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Okay, since you brought it up, I HAVE to ask about Heather Headley
Posted by: DistantDrumming 02:43 am EDT 05/11/22
In reply to: Into The Woods - so many questions - Genealley 12:00 am EDT 05/11/22

Unlike you, I love Into the Woods. Like many elder-millennials, the seemingly endless reruns of the Original Broadway taping on Bravo was a staple of my childhood and my introduction to Sondheim.


But, you brought up a topic I wasn't brave enough to raise on my own because -- I believe -- literally every post about this production's Witch has praised Heather Headley and having only been exposed to press clips, I wasn't sure it was fair to offer my view. I've never seen Headley on stage before, but certainly know of her. And, I know it's totally unfair to judge a performance by a few press clips, but when you don't live in NY, you work off of what you can. And since this was one of your FIFTEEN topics, I have to say, *nearly* every clip I've seen of this production has made me exceptionally jealous of those of you' who've gotten to see it. Even though I was just watching video taped excerpts of performances, I got a clear sense of the performances of NPH, Sara Bareilles and others. In fact, the Into the Woods press clips were my first exposure to Denée Benton and I instantly fell in love with her performance from 30 seconds of her utterly charming and beautifully sung Steps of the Palace.

But, every clip of Heather Headley left me cold. Her singing was so.... strident. And, I found her choices so... obvious and on the nose... literally indicating the lyrics with her gestures, for example, felt like something I'm used to seeing at a high school musical theatre performance. I was left wondering what Sondheim would have thought of her performance. I understand she's an acclaimed, successful Broadway actress. So... perhaps she's just someone you have to see in the theatre to 'get'? That said, I had no problem "getting" NPH, Sara Bareilles or Denée Benton's performances from these short excerpts, so maybe Heather Headley's very broad and strident style of performing is more suited for less nuanced work like Aida and The Bodyguard.

Okay, now I await the long line of posters telling me I'm completely wrong.
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Previous: re: Into The Woods - so many questions - larry13 01:27 pm EDT 05/11/22
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