Broadway’s limited-engagement revival of “Into the Woods” is now slightly less limited. President of Jujamcyn Theatres Jordan Roth, who is also a lead producer on the show, has announced that the City Center Encores! staging of James Lapine and Stephen Sondheim’s popular musical will run for an additional eight weeks at the St. James Theatre. Tickets are now on sale through October 16.
The production, helmed by Encores! Artistic Director Lear deBessonet, first bowed at New York City Center, playing a run from May 4-15, before transferring to the St. James where it began previews June 28 and officially opened July 10. This Broadway run was originally scheduled to end on August 21.
Though Roth can’t pinpoint when discussions about a Broadway extension began, he along with his team of producers were encouraged by the show’s reception and the reinvigoration it brought to the St. James. “What’s been so extraordinary is, from the very first moments, the experience of this show has been undeniable — the energy, joy, meaning that is reverberating through the theater has just been so palpable, from audience, artists onstage, everybody backstage, front of house, office. It has been communal magic-making,” Roth told Broadway News. “This is lightning in a bottle.”
The St. James had been set to welcome a fall revival of August Wilson’s “The Piano Lesson.” Representatives for that production announced on July 26 that the drama would instead play the more intimate Ethel Barrymore Theatre beginning on September 19. “Piano Lesson” director LaTanya Richardson Jackson told Deadline that her initial “dream was the Barrymore.”
While there is some precedent for theater owners shuffling shows around houses before they start performances, what is uncommon is moving productions between theaters that are overseen by different landlords. The St. James is owned by Jujamcyn while the Barrymore is a tenant of the Shubert Organization.
“I’m so thrilled that it has worked out for the better for everyone involved,” added Roth. “That ‘Piano Lesson’ gets to be on the stage that its creative team originally imagined for it, that we all will get to experience that extraordinary production, that the Shuberts get a wonderful show that I know they are passionate about and that we all get to experience more moments in the woods at the St. James.”
Much of the “Into the Woods” cast from the Encores! production carried over to Broadway, including Sara Bareilles as The Baker’s Wife, Gavin Creel as the Wolf/Cinderella’s Prince and Julia Lester as Little Red Ridinghood. New cast members for Broadway include Brian d’Arcy James as The Baker, Patina Miller as The Witch, Phillipa Soo as Cinderella and Joshua Henry as Rapunzel’s Prince, among others.
Casting for the eight-week extension has not yet been announced. When asked when producers would reveal casting, Roth told Broadway News, “Shortly.” Roth neither confirmed nor rejected the possibility of further extensions for this “Into the Woods.”
“I’m just so grateful that we get to share this a little longer,” said Roth. “‘Into the Woods’ never fails to offer the perfect line or metaphor for just about every moment in life. This piece helps us understand what a moment is and how to experience it fully and deeply and get every last drop of life from it and then let it go.”