Still, people love Into the Woods. They love its big tunes--"Agony," "It Takes Two," and "No One Is Alone"--with their ingenious blend of hope and melancholy, of affirmation and resignation, and its Act Two finale--"Children Will Listen"--with its arching melodies, its aching harmonies, and its hard-won faith in the goodness of life and love. They love its morally ambiguous characters--is the Witch good or bad?--and its thematically ambivalent plot--why do good characters lie and bad characters tell the truth? They love that what really counts in the end is the depth of the love that binds the characters--those that survive going into the woods to come out again on the other side.
[Originally published in October, 2010.]