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date: 22 September 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter addresses the production of the movie adaptation of Into the Woods. It exploits interviews with composer-lyricist Stephen Sondheim, director Rob Marshall, screenwriter James Lapine (also the stage librettist and director), orchestrator Jonathan Tunick, and musical director Paul Gemignani, most of whom were also involved with the original Broadway production, to offer insights into the process of putting the ultimate fairy tale on the big screen. The interviews reveal surprising aspects of the movie’s production, such as the fact that the songs were recorded three different ways: a full orchestra track for the singers to rehearse to, a studio recording with the singers and orchestra together, and live on-set recordings. The final soundtrack includes a mixture of these three options, providing a solution to the age-old problem of how to make singing in film musicals appear natural. The chapter also examines why some of the songs were cut, plus other intriguing and poignant insights into changes made for the film adaptation.

Keywords: Into the Woods, Stephen Sondheim, Jonathan Tunick, Paul Gemignani, Rob Marshall

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