Sara Bareilles sees many layers in the Stephen Sondheim classic “Into the Woods.”
“The material is so dark and light at the same time so it’s a very complicated show,” the Grammy winner and two-time Tony nominee told The Post exclusively after her performance in the NYC Center’s Encores! production of “Into the Woods.”
In it, the “Brave” singer and “Waitress” composer/star, 42, plays the Baker’s Wife opposite Neil Patrick Harris, 48, who plays her husband.
The beloved show — revived several times since its 1987 Bernadette Peters incarnation and adapted into a 2014 movie starring Meryl Streep — deals with a mishmash of fairy tales including Cinderella, Jack and the Beanstalk, Rapunzel and Little Red Riding Hood. It’s a subject that has long fascinated Bareilles.
“Many, many years ago, I wrote a song about how f – – ked up I think fairy tales are called ‘Fairytale,’ ” she said. “It’s about what happens the day after — ‘and they lived happily ever after’ — because we watch them ride off into the sunset and now what? That is when the real s – – t goes down.”
The star of Peacock’s hilarious “Girls 5 Eva,” which has been renewed for a second season, thinks fairy tales mirror the underbelly humanity.
“They’re very dark. I think humanity is dark,” she said. “We are monsters and angels and everything in between. I love that the show is not really a happily ever after ending. It’s got a lot of pain and grief and loss and that’s more true to form on what life’s really like.”
Bareilles laughed when The Post commented on her and Harris’ amazing stage chemistry playfully suggesting that the actor may “switch teams” for her.
“I don’t think that’s about to happen,” she said, “but you do get thrown into the deep end and you’ve got to hold on. This whole process was really hard and overwhelming so you have to learn to trust each other pretty quickly and thankfully we did.
“He’s so playful and so thorough and thinks of every moment and asks a lot of questions which is so helpful. I’m sort of new to all of this.”
The show, which has a limited two-week run through May 15, also stars Tony winners Heather Headley and Gavin Creel.
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