To honor the memory of legendary composer Stephen Sondheim, Into The Woods returned to Broadway for a limited, star-studded run, 36 years after its original Broadway debut. “It’s a real gift to be a part of something that feels like a love letter to Stephen Sondheim,” admitted Montego Glover, who has dominated the role of The Witch in the show over the last several months. “I would call it a masterpiece. I will call it a seminal work and I would say this one, particularly, is special for a number of reasons. One of them is that it really does challenge the facility of every actor, of every musician, involved with it. It is technically difficult and that is sometimes hard, but really exciting.”
Montego continued, “It sounds beautiful and very sweeping and full of quirks. It’s fun and has an ethereal fineness when you’re sitting in the audience. But, as a technician on the other side, it’s very specific and that is wonderful.” She added that another reason she believes Into The Woods is one of Sondheim’s best is because it is “accessible” and, at the same time, “in the position of giving you new information, and stitching and weaving things together in a way that you’ve not thought of before.” “Ultimately, Into The Woods is the kind of story that, through the decades, through the ages, continues to be extremely accessible and very relevant,” Montego added.
As The Witch, the Tony-nominated star weaved her personal experiences together with Sondheim’s music and lyrics and James Lapine’s book to create the complicated role. “I always start with text and with that, I learn something. For example, the Witch is a mother. The Witch is a woman. The Witch is cursed, when we meet her. The Witch has employed the help of other people to help lift a curse — and what that means, is she needs help and has to reach out for it in some way.” Montego explained. “What her wish is, what her real longing is, is to be restored and to have the companionship, the love the shared experience with her child. She’s a mother at her center.”
She went on, “I definitely drew on my experience as a woman and as an artist. While I don’t have children, there are many children in my life that I love very much as if they were my own.”
Montego Glover performs as The Witch in Into The Woods Tuesdays to Thursdays.