Tony and Grammy Award winner Heather Headley took on Stephen Sondheim’s Into the Woods in a role she thought she would never play- “The Witch”. She hinted at a possible return to the Broadway stage to reprise her role in The Bodyguard this week. Headley made her Broadway debut in The Lion King before earning a Tony Award for her leading role in Aida, and her London debut was in the stage adaptation of the Whitney Houston musical The Bodyguard.
In an interview with Playbill about taking on the role of “The Witch”, Headley says, “My agent Joe Machota called me up. This is how he does it — Bodyguard, everything — he’s like, ‘Hey, I got something that I think you should do,’ and I’m like, ‘No.’ And he’s like, ‘Heath, it’s two weeks. By the time you’re going crazy… And, it’s “The Witch” in Into the Woods.’ And, I said, ‘First, again: No! Sondheim? No. I need like a year to figure that out. It’s not in my head.’ Sondheim: it doesn’t believe in the C Major chord, and I love the C Major chord. And, it’s so hard!”
But she’s come to have a new appreciation for the character; “I have to say that maybe five years ago, before I had my son, I wouldn’t understand “The Witch” as maybe ‘thoroughly’ as I am — not that I am understanding her thoroughly — but having both of them and being a mommy now has given me this different view of “The Witch”. It’s been different to see her now from a parenting point-of-view and figure out that she’s not that crazy! Because I’m like, ‘I will do the same thing!”
As for a return to Broadway, “We were kind of looking at Bodyguard for a second, but I think they’re going to tour first, which I can’t do,” she explains, “but if it comes into New York, we’ll see. And, we’ll talk about that at that point. Aida was so good to me, and she spoiled me greatly, and Disney spoils me. I loved playing her, I loved being in that show with the cast that we had and everybody, so I think it’s just looking for that role. And, there are many times I think that way with Bodyguard. You read it, and you go, ‘That’s her.’ Even if you’re trying to pull away, you’re like, ‘Okay, that’s the girl. That’s the one.’ So I’m excited about that.”