Stephen Sondheim and other legends across a career that straddles several eras from following Mary Martin in the original Sound of Music to following Bernadette Peters in Into The Woods.

1 h 5 mins
11/22/23
#34 - Joshua Ellis, Broadway Press Agent

#34 - Joshua Ellis, Broadway Press Agent

Joshua Ellis shares the secret to good press photos and confesses to his nightmare typo in the opening night Playbill. Join host Ben Rimalower for this candid conversation exploring how Sondheim and Lapine went Into the Woods.

1 h 16 mins
11/15/23
#33 - Colleen Fitzpatrick, Broadway Understudy

#33 - Colleen Fitzpatrick, Broadway Understudy

Colleen Fitzpatrick shares why Sondheim is like Mozart and how Paul Gemignani graded all singers on a scale of A to F. Join host Ben Rimalower for this candid conversation exploring how Sondheim and Lapine went Into the Woods.

53 mins
11/8/23
#32 - Stephen Dolginoff, Jack in James Lapine's Blocking Exercises

#32 - Stephen Dolginoff, Jack in James Lapine's Blocking Exercises

Stephen Dolginoff "played" Jack at the Westbeth Theater so James Lapine could experiment with staging ideas before starting rehearsals for the Old Globe premiere and he remembers every moment of this seminal experience from his time studying theater at NYU.

46 mins
11/1/23
#31 - Terry Burrell, Original Understudy and Replacement Lucinda

#31 - Terry Burrell, Original Understudy and Replacement Lucinda

Terry Burrell talks about her trepidations over "non-traditional casting" when she got the offer to understudy both stepsisters, how proud she was when Phylicia Rashad took over as the Witch (and later when Vanessa Williams starred in the revival).

47 mins
10/25/23
#30 - Maureen Moore, the Witch on the Demos

#30 - Maureen Moore, the Witch on the Demos

Maureen Moore makes light of having to memorize "Boom Crunch" in order to keep up with her more musically literate costars on the demo recording and even how she had to quit Falsettos to convince to producers to let her out for Sondheim: A Celebration at Carnegie Hall.

1 h 7 mins
10/18/23
#29 - John Bell, Sondheim's Intern at the Old Globe

#29 - John Bell, Sondheim's Intern at the Old Globe

As Sondheim's intern at the Old Globe, John Bell has fascinating insights into the lesbian subtext between the Witch and Rapunzel, why Ellen Foley was really replaced, and when Bernadette Peters first saw the show.

1 h 20 mins
10/11/23
#28 - Johnna Murray, the Original Stage Manager

#28 - Johnna Murray, the Original Stage Manager

Original Broadway Stage Manager Johnna Murray was in the trenches from the earliest readings and workshops and still has the scripts and scores to prove it, finally filling in some big holes about who did what and when!

1 h 10 mins
10/4/23
#27 - Pamela Winslow Kashani, the original Rapunzel

#27 - Pamela Winslow Kashani, the original Rapunzel

Original Broadway Rapunzel Pamela Winslow Kashani shares how she came up with the idea to sing the "ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah" obligado up the octave. Join host Ben Rimalower for this candid conversation exploring how Sondheim and Lapine went Into the Woods.

50 mins
9/27/23
#26 - Burke Moses, the Prince in the Final Workshop

#26 - Burke Moses, the Prince in the Final Workshop

For the first time ever, Burke Moses tells his harrowing (and hilarious) tale of getting hired for--and then promptly fired from--the original production of Into the Woods, just weeks before it was set to begin its Broadway production.

56 mins
9/20/23
#25 - Mary Gordon Murray, the Baker's Wife on Tour and Broadway Replacement

#25 - Mary Gordon Murray, the Baker's Wife on Tour and Broadway Replacement

Mary Gordon Murray muses on the challenges of following in Joanna Gleason's footsteps and offers some insight into how the failure to move to Broadway by James Lapine's 1985 La Jolla Playhouse Merrily We Roll Along led to the birth of Into the Woods.

34 mins
9/13/23
#24 - Philip Hoffman, the Original Steward and Understudy

#24 - Philip Hoffman, the Original Steward and Understudy

Philip Hoffman gives the inside scoop on Joanna Gleason's Baker's Wife backstory and what Betty Buckley was like as the Witch. Join host Ben Rimalower for this candid conversation exploring how Sondheim and Lapine went Into the Woods.

1 h 5 mins
9/6/23
#23 - Betsy Joslyn, Replacement Witch on Broadway and on Tour

#23 - Betsy Joslyn, Replacement Witch on Broadway and on Tour

Betsy Joslyn has played more performances as the Witch in Into the Woods than anyone else in history. She opens up about how she got there and why Bernadette Peters was so amazing to stand by for. Join host Ben Rimalower for this candid conversation exploring how Sondheim and Lapine went Into the Woods.

52 mins
8/30/23
#22 - Scott Frankel, Assistant Conductor on Broadway

#22 - Scott Frankel, Assistant Conductor on Broadway

Tony nominated composer Scott Frankel dishes on Betty Buckley's arriving late and James Lapine's playing favorites--not to mention testy reed players--from his time on the final workshop and original Broadway productions.

1 h 5 mins
8/23/23
#21 - Carolyn Marlow, Understudy in the Original Cast and Final Workshop

#21 - Carolyn Marlow, Understudy in the Original Cast and Final Workshop

Original understudy Carolyn Marlow spills the TEA on what it was like to go on with Chip Zien, why she thinks Betty Buckley didn't make it to Broadway, and who her favorite replacement Witch was. Join host Ben Rimalower for this candid conversation exploring how Sondheim and Lapine went Into the Woods.

50 mins
8/16/23
#20 - Michael David, the Original Producer

#20 - Michael David, the Original Producer

Producer Michael David talks candidly about how the upside of Sondheim's art is the downside of the commercial theater and explains why Into the Woods was given one more final workshop on the eve of Broadway rehearsals.

53 mins
8/9/23
#19 - Ellen Foley, the Witch at the Old Globe

#19 - Ellen Foley, the Witch at the Old Globe

Ellen Foley opens up about why she thinks she was replaced as the Witch when Into the Woods opened on Broadway and how the show had changed by the time she joined its final company. Join host Ben Rimalower for this candid conversation exploring how Sondheim and Lapine went Into the Woods.

35 mins
8/2/23
#18 - Lar Lubovitch, the Original Choreographer

#18 - Lar Lubovitch, the Original Choreographer

Choreographer Lar Lubovitch explains why his credit on Into the Woods was "Musical Staging by" and offers a vivid description of Betty Buckley's powerful performance as the Witch in the final workshop.

24 mins
7/26/23
#17 - John Cameron Mitchell, Jack on the Demo Tracks

#17 - John Cameron Mitchell, Jack on the Demo Tracks

John Cameron Mitchell gives a rare deep dive into his career in musical theater before Hedwig, including his gig recording Into the Woods demos for an aborted CD-ROM project and auditioning for James Lapine.

29 mins
7/19/23
#16 - Lauren Mitchell, the Original Lucinda

#16 - Lauren Mitchell, the Original Lucinda

Lauren Mitchell lets us in on what it was like producing two different revivals of the show she originally acted in and why returning to the stage in the City Center Encores production didn't whet her appetite to perform more.

1 h 1 min
7/12/23
#15 - Chuck Wagner, the Original Rapunzel's Prince

#15 - Chuck Wagner, the Original Rapunzel's Prince

Chuck Wagner chats about what he turned down to create the role of Rapunzel’s Prince and why he was unavailable for the pre-Broadway workshop. Join host Ben Rimalower for this candid conversation exploring how Sondheim and Lapine went Into the Woods.

35 mins
7/5/23
#14 - Joy Franz, the Original Stepmother

#14 - Joy Franz, the Original Stepmother

Broadway veteran Joy Franz explains where the Stepmother's song was supposed to happen and gives the gory details on the development of fan favorite moments like her stabbing her daughter's prosthetic heel.

1 h 13 mins
6/28/23
#13 - Kim Crosby & Robert Westenberg, the Original Cinderella and Cinderella's Prince/The Wolf

#13 - Kim Crosby & Robert Westenberg, the Original Cinderella and Cinderella's Prince/The Wolf

Married couple Kim Crosby and Robert Westenberg tell their real life fairy tale of meeting as actors in Into the Woods, how the show brought them together, and what's it's been like to live as part of its legacy.

1 h 5 mins
6/21/23
#12 - Jeff Blumenkrantz, Rapunzel's Prince in the Pre-Broadway Workshop/Replacement Jack on Broadway

#12 - Jeff Blumenkrantz, Rapunzel's Prince in the Pre-Broadway Workshop/Replacement Jack on Broadway

Jeff Blumenkrantz delivers the DISH on Into the Woods, working with Betty Buckley in the final workshop to breaking the news that Burke Moses had originally been cast as a prince. Join host Ben Rimalower for this candid conversation exploring how Sondheim and Lapine went Into the Woods.

40 mins
6/14/23
#11 - Joanna Merlin & John Lyons, the Original Casting Directors

#11 - Joanna Merlin & John Lyons, the Original Casting Directors

Joanna Merlin and John Lyons reunite for the first time in years to talk about the challenges of replacing Bernadette Peters and how quickly old fashioned gatekeepers got over their preconceived notions about "non-traditional casting" when television star Phylicia Rashad triumphed on Broadway.

50 mins
6/7/23
#10 - Paul Ford, the Original Pianist

#10 - Paul Ford, the Original Pianist

Paul Ford spills the tea on everything from the songs that that got away to the auditioned stars who didn't make the cut. Join host Ben Rimalower for this candid conversation exploring how Sondheim and Lapine went Into the Woods.

1 h 13 mins
5/31/23
#9 - Ann Hould-Ward, the Original Costume Designer

#9 - Ann Hould-Ward, the Original Costume Designer

Ann Hould-Ward offers a fascinating peak into her process designing the iconic costumes for Into the Woods, from the Witch's transformation to her many attempts to get the Wolf's genitals just right.

51 mins
5/24/23
#8 - Jack O'Brien, Artistic Director of the Old Globe where Into the Woods was produced before Broadway

#8 - Jack O'Brien, Artistic Director of the Old Globe where Into the Woods was produced before Broadway

Jack O'Brien shares his decades long love of Into the Woods, from his initial excitement about producing the out of town tryout to the moment early on he decided not to give any more notes. Join host Ben Rimalower for this candid conversation exploring how Sondheim and Lapine went Into the Woods.

33 mins
5/24/23
#7 - Christine Estabrook, the Baker's Wife in the First Reading at Playwrights Horizons

#7 - Christine Estabrook, the Baker's Wife in the First Reading at Playwrights Horizons

Christine Estabrook breaks the news on her casting in the first reading of Into the Woods at Playwrights Horizons and how strange it was to be a non-singer starring in a new musical. Join host Ben Rimalower for this candid conversation exploring how Sondheim and Lapine went Into the Woods.

13 mins
5/24/23
#6 - Howard McGillin, Cinderella's Prince and the Wolf in the Playwrights Horizons Workshop

#6 - Howard McGillin, Cinderella's Prince and the Wolf in the Playwrights Horizons Workshop

Howard McGillin gives the scoop on his casting in the Playwrights Horizons workshop of Into the Woods, what it was like to hear Sondheim sing his song, why he didn't do the show on Broadway and how the Master never let him forget it.

46 mins
5/17/23
#5 - Joanna Gleason, the Original Baker's Wife

#5 - Joanna Gleason, the Original Baker's Wife

Joanna Gleason opens up about her star-making role, discussing her legendary audition when she didn't have an uptempo ("I said no, I don't, but I can sing this one really, really fast.") and the good luck omen that blew into her car window during the pre-Broadway run in San Diego.

49 mins
5/17/23
#4 - Ira Weitzman, the Original Dramaturg

#4 - Ira Weitzman, the Original Dramaturg

Ira Weitzman gets into the weeds with Into the Woods, from giving Sondheim a pep talk to tricking Lapine into casting Chip Zien, he lays out every step of the process turning a sketchy draft of the book at Playwrights Horizons into a full-fledged Broadway musical.

1 h 44 mins
5/17/23
#3 - Danielle Ferland, the Original Little Red Riding Hood

#3 - Danielle Ferland, the Original Little Red Riding Hood

Danielle Ferland dives into the dilemma of balancing Broadway roles with middle school and how Bernadette Peters does not run around naked backstage. Join host Ben Rimalower for this candid conversation exploring how Sondheim and Lapine went Into the Woods.

1 h 5 mins
5/10/23
#2 - Chip Zien, the Original Baker

#2 - Chip Zien, the Original Baker

Chip Zien charts his journey Into the Woods from James Lapine's dissatisfaction with his performance as a prince in the first reading to the night late in the Broadway run, he walked in on Stephen Sondheim all alone and crying in his darkened dressing room.

1 h 6 mins
5/10/23
#1 - James Lapine, the Bookwriter and Original Director

#1 - James Lapine, the Bookwriter and Original Director

James Lapine lets us into the origins of Into the Woods, from his very first conversations with Sondheim to Patti LuPone's audition for Cinderella, and ultimately the Broadway triumph and why it was important for him to direct the broadcast cameras rather than delegating the filming of the show to the director of the Golden Girls, as had been done for Sunday in the Park with George.

37 mins
5/8/23

© Broadway Podcast Network, All Rights Reserved