I fell into Stephen Sondheim fandom when I was a freshman in college. It wasn’t a seamless love. It took some time. Our awesomely challenging theater direct chose to put on COMPANY that fall. I went with my new roommates and my boyfriend at the time, and when it ended, we all looked at each other because we didn’t get it. I’ve never been a person who didn’t let not getting something stop me from finding out more, so I did. Then our summer musical happened. FOLLIES — another Sondheim show. It’s the story of a reunion at an old theater that is about to be closed down for good. At the same time, our college campus announced it was closing because of monetary problems and we were all on the edge of our seats, knowing we had one year left and would never see it again. Getting into FOLLIES made me revisit COMPANY even more, so I guess you can say my fascination and admiration for this man’s music and creativity had been fully realized.
What does this have to do with the Muppets?
But I was still surprised to see that Sondheim and Jim Henson had discussed a puppet-centric movie version of INTO THE WOODS back in the day.
According to a recent article published on Inquirer.net, Sondheim shared: “The animals were going to be played by puppets. It was going to be a combination of puppetry and real people. Then, Jim Henson died and the movie went into studio limbo for a while.”
Wouldn’t that have been something? I still have yet to see Disney’s INTO THE WOODS and I’m looking forward to the 10-person Roundabout Theater production currently on stage in New York City, but the thought of a Sondheim/Henson collaboration that didn’t happen kind of breaks my heart a bit.
While we mull over that, here’s one of my favorite songs from WOODS, “Giants in the Sky”, performed by Newsies original Jeremy Jordan: