I took at look at the film adaptation of Stephen Sondheim’s “Into The Woods” for Aleteia this week. It’s missing some stuff I would have liked to have seen make the transition to the big screen, but overall, it’s still pretty good. Much like the play, probably the biggest crowd pleasing moment comes courtesy of the two prince charmings. You know, a lot of the unfortunate events which occur during “Into The Woods” could easily have been avoided if the ladies involved had been a little less impressed with royalty. In fact, they should have taken some hints from Pucca, she’s a gal who knows how to properly handle a prince charming…
In the end, there’s only one prince worth going gaga over, the one mentioned in the seasonally appropriate Isaiah 9:5. It says, “For a child is born to us, a son is given to us; upon his shoulder dominion rests. They name him Wonder-Counselor, God-Hero, Father-Forever, Prince of Peace.”
Prince of Peace. It’s a nice title, but does it just mean that Jesus is the sovereign of saying we shouldn’t kill each other? Well, Pope Benedict XVI didn’t think so. As his holiness once noted, “Peace is not the mere absence of war, or the result of man's actions to avoid conflict; it is, above all, a gift of God which must be implored with faith, and which has the way to its fulfillment in Jesus.”
Peace, explains Msgr. Stuart W. Swetland, actually has a number of different meanings and uses. For clarity, he breaks it down into seven categories:
- Inner Peace - the absence of internal conflicts.
- Peace in the Community - harmony with family, friends, and neighbors.
- Peace with God – a right relationship with the creator.
- Civil Order – freedom from civil war, unrest, strife or rebellion.
- Absence of War - not actively engaged in military action
- Tranquility of Order – society based justice and respect for human rights.
- Eschatological Peace – the peace that Christ will establish once and for all at the end of time.
All of these connotations of the word peace fall under the domain of that child born unto us whose birth we’ve just celebrated, and each one can be obtained by submitting to his reign. So, if like the ladies of “Into The Woods” you’ve just got to give yourself to a prince, why not make it the Prince of Peace, the only one who actually has something worthwhile to offer.
Pucca! She is a fan favorite over here- and my oldest alternates between wanting to be her, Rainbow Dash, and Katniss Everdeen.
We went to see Into the Woods this weekend, on a rare movie outing. I'd first heard the soundtrack in Mrs. Goosey's 9th grade english class (Mrs. Goosey, represent!!) and I loved it then, sitting there with a ditto of the lyrics in hand, and discussing symbolism and metaphor in full 15 year old wisdom afterward.
Ken didn't have Mrs. Goosey for 9th grade (he was stuck in remedial english with the soccer coach), and so he was never exposed to it.
He was HORRIFIED to realize that he'd burnt a rare date night on a MUSICAL. And a musical with such strange music that "didn't even go with the rhythm consistently". He was too shocked by his mis-read of the trailers to have any patience for Woods-As-Allegory.
But Pucca! Well, at 8 minutes an episode, anyone can sit through it.
Musicals aren't for everybody, my wife hates them. And for those who do love them, Sondheim can be a dividing line. I remember a long time back being out with two of my oldest friends, one who couldn't stand any musicals beyond West Side Story, and one who disliked anything before. Me being me, I like whatever. After a while of passionate arguing, it finally dawned on us what it must look like to the surrounding restaurant goers, three guys sitting alone fighting about musicals. We quickly did a Planes, Trains & Automobiles" by lowering our voices and loudly saying stuff like "What about them Dawgs, they're looking good this season!" and "Can't wait to get home to the wife, she can't get enough of that fine heterosexual loving!" Oh well, at least we weren't talking about home decorating.
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