Composer Stephen Sondheim has reportedly given his blessing to actor Tituss Burgess, who will tackle the coveted role of the Witch, which is normally played by a woman, in a new production of "Into The Woods."
Burgess, whose Broadway credits include "The Little Mermaid" and "Guys and Dolls," will play the part in the DreamCatcher Theatre's production of "Woods," which opens Jan. 22 and runs through Feb. 15 at the Carnival Studio Theater in Miami. He'll star opposite .J. Caruncho and Arielle Jacobs as the Baker and the Baker's Wife, respectively, and Annemarie Rosano as Cinderella, Playbill first reported. Justin Fortunato will direct.
Of the non-traditional casting choice, Natalie Caruncho of DreamCatcher Theatre told Playbill, "We wrote a letter, through MTI, addressed to Mr. Sondheim and Mr. Lapine regarding Tituss playing the Witch and we were approved!"
She added, "It was a special moment for us."
The Witch was originally played on Broadway by Bernadette Peters, who nabbed a Drama Desk Award nomination for her performance. Meryl Streep's performance as the character in the 2014 film version of "Into The Woods" is considered one of the movie's highlights.
Burgess, who stole scenes from Alec Baldwin and fellow guest star Sherri Shepherd on "30 Rock" as the hairdresser D'Fwan, told The Huffington Post in 2012 that it was important for his work to be representative of his life as an openly gay performer.
"I try to write in a perspective that's both a representation of [myself] but also doesn't alienate those from any other walks of life," Burgess said at the time. Still, he added, "My young sisters and brothers in the LGBT community…they need assistance."
CLARIFICATION: The original version of this article indicated that the production was being staged by the Carnival Studio Theater. Although "Into The Woods" performances will be staged there, the DreamCatcher Theatre company is producing the show.