The film, which starred Meryl Streep, Emily Blunt and James Cordon, among others, came out in 2015 and when I saw it, I wrote about it HERE in more detail. I heartily recommend it for those of you sheltering in place who enjoy musicals and it is fine for the whole family, although very little ones may get a little scared. It periodically makes its way onto cable but is available for streaming on a number of sites.
For those who don't know it, the play/film is based on (mostly) Grimm Fairy Tales and many of the characters -- Red Riding Hood, Jack (of Beanstalk fame), Cinderella and others are familiar friends to those of us who grew up before "Spongebob" and "Curious George." The first act ends "happily ever after"; the second act reminds us that "ever after" doesn't always last.
As McNish pointed out to his students as they began rehearsals, the play's underlying theme of "giants in the sky" that can turn a happy ending into a time of terror. This has been equated in the past to the AIDS epidemic (which was kicking in as Sondheim and Lapine wrote the show) and 9/11 (which was around the time of one of its many Broadway revivals.)
In my earlier post I equated it to the then-current tornado in Joplin on prom night and the recent terror bombings in France.
When I saw the show in February, I had no idea that within a month we would be experiencing our own "Into the Woods" moment.
When the giant comes down from the sky in retribution, determined to destroy the kingdom, panic ensues. The Baker's shop has been destroyed and his wife is dead. Jack's mother killed. Cinderella has left her prince who is longing for an affair with Sleeping Beauty. Red Riding Hood's grandmother has died. These four main characters -- all of whom have either experienced tremendous loss because of the giant's wrath -- realize that they must work together to help beat this enormous foe.
Together, and only together, can they get out of the woods.
And so, they do. They come up with a plan. They work as a "community" of sorts, taking care of one another and defeating the giant. They remind us that "no one is alone."
We have a giant in our midst. We have a plan -- Stay Home. We must work as community -- a global community -- to beat the giant. We must remember that staying home or keeping a spatial distance is as important in its own quiet way as the difficult work the front line personnel are doing.
If we have to be out, we must remind those who don't keep distance to back away. We must cover our coughs, sterilize our counters and door knobs, phones and remotes. We must wash our hands -- again and again. For if we can stay home and stay well -- for a long period of time -- we can make their work much easier. We can save lives, too. Not just our own, but others.
We must follow the plan.
Please. Stay Home. Stay Well.
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