Tony nominee Brian D'Arcy James visited Good Morning America August 16 to discuss his time as The Baker in the current Broadway revival of Into The Woods, and how audiences have been supercharging the experience.
"It's not challenging when the audiences that we have had are here, so ecstatic and so happy to be there. They really, really energize us, and that really makes the job a delight."
James took over the role of The Baker from Neil Patrick Harris when the production, which began as a part of the New York City Center Encores! series, transferred to Broadway. He stars opposite Sara Bareilles, who James describes as "a dream come true." Both he and Bareilles we lead the production through September 4, at which point real life married couple Stephanie J. Block and Sebastian Arcelus will succeed them.
With a book by James Lapine and a score by Stephen Sondheim, Into the Woods combines the fairy-tale stories of Cinderella, Jack and the Beanstalk, Rapunzel, and more, ultimately going beyond "ever after" to explore what happens next.
In addition to Bareilles and James, the production currently stars Patina Miller, Phillipa Soo, Gavin Creel, and Joshua Henry as the Witch, Cinderella, Cinderella's Prince, and Rapunzel's Prince, respectively. They are joined by Julia Lester as Little Red Riding Hood, Cole Thompson as Jack, David Patrick Kelly as Narrator/Mysterious Man, Annie Golden as Cinderella's Mother/Granny/Giant, Nancy Opel as Cinderella's Stepmother, Aymee Garcia as Jack's Mother, Ta'Nika Gibson as Lucinda, Albert Guerzon as Cinderella's Father, Brooke Ishibashi as Florinda, Kennedy Kanagawa as Milky White, David Turner as Steward, and Alysia Velez as Rapunzel.
Rounding out the company as understudies are Delphi Borich, Felicia Curry, Jason Forbach, Alex Joseph Grayson, Cameron Johnson, Paul Kreppel, Mary Kate Moore, Diane Phelan, and Lucia Spina.
The creative team includes music director Rob Berman; choreographer Lorin Latarro; scenic designer David Rockwell; costume designer Andrea Hood; lighting designer Tyler Micoloeau; sound designer Scott Lehrer, co-designing with Alex Neumann; puppet designer James Ortiz; and hair and makeup designer Cookie Jordan. Casting is by The Telsey Office's Craig Burns, and Cody Renard Richard serves as production supervisor. Justin Scribner is production stage manager, and music coordination is by Seymour Red Press and Kimberlee Wertz.