Into the Woods Producers Have Big Boots to Find

They disappeared after 2002 revival
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 28, 2022 12:05 PM CDT
Into the Woods Producers Have Big Boots to Find
The currently bootless St. James Theatre.   (Wikipedia/Epicgenius)

Into the Woods has returned to Broadway, and producers of the Stephen Sondheim musical have some big boots to find. A giant inflatable leg with a boot attached hung over the marquee of the Martin Beck Theatre when the fairytale-based musical made its debut in 1987, with another boot on the roof. The boots returned for a 2002 revival at the Broadhurst Theatre but their current whereabouts are a mystery. "I saw the original show when I was 12 or 13. I remember those boots, they were so magical," says producer Jordan Roth, per NBC New York. "I had never seen anything like that before and nothing like that had been done before, where a theater exterior was so transformed."

Creator Ann Slavit's photos of the boots can be seen here. Roth says he has been trying to find the boots since well before the show's current run at the St. James Theater, which began two weeks ago and was recently extended until Oct. 16. Michael David, producer of the original run, tells the New York Times that in 1987, the Martin Beck—now the Al Hirschfeld—hadn't had a long-running show in a while and part of the boots' purpose was "to help people find us, not where they'd think 'what is the address' but 'the one with the boot above it.'"

"It’s in storage—I just don’t know where in storage," David says. Special effects designer Chris Silber tells the Times that the inflatable installation was "neither destroyed nor thrown out" when it came down in 2002, but it was cut into at least two pieces and he has no idea where they are. He says Roth should probably call off the search and have new boots made. "Even if it could be found, there is no way it would inflate again and work on the roof of any building," he says. (Read more Broadway stories.)

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