I’ve been in a very Into the Woods mood lately; I’ve been singing it in my room nonstop and I even watched the film this morning. It’s a treasure of a musical, with stellar music and lyrics by the inimitable Stephen Sondheim and a gorgeous book by James Lapine.
What I really love about Into the Woods is the message it delivers about how complicated life is and how things, most of the time, aren’t what they appear to be. Actually, all of my favorite musicals deal with the concept of misunderstanding. I think it’s part of why I love musical theatre so much- it’s a genre that seems to always tackle how we view things and challenges many of our preconceived notions, whether they be regarding the AIDS epidemic, imprisonment, wickedness, or even fairytales.
The woods, from my perspective, are a metaphor for life in all its hectic craziness and bewilderment. I think we spend most of our lives in this stage, with moments, both good and bad, sprinkled here and there. I’m always grateful for those moments, but I don’t think I’ve been as grateful as I should be for the time I spend in the woods and the lessons the woods teach me. So, I leave you with another Mary Oliver quote that I believe perfectly expresses the sentiment behind this post: