See Exclusive Backstage Photos of Sara Bareilles and Costars as They Go 'Into the Woods' on Broadway

Ahead of Into the Woods’ opening night on Broadway, PEOPLE shares exclusive behind-the-scenes photos of the cast getting into character 

Sara Bareilles and Gavin Creel. Photo: JENNY ANDERSON

Into the Woods they go again!

Sara Bareilles, Patina Miller, Phillipa Soo and the Broadway revival cast of Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine's Tony Award-winning musical are preparing for their big opening night on Sunday at the St. James Theatre. But before the star-studded event, PEOPLE is sharing exclusive behind-the-scenes photos of the cast getting into character.

The musical — which was seen earlier this year as part of New York City Center Encores! — began preview Broadway performances last month.

Patina Miller

Into the Woods follows various fairytale characters all determined to make their wishes come true — particularly the Baker (Brian d'Arcy James) and his wife (Bareilles), who yearn to become pregnant. They learn, however, that a spell was cast upon their family years ago by the Witch (Miller) who lives next door, and in order to reverse the curse, they must venture into the woods and bring back items to concoct a special potion for the enchantress.

Josh Henry

In the woods, they encounter characters like Cinderella (Soo), Jack (Cole Thompson), Rapunzel (Alysia Velez) and Little Red Riding Hood (Julia Lester), who all eventually learn that there's more to life after "happily ever after."

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Following the announcement that the Encores! production of Into the Woods would transfer to Broadway, Bareilles shared on Instagram that she was "so grateful" to return with the production and "continue the journey."

Sara Bareilles
Sara Bareilles. JENNY ANDERSON

"I witnessed the healing energy of this show first hand a few weeks ago," she wrote at the time. "I will always cherish the lightning in a bottle we captured at #encores…(I love you @deneebenton, @heatherheadley and @nph❤️) And I am also excited to welcome some new and beautiful friends to the group of travelers trying to make sense of this world together. Thankful for theater. Thankful for stories. Thankful for art."

Bareilles starred alongside Neil Patrick Harris as the Baker at City Center, but stage vet d'Arcy James took over the role for Broadway. Also new to the Broadway cast is Joshua Henry, the celebrated actor playing Rapunzel's Prince, and a duo of Tony winners: Hamilton's Soo and Raising Kanan star Miller.

Phillipa Soo

On Broadway, Miller replaced Heather Headley, the Tony winner filming season 3 of Sweet Magnolias. Denée Benton — who Soo swapped in for — also has filming commitments, on the second season of HBO's The Gilded Age. (Ironically, Benton subbed in for Soo for the Broadway transfer of Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812 back in 2016.)

Starring on Broadway in Into the Woods is a full-circle moment for Bareilles. In 2012, the Waitress songwriter was called in to audition for the role of Cinderella in the Shakespeare in the Park production of Into the Woods. However, the part ultimately went to Jessie Mueller, who starred in Bareilles' Waitress.

Patina Miller

"I felt like that was a good omen. I was never supposed to do that!" Bareilles told Playbill in 2016. "I didn't realize how horrifically underprepared I was. It was a fun, little experiment-slash-mortifying moment in my life, but then it was so delicious to know that at the end of the day, it went to Jessie Mueller. It just felt like this cosmic hug."

Into the Woods cast
Into the Woods cast. Jenny Anderson

Into the Woods was last on Broadway 20 years ago, in a revival starring Vanessa Williams and Laura Benanti. A 2014 film adaptation starred Meryl Streep, Emily Blunt, James Corden, and Anna Kendrick.

This new Broadway revival is directed by Encores! Artistic Director Lear deBessonet. It is dedicated to the memory of Sondheim, who died last year at the age of 91.

Into the Woods currently plays at the St. James Theatre. For more information and tickets, visit

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