Initial casting announced for Into the Woods at the
Gaten Matarazzo as “Jack”
Patina Miller as “The Witch”
Shanice Williams as “Little Red Riding Hood”
and the voice of Whoopi Goldberg as “The Giant”
Performances July 26–28; individual tickets on sale May 5
April 24, 2019, Los Angeles – Preliminary casting has been announced for the Hollywood Bowl’s upcoming production of Into the Woods. The darkly humorous and hauntingly beautiful masterpiece, with book by James Lapine and music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, will be the 20th annual LA Phil / Hollywood Bowl-produced, fully staged summer Broadway musical.
Gaten Matarazzo, who began his career on the Broadway stage and currently stars as Dustin Henderson in the Netflix science-fiction drama series Stranger Things, has been announced for the role of Jack. Patina Miller, who stars as Daisy Grant on CBS’ Madam Secretary and who won the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical for the 2013 revival of Pippin, has been announced for the role of the Witch. Shanice Williams, best known for her performance as Dorothy in NBC’s The Wiz Live!, has been announced for the role of Little Red Riding Hood. Whoopi Goldberg, one of the few entertainers to have won an Emmy Award, a Grammy Award, an Academy Award, and a Tony Award, will lend her talent to the production as the voice of the Giant.
Additional casting will be announced at a later date.
Into the Woods will be directed and choreographed by Tony nominee Robert Longbottom and conducted by Kevin Stites, who will also serve as musical director.
The Hollywood Bowl will be transformed into an enchanted world of magic beans, towering giants, and handsome princes. As the Baker and his Wife travel through the forest trying to reverse a witch’s curse, they come across Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel, and other iconic storybook characters, all in search of their own wishes…but “happily ever after” turns into a tale of “be careful what you wish for,” when granted wishes have unexpected effects. This is Sondheim at his finest, with such memorable songs as “Children Will Listen” and “No One Is Alone.”
Into the Woods will have three performances at the Hollywood Bowl this summer – Friday, July 26, at 8PM; Saturday, July 27, at 8PM; and Sunday, July 28, at 7:30PM, with individual tickets going on sale Sunday, May 5.
Gaten Matarazzo began his professional career in the original Broadway production of Priscilla Queen of the Desert as Benji. He also appeared as part of the Godspell cast of 2013 and drew rave reviews as Gavroche in the 2014 revival of Les Misérables, a role he also played on the 25th Anniversary North American tour. On tour, he was also seen in the Radio City Christmas Spectacular. Gaten is known as one of the young stars of Netflix’s SAG Award-winning series Stranger Things. Matarazzo has also formed a six-piece band called Work In Progress, which features his sister Sabrina and his brother Carmen. The band takes inspiration from every decade since the ’60s, drawing from classic rock, metal, alternative, and emo.
Currently starring on the CBS hit drama series Madam Secretary, Patina Miller is a Tony Award-winning actress with a resume that encompasses Broadway, TV, film, and music. She is most famously known for her role as Leading Player in the 2012/13 Broadway revival of Pippin, for which she won the Tony Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical. Miller made her Broadway debut (and earned her first Tony Award nomination) in the stage adaptation of Sister Act. Miller appeared in the renowned daytime soap opera All My Children, made her feature film debut in The Hunger Games series, and performed her first solo concert at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts during its 2013/14 season. Miller received a degree in musical theater from Carnegie Mellon University. She currently resides in New York City.
Shanice Williams is an actress, singer, and songwriter from New Jersey, best known for her breakout role as Dorothy in NBC’s The Wiz Live! In 2018, she starred in the Off-Broadway production of Little Rock, which tells the legendary story of the first African-American students to attend their city’s formerly segregated Central High School. Shanice was nominated for a Critics Choice Award for Best Actress in a Movie/Limited Series and won Best Actress at the NY SeriesFest for her role in HBO’s Manic.
Whoopi Goldberg is one of a very elite group of artists who have won a Grammy, an Academy Award, a Golden Globe, an Emmy, and a Tony. She is also a prolific producer, best-selling author, and is well known around the world for her many humanitarian endeavors.
She earned a Tony nomination for the 20th-anniversary production of her original one-woman show, and her Broadway credits also include A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum and Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, which she also produced. She won the Tony for producing Thoroughly Modern Millie, prior to producing the hit West End production of Sister Act: The Musical, in which she also appeared as Reverend Mother in a special limited engagement. She has appeared in numerous film and television projects and is currently the moderator of ABC’s The View.
Robert Longbottom recently directed a new production of La Fille du Régiment for the Washington National Opera that featured a cameo appearance by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and was included in the Oscar-nominated documentary RBG. He made his Broadway debut as the director and choreographer of the original Broadway production of Side Show, which earned four Tony Award nominations, including Best Musical.
Other Broadway credits include Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Flower Drum Song, with a new book by the playwright David Henry Hwang. This production earned Longbottom a Tony Award nomination for his choreography, as well as Fred Astaire and Outer Critics Circle nominations. Other Broadway credits include The Scarlet Pimpernel, Bye Bye Birdie, and a new production of Dreamgirls that premiered at the Apollo Theatre and went on to play Seoul, Johannesburg, three stands in Tokyo, and two national tours of the United States.
Longbottom conceived, directed, and choreographed the original Off-Broadway hit Pageant, which was nominated for four Outer Critics Circle Awards and a Drama Desk Award. His other credits include Disney’s On the Record, Carnival for the Kennedy Center, directing and choreographing The Radio City Music Hall Christmas Spectacular from 1994 to 1999, Show Boat at Carnegie Hall, South Pacific at the Muny Opera, starring Howard Keel, Camelot at the Glimmerglass Festival, starring Nathan Gunn, and Into the Woods at Theatre Under The Stars in Houston.
His non-musical credits include the plays Mister Roberts for the Kennedy Center and Hay Fever for the Old Globe. He is currently developing a new Broadway musical based on the life of Tammy Faye Bakker with Henry Krieger, David Yazbek, and Robert Horn, to star Kristin Chenoweth.
Returning to the Hollywood Bowl after also having served as Musical Director / Conductor of LA Phil productions of Les Misérables (2008), Guys and Dolls (2009), and The Producers (2012), Kevin Stites recently conducted the Grant Park Symphony Orchestra and Chorus in a Lerner and Loewe tribute, an all-star Broadway evening with a 400-voice choir and the New York Chamber Orchestra in Carnegie Hall for Manhattan Concert Productions, and has completed his fourth season as Music Director for The Radio City Music Hall Christmas Spectacular. Stites has conducted the LA Phil at Walt Disney Concert Hall with Brian Stokes Mitchell, several symphonic concerts with Kristin Chenoweth (including with the LA Phil at the Hollywood Bowl), and the Boublil and Schönberg concert tribute Do You Hear the People Sing with the Oklahoma City and Hartford symphony orchestras. Kevin is music director / pianist for Deborah Voigt’s Voight Lessons and was music director of Grey Gardens, with Betty Buckley and Rachel York, at the Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles. Additionally, Kevin was music director for MCP’s concert presentations of Crazy for You and Titanic (at David Geffen Hall) and conducted the mono-opera Falling Man by Kenneth Fuchs at the 9/11 Museum & Memorial. As guest conductor, Kevin has led the Grant Park Symphony in tribute concerts devoted to Sondheim, Bernstein, Gershwin, Loesser, and Cole Porter.
On Broadway, Kevin has been involved with 13 productions, including Titanic, Fiddler on the Roof, A Tale of Two Cities, On the Town, The Threepenny Opera, Oklahoma!, Sunset Boulevard, the revival of Nine, starring Antonio Banderas, the 2006 revival of Les Misérables, and the revival of On the Twentieth Century, starring Kristin Chenoweth.
Stites’ future projects include the Broadway revival of Crazy for You, Maltby and Shire’s Take Flight, Cy Coleman’s posthumously produced Pamela’s First Musical, and the further development of Austin’s Pride.
He earned his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Music from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, studying under the tutelage of Professor Kenneth Drake and Professor Emeritus John Wustman, and was awarded the Creative and Performing Arts Fellowship in 1979/80.
Subscriptions and individual tickets for performances during the Hollywood Bowl 2019 summer season are available at hollywoodbowl.com, or via phone at 323 850 2000, and in person beginning Sunday, May 5, at the Hollywood Bowl Box Office.
For further details or questions, call 323 850 2000 any time from 10AM to 6PM daily, or visit hollywoodbowl.com.
The recent history of Broadway musicals at the Hollywood Bowl is nothing short of spectacular, including Annie, starring Ana Gasteyer, David Alan Grier, Megan Hilty, and Lea Salonga, directed by Michael Arden; Mamma Mia!, starring Jennifer Nettles, Jamie Camil, Dove Cameron, Corbin Bleu, Lea DeLaria, and Tisha Campbell-Martin, directed and choreographed by Kathleen Marshall; A Chorus Line, starring Mario Lopez, Krysta Rodriguez, and Ross Lynch, directed and choreographed by Baayork Lee; Spamalot, starring Craig Robinson, Christian Slater, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Warwick Davis, and Eric Idle; Hair, starring Kristen Bell, Hunter Parrish, Beverly D’Angelo, Benjamin Walker, and Amber Riley, directed by Adam Shankman; Chicago, starring Ashlee Simpson, Drew Carey, Lucy Lawless, and Stephen Moyer, directed by Brooke Shields; The Producers, starring Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Rebecca Romijn, and Dane Cook, directed and choreographed by Susan Stroman; Hairspray, starring Harvey Fierstein, Drew Carey, John Stamos, and Nick Jonas, directed and choreographed by Jerry Mitchell; and Rent, starring Vanessa Hudgens, Nicole Scherzinger, and Wayne Brady, directed by Neil Patrick Harris.
One of the largest natural amphitheaters in the world, with a seating capacity of nearly 18,000, the Hollywood Bowl has been the summer home of the Los Angeles Philharmonic since its official opening in 1922 and plays host to the finest artists from all genres of music, offering something for everyone. It remains one of the best deals anywhere in Los Angeles; to this day, $1 buys a seat at the top of the Bowl for many classical and jazz performances. In February 2018, the Hollywood Bowl was named Best Major Outdoor Concert Venue for the 14th year in a row at the 29th Annual Pollstar Awards, and in November 2018 was awarded the Top Amphitheater prize at the 2018 Billboard Live Music Awards for the second consecutive year. For millions of music lovers across Southern California, the Hollywood Bowl is synonymous with summer. hollywoodbowl.com
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