Throwback Thursday to Damian Lewis in Sondheim’s Into The Woods

Damian Lewis was Michael Ball’s guest on Radio 2 two weeks ago.  The two talked about Damian’s music career, his on-going UK tour, musical theatre he has done to date and whether he wants to do it again: I am thrilled to report Damian’s answer is yes and my fingers are crossed all the way! So why don’t we revisit Damian in Sondheim’s Into The Woods today?

“Hello, little girl!”

Many viewers were surprised, as they watched the BBC Broadcast of the fabulous Stephen Sondheim’s Old Friends Gala, to see Damian appear as the Wolf to Bernadette Peters’ Red Riding Hood from the musical Into the Woods – one of Sondheim’s greatest musicals

But the thing is that Damian is not a stranger to the role at all. In fact, he was the Wolf in Into the Woods  at the London revival of the musical back in 1998! So why don’t we travel back to that time and visit a 27 year old Damian on stage?

Damian was cast as the Wolf/Cinderella’s Prince in the 1998 London revival of Into the Woods. The revival opened at the Donmar Warehouse on 16 November 1998, and closed on 13 February 1999.

Here is a lovely pic along with his theater, TV and film credits from the 1998 London Playbill for the musical.


Into the Woods is a musical with an original story about a baker and his wife who want to start a family and their interaction with a witch that has placed a curse on them. This original story is tied beautifully to the plots from several Brothers Grimm fairy tales. The main characters are from “Little Red Riding Hood“, “Jack and the Beanstalk“, “Rapunzel“, and “Cinderella, and a few others. The baker and his wife interact with these storybook characters on their journey.

And here is a lovely picture tweeted by Michelle Blair showing a group of young actors from the 1998 production at Donmar Warehouse.

The production was nominated for the Outstanding Musical Production at the Laurence Olivier Awards in 1999. Theater critic Kevin Wilson, in particular, raved about Damian as the Wolf:

“The Wolf, in the hands of Damian Lewis, is a sexy, charismatic character whose death robs the piece one of its greatest assets at an early stage.”


Damian once sang “Agony” — the musical number he sang as Cinderella’s prince in Into the Woods — on Popcorn with Peter Travers. In this particular scene, Cinderella’s prince and Rapunzel’s prince, who are brothers, compare the misery that their new found and unobtainable loves give them.

(Cinderella’s Prince):

“Did I abuse her

or show her disdain?

Why does she run from me?

If I should lose her

How shall I regain

the heart she has won from me?


Beyond power of speech

When the one thing you want

is the only thing out of your reach.”

And mmm… you wanna hear Damian sing Agony? Oh, yes, you do, and…

…you are very welcome 🙂

I told you earlier about American Buffalo programme booklet having fun questions asked by fans and answered by Damian Lewis!


Here is a fan question from that booklet!

Claire Bartlett asks:

“I saw you playing the Wolf in Into the Woods at the Donmar in the late 1990s. Any more musicals on the horizon?”

Damian answers:

“Possibly, as long as it’s not too difficult a piece, because I discovered I sound much better in the shower than I do out of it! But I really like musicals so never say never.”

In fact, there were rumors in early 2013 that Damian was in some kind of early negotiations to play the lead character in a West End revival of the musical Me and My Girl, set in 1930s and telling the story of Bill Snibson, an “unapologetically unrefined cockney gentleman named Bill who learns that he is the 14th heir to the Earl of Hareford.” It may be that Damian’s schedule in 2013, including Homeland Season 3 shoot, did not let him go ahead with the musical, or it could be something else, but the production did not go through in the end, either.


Damian, in his SAG-AFTRA interview, cites Me and My Girl as one musical that he fell in love with as he talks about which actors he looked up to on stage as he was growing up:

“I totally fell in love with Robert Lindsay and Emma Thompson doing Me and My Girl in the West End which he then took to Broadway and won a Tony for… A lovely 1930s Vaudevillian musical.”

And, guess what, he leans on a wall holding a copy of The Evening Standard and sings “Leaning on a Lamppost” from Me and My Girl as his opening number when he hosts Evening Standard Theatre Awards at the Savoy Hotel in London, in November 2013. Notice Damian’s Movember Moustache!


His tweet about his preparation a few weeks before the awards ceremony is priceless!

estweetTsvetanka, a true friend of Fan Fun, has shared with us this little audio file where Damian is singing “ Leaning on a Lamp-post” at the Evening Standard Awards. Well, either he is singing differently from the shower or he is a brilliant performer in the shower! Because, as Tsvetanka points out “he has such a velvet voice and excellent vibrato.”

Please copy and paste the link below and… ENJOY!


Let’s have one more song in closing because… why not? 🙂 Damian sang a lovely standard, You Brought a New Kind of Love to me on an appearance on Popcorn with Peter Travers. Even though Frank Sinatra version of this love song is the most famous, we would take Damian’s version over it anytime, wouldn’t we?

So just close your eyes and let Damian sing for you:

Travers is genuinely thrilled: “The musical has to be next!”

Damian: “Maybe not.”


We keep rooting for Damian to take part in a musical. Lady Trader and I would really love to see him as Henry Higgins in My Fair Lady. And in the meantime, you can watch Damian as the big bad wolf singing “Hello, Little Girl” with Bernadette Peters’ Red Riding Hood in Stephen Sondheim’s Old Friends Gala. ENJOY!

Author: Damianista

Academic, Traveler, Blogger, Runner, Theatre Lover, Wine Snob, Part-time New Yorker, and Walking Damian Lewis Encyclopedia :D Procrastinated about a fan's diary on Damian Lewis for a while and the rest is history!

4 thoughts on “Throwback Thursday to Damian Lewis in Sondheim’s Into The Woods”

  1. he is fantastic !! I love his voice but the first time I hear him singing, I was speechless 🙂 !! He is extremely talented. Renaissance man 🙂

  2. Damianista, you and I have had the conversation so many times that we would love for him to play Henry Higgins on Broadway in “My Fair Lady”. That would be a great musical for him!!

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