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Into the Woods
Into the Woods poster.jpg
Poster for the original Broadway production
Music Stephen Sondheim
Lyrics Stephen Sondheim
Book James Lapine
Basis Inspired by Bruno Bettelheim's The Uses of Enchantment
Productions 1987 Broadway
1988 United States National Tour
1990 West End
2002 Broadway revival
Awards Tony Award for Best Score
Tony Award for Best Book
Drama Desk for Best Musical
Tony Award for Best Revival

Into the Woods is a musical with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and book by James Lapine. It debuted in San Diego at the Old Globe Theatre in 1986, and premiered on Broadway in 1987. Bernadette Peters' performance as the Witch, and Joanna Gleason's portrayal of the Baker's Wife, brought acclaim to the production during its original Broadway run. Into the Woods won several Tony Awards, including Best Score, Best Book, and Best Actress in a Musical (Joanna Gleason), in a year dominated by The Phantom of the Opera. The musical has been produced many times, with a 1988 national tour, a 1990 West End production, a 1991 television production, a 1997 tenth anniversary concert, a 2002 Los Angeles production and a 2002 Broadway revival.[1] It was later loosely adapted into the hip-hop dance musical, Into the Hoods.

Inspired by Bruno Bettelheim's 1976 book, The Uses of Enchantment, the musical intertwines the plots of several Brothers Grimm fairy tales and follows them further to explore the consequences of the characters' wishes and quests. The main characters are taken from the stories of Little Red Ridinghood, Jack and the Beanstalk, Rapunzel, and Cinderella, tied together by a more original story involving a Baker and his wife and their quest to begin a family, most likely taken from the original story of Rapunzel by the Brothers Grimm. It also includes references to several other well-known tales.

Contents

Plot summary

Act I

A narrator opens the show with the classic words "Once Upon a Time". He introduces us to four people to whom wishes are more important than life itself: Cinderella, who wishes to attend the King's festival; Jack, a lonely, impoverished and simple young man who wishes that his cow, Milky-White, would give milk; and the Baker and his Wife, who wish they could have a child. Little Red Ridinghood[2] enters and buys some bread from the Baker to take to her grandmother in the woods while Jack's weary mother, sick and tired of her son's devotion to the useless cow, begins to nag him into selling the poor creature. Meanwhile, Cinderella's cruel stepmother and vain stepsisters, Florinda and Lucinda, taunt her dreams of attending the festival. The Stepmother throws a pot of lentils into the fireplace, and tells Cinderella if she can pick all the lentils out in two hours, she may go to the festival. Aided by some friendly birds, which she can talk to, Cinderella completes the task, but her Stepmother breaks her promise on the grounds that Cinderella has no suitable clothing.

After Little Red Ridinghood leaves, a knock is heard on the Baker's door, and their neighbor, an ugly old Witch, enters to reveal the source of the couple's infertility. Many years ago, the Baker's father had stolen from the Witch's garden to feed his pregnant wife's craving, and was caught. In exchange for his life and the lettuce, he promised to give the witch his unborn child. She let him go, but did not know that he had also stolen some of her magic beans. When the day arrived, the Witch cursed the family, including the infant Baker, to be barren, and took the Baker's sister, whom she named Rapunzel. The curse will be lifted if the Baker and his Wife can find the four ingredients that the Witch needs for a certain potion: "the cow as white as milk, the cape as red as blood, the hair as yellow as corn, and the slipper as pure as gold", all before the chime of Midnight in three days' time. All begin their journeys into the woods: Jack to sell his cow at Market, Cinderella's family to the Festival, Cinderella to her mother's grave to ask for guidance, Red Ridinghood to her Grandmother's house, and the Baker, refusing his wife's help, to find the ingredients ("Prologue").

Cinderella visits her mother's grave and receives a beautiful gown and shoes from her mother's spirit ("Cinderella at the Grave"). A Mysterious Man appears and tells Jack that he would be lucky to sell the cow for a sack of beans instead of money. Little Red Ridinghood, on her way to her grandmother's house, meets a hungry and lusty wolf, who tempts her into biding her time while he races on ahead to devour her grandmother and lie in wait for the more tender granddaughter. ("Hello, Little Girl"). The Baker, who sees their encounter, is concerned but is frightened by the Witch, who points out the little girl's blood red cape to him and threatens him. He is so frightened that he forgets the ingredients. Luckily, his Wife has followed him into the forest and is able to remind him. They are arguing over her presence when they encounter Jack and his cow... who is white as milk. The pair con the sad Jack into selling Milky-White ("I Guess This Is Goodbye") for five beans that the Baker's father had stolen from the Witch (which the Baker has found in a coat pocket), telling Jack that they're magic. The Baker has qualms about breaking the curse by such unethical means, but his wife attempts to rationalize their crime ("Maybe They're Magic"). He sends her home with the cow, and goes in pursuit of Red Ridinghood's cape.

The Witch has locked Rapunzel, who has hair "as yellow as corn", in a tower to shield her from the outside world ("Our Little World"), but a Prince spies on them and decides to ask Rapunzel to let her hair down for him the next day. When Little Red Ridinghood arrives at her grandmother's house, she is swallowed by the Wolf, who has also feasted on her grandmother. The Baker (who has been following her) slays the Wolf, pulling Little Red Ridinghood and her grandmother from the beast's innards, and Red rewards him with the red cape ("I Know Things Now"). Jack's mother is angry that Jack was duped, returning only with beans, and tosses them aside, not knowing they will grow into a beanstalk that reaches into the clouds.

The Baker's Wife runs into Cinderella as she flees the festival, and misdirects her pursuers, another handsome prince and his steward. The two women catch their breath and the Wife quizzes Cinderella on her time at the ball with the charming Prince ("A Very Nice Prince") when she spots Cinderella's pure gold slippers. She is about to make a grab for them when midnight chimes, Cinderella rushes home, and Milky-White runs away. The wife takes off in pursuit of the cow as the cast enters one by one to state morals and credos as the First Midnight chimes. ("First Midnight")

Jack describes his thrilling but frightening adventure in the clouds and the Giant's house that he has found there ("Giants in the Sky"). He gives the Baker five gold pieces to buy back his cow, but when the Baker, attempting to stall for time, indicates that he wants more, Jack rushes to climb back up the beanstalk. The Mysterious Man emerges and taunts the Baker, stealing the money. The Baker is about to chase after him when his wife appears and confesses that she has lost the cow. They split up to look for the cow.

The Baker's Wife stumbles upon a clearing in which Cinderella's and Rapunzel's Princes, who are revealed to be brothers, meet up. The Princes brag about their new-found loves, the mysterious girl who ran from the ball and the beautiful maiden in the tower with hair as yellow as corn (of which the Wife takes note) before beginning a very musical contest over which is suffering more ("Agony"). The Baker's Wife fools Rapunzel into letting down her hair and yanks out a braid of her hair. Meanwhile, The Mysterious Man appears and gives Milky-White back to the Baker. The Witch appears, and injures the Man with magic for interfering.

The Wife and Cinderella meet up yet again, and the Wife makes a desperate grab for her shoes, almost succeeding before the maiden flees. The Baker and his wife reunite, now with three of the four items. The Baker realizes that his wife has helped considerably, and admits the need for them to join together in their quest ("It Takes Two").

Jack arrives with a hen that lays golden eggs and attempts to buy Milky-White back, but as the three squabble, the cow suddenly keels over dead as midnight chimes. Again, the characters enter one by one and exchange morals. ("Second Midnight".)

The Witch discovers that the Prince has been visiting Rapunzel and begs Rapunzel to stay safe in the tower with her ("Stay with Me"). When she refuses, the Witch angrily cuts off Rapunzel's hair and banishes her to a desert. The Mysterious Man gives the Baker money to buy another cow, and Jack, goaded on by the sarcastic Little Red Ridinghood, who is now sporting a wolf skin cape and a knife for protection, returns once again to the Giant's home to steal a magical harp.

Cinderella's Prince is giving the last night of the festival, but this time, spreads pitch on the stairs to try to capture and identify his lady love. She escapes, but passive-aggressively leaves one of her slippers as a clue to her identity ("On the Steps of the Palace"). The Baker's Wife arrives and attempts to trade her remaining bean for Cinderella's one remaining slipper; Cinderella throws the bean aside but, needing more suitable running footwear, trades shoes with the Wife and flees. The Baker arrives with another cow, and they have now found all four items sought by the Witch before the end of the third day. The Prince's steward appears and attempts to wrest the shoe from the Baker's Wife when a great crash is heard and the forest shakes. Jack's mother runs in, reporting that a Giant has fallen from the beanstalk in her backyard and is dead. As the third midnight approaches, the Witch discovers that the new cow is not pure white—it has only been covered with flour. However, the Witch revives Milky-White, and the items are fed to her by the Baker and his Wife. Jack milks her, but when he turns the goblet upside down, he reveals that it is empty. The Baker's Wife reveals that she plucked the hair from Rapunzel. The Witch furiously explains that the magic will not work because the Witch had touched Rapunzel's hair that they had used in the potion, and she cannot have touched any of the ingredients. The Mysterious Man appears and tells the Baker to feed the hair-like strands on the ear of corn to the cow. Now Milky-White gives milk, and the new potion works. The Witch reveals that the Mysterious Man is the Baker's father, who had abandoned him instead of being "killed in a baking accident", but the Man dies before the Baker can talk to him. The curse is broken, and the Witch is restored to youth and beauty, which were lost when her magic beans were stolen.

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Cinderella's Prince searches for the maiden whose foot will fit the golden slipper. The stepsisters mutilate their feet trying to cram them into the slipper, but the prince finds Cinderella, whose foot fits the slipper, and she becomes the Prince's bride. Rapunzel, who has borne twins, and her Prince are reunited. The witch attempts to regain Rapunzel's affections, but when the girl refuses she attempts to curse the couple, only to find that her Power has been lost when her youth was regained.

At Cinderella's wedding to the Prince, the stepsisters are blinded by birds as they try to win Cinderella's favor. Everyone but the Witch and the stepsisters congratulate themselves on being able to live happily "Ever After", though they fail to notice another beanstalk growing sky-high in the background.

Act II

Once upon a time, later, in the same far-off kingdom, everyone is still wishing: the Baker and his Wife have their precious baby boy but wish for more room, Jack and his mother are rich and well-fed but Jack misses his kingdom in the sky, and Cinderella is living with her Prince Charming in the Palace but is getting bored. Still, they are all happy despite these minor inconveniences ("So Happy").

Suddenly, everyone in the Kingdom is knocked over by an enormous crash, and enormous footprints have destroyed the Witch's garden, sparing only a few beans. The Baker and his Wife decide that they must tell the Royal Family, although the Witch says that the Royal Family can't do anything about it, and they safely escort Little Red Ridinghood to her grandmother's house after her mother was killed by the Giant. Jack decides that he must slay the Giant (as he knows how, from his previous experiences), and Cinderella learns from her bird friends that her mother's grave was disturbed and decides to investigate. ("Into the Woods" Reprise)

While everyone else is drawn back into the woods to deal with the new threats, the two Princes have grown bored with their marriages and now lust after two new princesses: Snow White and Sleeping Beauty ("Agony" Reprise). Rapunzel, overcome with post-partum depression, becomes hysterical, and flees.

The Baker, his Wife and Little Red get lost in the Woods and find the Witch, who brings news that their houses have been destroyed, and the Royal Family and their steward, who reveal that the castle was set upon by the Giant. The Giant then appears, and everyone realizes that this Giant is a woman, the widow of the Giant that Jack killed by chopping down the beanstalk. The Giant's booming voice proclaims that she wants Jack's blood in revenge. To satisfy the Giantess, everyone offers her the narrator as a sacrifice, until they realize how lost they would be without him. Nevertheless, the Witch throws him into the Giant's arms and he is killed. Jack's mother finds the group and aggressively defends her son, angering the Giant's widow, and the steward clubs Jack's mother to make her be quiet, inadvertently killing her. The Giantess leaves to search for Jack, and Rapunzel runs underneath her and is trampled, to the horror of the Witch and her Prince ("Witch's Lament").

The Royal Family leaves to hide in a Hidden Kingdom. The Witch declares she will find Jack and sacrifice him to the Giantess, and the Baker and his Wife decide they must find him first and split up to search. The Baker's Wife meets Cinderella's Prince, and he seduces the willing Wife ("Any Moment"). Meanwhile, the Baker discovers Cinderella at her mother's destroyed grave and convinces her to join their group for safety. The Prince, satisfied, leaves the The Baker's Wife with a few platitudes, and she realizes her error and decides to return to her happy life with the Baker and their son ("Moments in the Woods") just moments before being accidentally crushed by the angry Giantess.

The Baker, Little Red Ridinghood, and Cinderella anxiously await the return of the Baker's Wife when The Witch drags in Jack, whom she has found burying the Baker's Wife. The Baker, grief-stricken, unwittingly agrees to give him to the Giantess, causing an argument. The characters first blame each other for their predicament, Jack for stealing from the Giant, Little Red for goading him on, The Baker for giving him the beans for the cow, Cinderella for throwing away the bean that raised the last bean-stalk, until finally they all decide to blame the Witch for growing the beans in the first place ("Your Fault"). Disgusted, the Witch curses them, purposefully throws away the rest of her magic beans, reactivating her mother's curse and making her vanish ("Last Midnight").

The Baker, grieving after his Wife's death, leaves his child with the others and flees. He does not get far before he is visited by his father's spirit, who convinces him to face his responsibilities ("No More").

The Baker returns to the group and helps them plan to kill the Giantess, using Cinderella's bird friends to peck out the Giant's eyes at an area smeared with pitch, where Jack and the Baker can finally deliver a fatal blow. Cinderella confronts her unfaithful Prince, and they take a tearful but necessary good-bye. Little Red returns with the news that her grandmother has been killed by the Giantess as well. Meanwhile, the Baker, perched in a tree with Jack, tells Jack that his mother is dead. Jack vows to kill the steward in revenge, until the Baker convinces him that killing the steward wouldn't benefit anyone. Cinderella comforts Little Red and tries to answer the young girl's qualms that killing the giant makes them no better than she is, while the Baker explains to Jack his inability to say what is really morally correct ("No One Is Alone").

The four remaining characters slay the Giant, and each of the previously deceased characters returns to describe the lesson they learned. The survivors plan to rebuild their lives together, and The Baker's Wife returns (in the form of a spirit) to give her husband one final lesson: tell their child the story of the Woods—actions have consequences, even for future generations. The Baker begins to tell the story, as the Witch appears, leading the company in the show's final moral: to be careful what you pass on to your children. ("Children Will Listen"). All join in on a last reprise of the title song, surmising that we all must venture Into the Woods, but never to forget the past. ("Finale")

Productions

San Diego production, 1986

Into the Woods began at the Old Globe Theatre in San Diego, where it opened on December 4, 1986 and ran for 50 performances. Many of the performers from that production were in the Broadway cast. John Cunningham, who played the Narrator, Wolf and Steward, was replaced by Tom Aldredge, who played the Narrator and Mysterious Man. LuAnne Ponce, who played Little Red Ridinghood, was replaced by Danielle Ferland. Ellen Foley, the Witch, was replaced by Bernadette Peters.

Original Broadway production, 1987

Into the Woods opened on Broadway at the Martin Beck Theatre on November 5, 1987, and closed on September 3, 1989 after 764 performances. It starred Bernadette Peters, Joanna Gleason, Chip Zien, Kim Crosby, Ben Wright, Danielle Ferland, Chuck Wagner, Merle Louise, Tom Aldredge, and Robert Westenberg. The original production won the 1988 New York Drama Critics' Circle Award and the Drama Desk Award for Best Musical, and the original cast recording won a Grammy Award. Joanna Gleason won the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical, and James Lapine (book) and Stephen Sondheim (original score) also won the Tony Award.

Peters left the show after 5 months due to prior commitments and was replaced by Phylicia Rashad, who was later replaced by Nancy Dussault. In 1989, Betsy Joslyn took over for Ms. Dussault, then left to join the national tour, and Ellen Foley returned to the role of the Witch at the end of the run.

Tenth Anniversary benefit performances of this production were held on November 9, 1997 at The Broadway Theatre (New York), with the original cast.[3]

United States tour, 1988

The United States tour began on November 22, 1988 with Cleo Laine playing the Witch, replaced by Betsy Joslyn in May 1989. Rex Robbins played the Narrator and Mysterious Man, Charlotte Rae played Jack's Mother, and the Princes were played by Chuck Wagner and Douglas Sills. The tour played cities around the country, such as Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Los Angeles, California, Atlanta, and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.[4][5]

London production, 1990

The album cover of the London cast recording.

The original London Production opened on September 25, 1990 at the Phoenix Theatre and played until February 23, 1991. It was directed by Richard Jones, choreographed by Anthony Van Laast, and produced by David Mirvish, with costumes by Sue Blane and orchestrations by Jonathan Tunick. It starred Clive Carter, who was nominated for a Laurence Olivier Award. Actress Imelda Staunton portrayed the Baker's Wife and did win an Olivier Award for her performance. Some story aspects and one song that were cut from the original production were added to the London production. The song "Our Little World" was added. This song was a duet sung between the Witch and Rapunzel giving further insight into the care the Witch has for her self-proclaimed daughter and the desire Rapunzel has to see the world outside of her tower.

Television production, 1991

Into the Woods, with the original Broadway cast, was taped in May 1989 and was aired on U.S. public television on March 20, 1991. This version has since been released on DVD.

Melbourne Theatre Company production, 1998

This production played from 17 January 1998 to 21 February 1998 at the Playhouse, Victorian Arts Centre. It starred Rhonda Burchmore, John McTernan, Gina Riley, Lisa McCune, Peter Carroll, Anthony Weigh, Tamsin Carroll and Robert Grubb. [6]

Broadway revival, 2002

A poster for the 2002 Broadway revival.

The 2002 Broadway revival, directed by James Lapine and choreographed by John Carrafa, began previews on April 13, 2002 and opened April 30, 2002 at the Broadhurst Theatre, closing on December 29 after a run of 18 previews and 279 regular performances. It starred Vanessa L. Williams as the Witch, the recorded voice of Judi Dench as the Giant, and cast including John McMartin (Narrator), Stephen DeRosa (the Baker), Gregg Edelman (Cinderella's Prince/Wolf), Christopher Sieber (Rapunzel's Prince/Wolf), and Laura Benanti (Cinderella).

The plot was retooled, with a subplot added involving The Three Little Pigs restored from the earlier San Diego production. Other changes included the addition of the song "Our Little World," a duet between the Witch and Rapunzel that was part of the London production; Jack's cow was a puppet with a live performer inside who dances; "The Last Midnight" was sung by the Witch as a menacing lullaby to the Baker's baby held hostage.[7] There were two Wolves rather than only one, sung by the two performers who also play the Princes, symbolic of their insatiable appetites.

The revival won the Tony Awards for the Best Revival of a Musical and Best Lighting Design.[8]This Broadway revival wardrobe is on display at the Costume World Broadway Collection in South Florida.

London

Revival, 2007

A revival at the Royal Opera House's Linbury Studio in Covent Garden had a limited run from June 14 through June 30, 2007.[9][10] This is the second Sondheim musical to be staged by the company, following 2003's Sweeney Todd.

Regent's Park Open Air Theatre, 2010

The Regent's Park Open Air Theatre production, directed by Timothy Sheader, will be held August 5 to September 11 to conclude their 2010 season.[11]

Catalan production, 2007–2008

Boscos endins was the Catalan adaptation by Joan Vives with the collaboration of Joan Lluís Bozzo. It was first presented by the Theatre Company Dagoll Dagom in Girona at the Festival Temporada Alta on November 22, 2007, and in January it was held at Teatre Victòria, in Avinguda del Paral·lel, Barcelona.[12]

Adaptations

Junior version

The musical has been adapted into a child-friendly version for use by schools, with the second act completely edited out, as well as certain elements from the first. The show is shortened to fit in a 60–80 minute range, and the music transposed into keys that more easily fit young voices.[13]

Film

In October 1994, a reading of a screenplay (written by Lowell Ganz and Babaloo Mandel) was held at the home of director Penny Marshall, with a cast that included Robin Williams as The Baker, Goldie Hawn as The Baker's Wife, Cher as The Witch, Danny DeVito as The Giant, and Roseanne Barr as Jack's Mother. In late 1995, Daily Variety reported that Jim Henson Prods. and Storyline Entertainment would be producing the movie, with director Rob Minkoff. In January 1997, Daily Variety reported that the projected film was put in "turnaround" by Columbia Pictures, still with director Rob Minkoff; that two new songs were written by Sondheim for the film; and that Billy Crystal, Meg Ryan and Susan Sarandon were in talks to star.[14] However, more recent information about Storyline's upcoming projects no longer count the film among them.[15][16]

Casting history

The principal casts of notable productions of Into the Woods

Role Original Broadway production
1987
London production
1990
Broadway revival
2002
London revival
2007
Regent's Park Open Air Theatre production
2010
Witch Bernadette Peters Julia McKenzie Vanessa L. Williams Beverly Klein Hannah Waddingham
Narrator Tom Aldredge Nicholas Parsons John McMartin Gary Waldhorn
Cinderella Kim Crosby Jacqueline Dankworth Laura Benanti Gillian Kirkpatrick Scarlett Strallen
Baker Chip Zien Ian Bartholomew Stephen DeRosa Clive Rowe
Baker's Wife Joanna Gleason Imelda Staunton Kerry O'Malley Anna Francolini
Jack Ben Wright Richard Dempsey Adam Wylie Peter Caulfield
Jack's Mother Barbara Bryne Patsy Rowlands Marylouise Burke Anne Reid
Little Red Ridinghood Danielle Ferland Tessa Burbridge Molly Ephraim Suzanne Toase
Cinderella's Stepmother Joy Franz Ann Howard Pamela Myers Elizabeth Brice
Florinda Kay McClelland Elizabeth Brice Tracy Nicole Chapman Louise Bowden
Lucinda Lauren Mitchell Liza Sadovy Amanda Naughton Lara Pulver
Cinderella's Father Edmund Lyndeck John Rogan Dennis Kelly Martin Nelson
Cinderella's Mother Merle Louise Eunice Gayson[17] Laura Benanti[18]
Mysterious Man Tom Aldredge John Rogan John McMartin Martin Nelson
Wolf Robert Westenberg Clive Carter Gregg Edelman &
Christopher Sieber
Nicholas Garrett
Rapunzel Pamela Winslow Mary Lincoln Melissa Dye Christina Haldane
Rapunzel's Prince Chuck Wagner Mark Tinkler Christopher Sieber Nic Greenshields
Grandmother Merle Louise Eunice Gayson Pamela Myers Linda Hibberd
Cinderella's Prince Robert Westenberg Clive Carter Gregg Edelman Nicholas Garrett
Steward Philip Hoffman Peter Ledbury Trent Armand Kendall Byron Watson
Giant Merle Louise Eunice Gayson Judi Dench (voice) Linda Hibberd
Snow White Jean Louisa Kelly Megan Kelly
Sleeping Beauty Maureen Davis Kate Arneil Jennifer Malenke
Milky White Chad Kimball

Musical numbers

Act I
  • "Prologue: Into the Woods" – Narrator, company (the Prologue is divided into nine parts that can be viewed as individual songs)
  • "Cinderella at the Grave" – Cinderella, Cinderella's Mother
  • "Hello, Little Girl" – Wolf, Little Red Ridinghood
  • "I Guess This Is Goodbye" – Jack
  • "Maybe They're Magic" – Baker's Wife
  • "Our Little World" – Witch, Rapunzel (added during the original London production)
  • "I Know Things Now" – Little Red Ridinghood
  • "A Very Nice Prince" – Cinderella, Baker's Wife
  • "First Midnight" – Company
  • "Giants in the Sky" – Jack
  • "Agony" – Cinderella's Prince, Rapunzel's Prince
  • "A Very Nice Prince" (reprise) – Cinderella, Baker's Wife
  • "It Takes Two" – Baker, Baker's Wife
  • "Second Midnight" – Company
  • "Stay With Me" – Rapunzel, Witch
  • "On the Steps of the Palace" – Cinderella (with Jack and Little Red Ridinghood in 2002 revival)
  • "Ever After" – Narrator, Witch, Florinda, Lucinda and company
Act II
  • "Prologue: So Happy" – Narrator, company
  • "Agony" (reprise) – Cinderella's Prince, Rapunzel's Prince
  • "Witch's Lament" – Witch
  • "Any Moment" – Cinderella's Prince, Baker's Wife
  • "Moments in the Woods" – Baker's Wife
  • "Your Fault" – Jack, Baker, Cinderella, Little Red Ridinghood, Witch
  • "Last Midnight" – Witch
  • "No More" – Baker, Mysterious Man
  • "No One Is Alone" – Cinderella, Little Red Ridinghood, Jack, Baker
  • "Finale: Children Will Listen" – Witch, company

Analysis of book and music

In most productions of Into the Woods, including the original Broadway production, several parts are doubled. Cinderella's Prince and the Wolf, who share the characteristic of being unable to control their appetites, are played by the same actor. Similarly, the Narrator and the Mysterious Man, who share the characteristic of commenting on the story while avoiding any personal involvement or responsibility, are played by the same actor. Granny and Cinderella's Mother, whose characters are both matriarchal characters in the story, are also typically played by the same person, who also gives voice to the nurturing but later murderous Giant's Wife.

The show covers multiple themes: growing up, parents and children, accepting responsibility, morality, and finally, wish fulfillment and its consequences.[19] William A. Henry III wrote that the play's "basic insight... is at heart, most fairy tales are about the loving yet embattled relationship between parents and children. Almost everything that goes wrong—which is to say, almost everything that can—arises from a failure of parental or filial duty, despite the best intentions."[20] Stephen Holden writes that the themes of the show include parent-child relationships and the individual's responsibility to the community. The witch isn't just a scowling old hag but a key symbol of moral ambivalence. James Lapine said that the most unpleasant person (the Witch) would have the truest things to say and the "nicer" people would be less honest. In the Witch's words: "I'm not good; I'm not nice; I'm just right."[21]

The score is also notable in Sondheim's output because of its intricate reworking and development of small musical motifs. In particular, the opening words, "I wish", are set to the interval of a rising major second and this small unit is both repeated and developed throughout the show, just as Lapine's book explores the consequences of self-interest and "wishing." Sondheim also wrote the first act almost completely in iambic meter. This specific meter is abandoned in the second act, a symbol of the abandonment of the traditional fairy tale storyline. The dialogue in the show is characterized by the heavy use of syncopated speech. In many instances, the characters' lines are delivered with a fixed beat that follows natural speech rhythms, but is also purposely composed in eighth, sixteenth, and quarter note rhythms as part of a spoken song. Like many Sondheim/Lapine productions, the songs contain thought-process narrative, where characters converse or think aloud.

Sondheim drew on parts of his troubled childhood when writing the show. In 1987, he told Time magazine that the "father uncomfortable with babies [was] his father, and [the] mother who regrets having had children [was] his mother."[22]

Awards and nominations

Original Broadway production, 1987

Award Category Result
Tony Awards
(1988)
Best Musical Nominated
Best Original Score (Sondheim) Won
Best Actress in a Musical (Gleason) Won
Best Book of a Musical (Lapine) Won
Best Featured Actor in a Musical (Westenberg) Nominated
Best Scenic Design (Straiges) Nominated
Best Costume Design (Hould-Ward) Nominated
Best Lighting Design (Nelson) Nominated
Best Choreography (Lubovitch) Nominated
Best Direction of a Musical Nominated
Drama Desk Awards
(1988)
Outstanding Musical Won
Outstanding Book of a Musical (Lapine) Won
Outstanding Actress in a Musical (Peters) Nominated
Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical (Westenberg) Nominated
Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical (Gleason) Won
Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical (Ferland) Nominated
Outstanding Director of a Musical (Lapine) Nominated
Outstanding Orchestration (Tunick) Nominated
Outstanding Lyrics (Sondheim) Won
Outstanding Music (Sondheim) Nominated
Outstanding Costume Design (Hould-Ward) Nominated
Outstanding Lighting Design (Nelson) Nominated
Outstanding Set Design (Straiges) Nominated
Grammy Awards
(1989)
Best Musical Cast Show Album Won
Theatre World Awards
(1988)
Danielle Ferland[23] Won

London production, 1990

Award Category Result
Laurence Olivier Awards
(1991)
Best New Musical Nominated
Best Director of a Musical (Richard Jones) Won
Best Actress in a Musical (Imelda Staunton) Won
Best Actress in a Musical (Julia McKenzie) Nominated
Best Actor in a Musical (Ian Bartholomew) Nominated
Best Supporting Performance in a Musical (Clive Carter) Nominated
Best Costume Design (Sue Blane) Nominated

Broadway revival, 2002

Award Category Result
Tony Awards
(2002)
Best Revival of a Musical Won
Best Actor in a Musical (McMartin) Nominated
Best Actress in a Musical (Williams) Nominated
Best Featured Actor in a Musical (Edelman) Nominated
Best Featured Actress in a Musical (Benanti) Nominated
Best Scenic Design (Schmidt) Nominated
Best Costume Design (Hilferty) Nominated
Best Lighting Design (MacDevitt) Won
Best Choreography (Carrafa) Nominated
Best Direction of a Musical (Lapine) Nominated
Drama Desk Awards
(2002)
Outstanding Revival of a Musical Won
Outstanding Actress in a Musical (Benanti) Nominated
Outstanding Actress in a Musical (Williams) Nominated
Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical (Edelman) Nominated
Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical (O'Malley) Nominated
Outstanding Director of a Musical (Lapine) Nominated
Outstanding Set Design of a Musical (Schmidt) Won
Outstanding Costume Design (Hilferty) Nominated
Outstanding Sound Design (Schreier) Won

References

  1. ^ Production summary and links
  2. ^ Sondheim, Stephen; James Lapine (1987). Into the Woods. prepared by Tony Esposito, Dave Jessie and Jeff Sultanof (Piano-Vocal Score ed.). Warner Bros. Publications. 
  3. ^ Sondheim Guide Sondheim Guide
  4. ^ Sondheim Guide / Into the Woods
  5. ^ USA TODAY, David Patrick Stearns, January 26, 1989, pg. 4D
  6. ^ [1]
  7. ^ The Washington Post, Nelson Pressley, May 1, 2002, page C1.
  8. ^ 2002 revival production information
  9. ^ Into the Woods at the Royal Opera House
  10. ^ Into the Woods | Theatre story | Guardian Unlimited Arts
  11. ^ http://www.openairtheatre.org/pl117.html 2010 schedule]openairtheatre.org, accessed January 29, 2010
  12. ^ 2007 Catalan production
  13. ^ "Into the Woods Junior". www.mtishows.com. Music Theatre International. http://www.mtishows.com/show_home.asp?ID=000189. 
  14. ^ Michael Fleming, January 23, 1997, Daily Variety
  15. ^ Sondheim Guide / Unproduced Projects
  16. ^ "Zadan and Meron Projects Include Peter Pan TV Movie and New Stage Musical", Aug. 6, 2007
  17. ^ "1990 London Production Cast". The Stephen Sondheim Reference Guide. pp. Into the Woods. http://www.sondheimguide.com/woods.html. Retrieved 2009-01-17. 
  18. ^ Playbill News: Cinderella and Her Mother: Benanti Does Double Duty in Into the Woods ; Prepares Solo CD
  19. ^ Liner Notes, Into the Woods CD, Sheryl Flatow, 1988, RCA Victor 6796-2-RC
  20. ^ Time Magazine, November 16, 1987.
  21. ^ The New York Times, Stephen Holden, November 1, 1987
  22. ^ Henry, William A, III (1987-12-07). "Master of the Musical; Stephen Sondheim Applies a Relentless". Time. http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,966141,00.html. Retrieved 2007-03-19. 
  23. ^ "Theatre World Awards Recipients". www.theatreworldawards.org. Theatre World Internation. http://www.theatreworldawards.org/award.html. Retrieved February 8, 2009. 

External links


Quotes

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Into the Woods is a fairy tale-themed musical by Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine about the experiences of various familiar fairy-tale and fable characters in the woods, as they strive to get their wishes and deal with the consequences of those wishes.

Contents

Narrator

  • Once upon a time...
  • Jack, on the other hand, had no father, and his mother... well, she was not quite beautiful.
  • And scarcely had the wolf said this, than with a single bound he was devouring the little girl. Well, it was a full day of eating for both.
  • And it came to pass all that seemed wrong was now right, and those who deserved to were certain to live a long and happy life. Ever after.
  • Once upon a time... later... in that same far off kingdom...
  • You don't want to live in a world of chaos.

Jack's Mother

  • Slotted spoons don't hold much soup.
  • The slotted spoon can catch the potato!
  • How many times must I tell you? Only 'she's can give milk!
  • Sometimes I fear you're touched!
  • [to Baker's wife] Have you seen a boy with carrot-topped hair and a sunny, though occasionally vague, disposition, answering to the name of Jack?
  • [after the Baker's wife says she has no children] That's okay too.
  • There's a dead giant in my back yard!
  • [to female giant] What about our anger? Do you think it was easy disposing of your husband's remains?
  • [to baker] No one cared when there was a dead giant in my backyard! I don't remember you volunteering to come to my aid.
  • [to jack] Only a dolt would exchange a cow for beans!!
  • To wish and wait will never keep the wolves away.

Jack

  • Milky-White! Now I have two friends: a cow and a harp!
  • I buried her in a footprint.
  • The difference between a cow and a bean is a bean can begin an adventure!
  • I want a friend. And a pet.
  • [After his mother says someday he will have a real pet] A piggy?

Red Riding Hood

  • (incredulously, to Cinderella) You can talk to birds?
  • The prettier the flower, the farther from the path.
  • Into the woods to Grandmother's house
  • Nice is different than good.

Witch

  • The SPECIAL beans!
  • Go to the wood!
  • (appearing during an argument between the Baker and his wife) Who cares?! The cow is gone! Get it back!
  • (hearing Rapunzel sing) Oh, my precious calls to me.
  • (sweetly) Rapunzel, Rapunzel... (Rapunzel continues singing) RAPUNZEL! (strikes Rapunzel's tower with her staff) Let down your hair to me.
  • (to Rapunzel) I was just trying to be a good mother!
  • One midnight gone!
  • The giant's a woman!
  • Sometimes the things you most wish for are not to be touched.
  • Ask a wolf's mother.
  • So Big!
  • (Last Midnight) You're so nice. You're not good, you're not bad, you're just nice. I'm not good, I'm not nice, I'm just right. I'm the Witch! You're the world!

Baker

  • (to Wife) No, you are not to come.
  • (to Wife) Will you please go home!
  • (to Wife) Well... perhaps it will take the two of us to get this child.
  • (gesturing towards Milky-White) Look at her, she's crying!
  • (about his baby) He always cries when I hold him.
  • I will care for him... when he is older.
  • (to Jack) It's a magic that... defies description.
  • (to baby) Once upon a time... in a far-off kingdom... there lived a young maiden, a sad young lad, and a childess baker... with his wife.

Baker's Wife

  • I've never lied to royalty before. I've never anything to royalty before!
  • (to Cinderella's Prince) We can't do this, you have a princess! and I have a... a baker.
  • You may know what you need, but to get what you want, better see that you keep what you have.
  • (to Cinderella) I need that shoe to have a child!

oh these beans are no ordanary beans son.

  • If you know what you want then you go and you find it and you get it.

Cinderella's Prince

  • I was raised to be charming, not sincere.
  • Worrying will do you no good. If he's safe, then he's safe. And if he's been crushed... well, there's nothing we can do about that, is there?
  • I can capture my own damsel, thank you.
  • Rapunzel, Rapunzel. …What kind of a name is that?
  • (to Rapunzel's Prince) It's no sicker than your thing with dwarfs!

Rapunzel's Prince

  • Rapunzel, Rapunzel! What a strange name... Strange, but beautiful and fit for a prince.
  • (when asked if he'd learned Snow White's name) No, there's a dwarf standing guard.
  • Dwarfs are very upsetting.

Cinderella

  • I wish.
  • Opportunity is not a lengthy visitor.

Mysterious Man

  • (to Jack) You'd be lucky to exchange her for a sack of beans!
  • (to Baker) When is a white cow not a white cow?
  • (on different occasions) "When first I appear I seem mysterious, but when explained I'm nothing serious."
"When first I appear I seem delirious, but when explained I'm nothing serious."
"When first I appear I seem deleterious, but when explained I'm nothing serious."
  • No knot unties itself.
  • Every knot was once straight rope.

Songs

PROLOGUE: INTO THE WOODS
Red Riding Hood: And perhaps a sticky bun? Or four?
Red Riding Hood: Never can tell what lies ahead, for all that I know she's already dead. But into the woods!
Jack's Mother: There are bugs on her dugs!
There are flies in her eyes!
There's a lump on her rump big enough to be a hump!
We've no time to sit and dither
While her withers wither with her,
and no one keeps a cow for a friend!
[spoken] Sometimes I fear you're touched!
Red Riding Hood: I have no fear
Nor no one should
The woods are just trees
The trees are just wood
Cinderella: Father said 'be nice',
mother said 'be good'
That was always their advice
So be nice Cinderella, kind Cinderella,
'nice', 'good', 'good', 'nice'!
What's the good of being good
when everyone else is blind
and you're always left behind?
Never mind Cinderella, kind Cinderella,
'nice', 'good', 'nice', 'kind', 'good', 'nice'!
Witch: I let him go, I didn't know he'd stolen my beans!
I was watching him crawl back over the wall when
BANG! CRASH! The lightning flashed! And--
well that's another story, never mind, anyway...
Witch: Your father cried
Your mother died
When for extra measure--
I admit it was a pleasure--
I said, 'Sorry, I'm still not mollified.'
And I laid a little spell on them-- You too, son--
That your family tree
Would always be
A barren one...
Witch: So there's no more fuss
And there's no more scenes
And my garden thrives-
You should see my nectarines
But I'm telling you the same
I tell kings and queens:
Don't never ever ever
Mess around with my greens!
Especially the beans!
Baker's Wife: The cow as white as milk
The cape as red as blood
The hair as yellow as corn
The slipper as pure as gold.
HELLO LITTLE GIRL
Wolf: Hello, little girl, what's your rush
You're missing all the flowers
The sun won't set for hours
Take your time...
Wolf: There's no possible way
To describe how you feel
When you're talking to your meal!
MAYBE THEY’RE REALLY MAGIC'
Baker: (to Wife) Will you please go home!
Baker's Wife: If the thing you do
Is pure in intent,
If it's meant,
And it's just a little bent,
Does it matter?
Baker: Yes.
Baker's Wife: No, what matters is that
Everyone tells tiny lies.
What's important, really, is the size.
I KNOW THINGS NOW
Red Riding Hood: And though scary is exciting
Nice is different than good.
Red Riding Hood: Isn't it nice to know a lot?
And a little bit... not.
AGONY
Rapunzel's Prince: You know nothing of madness 'til you're climbing her hair...
Rapunzel's Prince: Agony! Far more painful than yours!
When you know she would go with you,
If there only were doors.
Cinderella's Prince: It's no sicker than your thing with dwarves.
Rapunzel's Prince: Dwarfs!
Cinderella's Prince: Dwarfs?
Rapunzel's Prince: Dwarfs are very upsetting
Cinderella's Prince & Rapunzel's Prince: Agony!
Cinderella's Prince: Misery!
Rapunzel's Prince: Woe!
Cinderella's Prince & Rapunzel's Prince: Though it’s different for each.
Cinderella's Prince: Always ten steps behind!
Rapunzel's Prince: Always ten feet below!
Both: ...and she's just out of reach!
VERY NICE PRINCE
Baker's Wife: And-? The Prince-?
Cinderella: Oh, the Prince...
Baker's Wife: Yes, the Prince!
Cinderella: Well, he's tall.
Baker's Wife: Is that all?
FIRST MIDNIGHT
Mysterious Man: No knot unties itself.
Witch: Sometimes the things you most wish for are not to be touched.
Jack: The difference between a cow and a bean is a bean can begin an adventure!
Jack's Mother: Slotted spoons don't hold much soup.
Red Riding Hood: The prettier the flower, the farther from the path.
Witch: One midnight gone!
Baker's Wife: You may know what you need, but to get what you want, better see that you keep what you have.
IT TAKES TWO
Baker: It takes one to begin but then once you've begun
It takes two of you
It's no fun
But what needs to be done you can do
When there's two of you
If I dare
It's because I'm becoming aware of us
As a pair of us
It's accepting a share of what's there
Baker & Wife:
It takes just a bit more and we're done
We want four, we had none
We've got three, we need one
It takes two
GIANTS IN THE SKY
Jack: There are giants in the sky
There are big tall, terrible,
Awesome, scary, wonderful giants
In the sky!
STAY WITH ME
Witch: Princes wait there in the world, it's true. Princes, yes, but wolves and humans, too.
ON THE STEPS OF THE PALACE
Cinderella: Now it's he and not you
Who is stuck with a shoe,
In a stew... in the goo,
And you've learned something, too,
Something you never knew,
On the steps of the palace!"
EVER AFTER
Narrator: And it came to pass all that seemed wrong was now right, and those who deserved to were certain to live a long and happy life. Ever after.
ACT II PROLOGUE
AGONY (REPRISE)
WITCH’S LAMENT
Witch: This is the world I meant
Couldn't you listen?
Witch: How could I, who loved you as you were?
How could I have shielded you from her
Or them...
Witch: No matter what you say, Children won't listen.
Witch: Children can only grow
From something you love
To something you lose...
ANY MOMENT
Cinderella's Prince: Anything can happen in the woods
May I kiss you?
Any moment we could be crushed
Don't feel rushed
Baker's Wife: This is ridiculous, what am I doing here? I'm in the wrong story!
Cinderella's Prince: Best to take the moment present
As a present for the moment
MOMENTS IN THE WOODS
Baker's Wife: Oh, if life were made of moments
Even now and then, a bad one


But if life were only moments
Then you'd never know you had one

YOUR FAULT
Red Riding Hood: See, it's your fault.
Jack: No!
Baker: So it's you fault...
Jack: No!
Red Riding Hood: Yes, it is!
Jack: It's not!
Baker: It's true.
Jack: Wait a minute-
But I only stole the gold
To get my cow back from you!
Red Riding Hood: [To Baker] So it's your fault!
Witch: It's your father's fault that the curse got placed
and the place got cursed in the first place.
Jack: Well, who had the other bean?
Baker: The other bean?
Cinderella: The other bean?
Jack: [To Baker] You pocketed the other bean.
Baker: I didn't! [realizing] Yes I did.
Cinderella, Jack, Baker, Red Riding Hood: You're responsible!

You're the one to blame! It's your fault!

THE LAST MIDNIGHT
Witch: You're so nice. You're not good; you're not bad; you're just nice.
I'm not good. I'm not nice. I'm just right.
I'm the witch; you're the world!
Witch: It's the last midnight.
It's the last verse.
Now, before it's past midnight,
I'm leaving you my last curse:
I'm leaving you alone.
You can tend the garden, it's yours.
NO MORE
Mysterious Man: We disappoint, we disappear
we die, but we don't.
They disappoint in turn, I fear
Forgive, though they won't.
Baker: No more riddles.
No more jests.
No more curses you can't undo
Left by fathers you never knew
No more quests.
No more feelings.
Time to shut the door.
Just- no more.
Mysterious Man: Trouble is, son
The farther you run
The more you feel un-defined
For what you have left undone
And more, what you've left behind
NO ONE IS ALONE
Cinderella: Just remember:
Baker: [Echo] Just remember:
Both: Someone is on your side
Jack, Red: Our side
Baker, Cinderella: Our side--
Someone else is not
While we're seeing our side
Jack, Red: Our side..
Baker, Cinderella: Our side--
All: Maybe we forgot:
They are not alone.
No one is alone.
Cinderella: Hard to see the light now.
Baker: Just don't let it go
Both: Things will come out right now.
We can make it so.
FINALE: CHILDREN WILL LISTEN
Jack's Mother: The slotted spoon can catch the potato
Mysterious Man: Every knot was once straight rope.
Baker: [to baby] Once upon a time... in a far-off kingdom... lived a young maiden, a sad young lad, and a baker... with his wife.
Witch: Careful the things you say, Children will listen
Witch: Children may not obey but children will listen.

Dialogue

Jack's Mother: "You foolish child! What in heaven's name are you doing with a cow inside the house?"
Jack: "A warm environment might just be what Milky-White needs to produce his milk!"
Jack's Mother: "It's a she! How many times do I have to tell you? Only shes can give milk!"

Baker: "No, no, the spell is on my house. Only I can lift the spell, the spell is on my house."
Baker's Wife: "No, no, the spell is on our house. We must lift the spell together, the spell is on our house."

Jack's Mother: "You be careful with your children."
Baker's Wife: "I have no children."
Jack's Mother:(Staring off into space) "That's okay, too."

Rapunzel's Prince: "I stand beneath her tower and say, 'Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your hair to me.' And she lowers the longest, most beautiful head of hair - yellow as corn - which I climb to her."
Cinderella's Prince: "Rapunzel, Rapunzel... What kind of a name is that? You jest!"

Baker's Wife: "I need your shoe to have a child!"
Cinderella:(puzzled) "Well, that makes no sense."

Baker's Wife: "These are no ordinary beans, son. These beans carry magic."
Jack: "What kind of magic?"
Baker's Wife: (to Baker) "Tell him."
Baker: (nervous and confused) "Magic that... (after long thought)... defies description!"

Baker's Wife: "I see you've the red cape."
Baker: "Yes, only two more items left to locate."
Wife: "Three."
Baker: "Two. I've the cape and the cow."
Wife: "You've the cape!"
Baker: "WHAT HAVE YOU DONE WITH THE COW?!"

Jack: "What a beautiful cape!"
Red Riding Hood: (pulls out a knife & points it at Jack) "Stay away from my cape or I'll slice you into a thousand bits!"
Jack: "I don't want it, I was just admiring it!"
Red Riding Hood: "My granny made it for me from a wolf that attacked us. I got to skin the animal. And best of all, she gave me this beautiful knife for protection."
Jack: "Well, look what I have: a hen that lays golden eggs."
Red Riding Hood: "I don't believe that egg came from that hen. Where did you get that egg?"
Jack: "From the kingdom up in the sky. And if you think this is something, you should see the golden harp the giant has. It plays the most beatuiful tunes without your even having to touch it."
Red Riding Hood:(Sarcasticly) "Of course it does. Why don't you go up to the kingdom right now and bring it back and show me?"
Jack: "I suppose I could."
Red Riding Hood: "You could not!"
Jack: "I could!"
Red Riding Hood: "You could not, Mr. Liar!"
Jack: "I'm not a liar! I'll get that harp, you'll see!"

Narrator: "It is interesting to examine the moral issue at question here. The finality of stories such as these dictates..."
(he looks upstage and notices everyone staring at him; he advances toward them)
Narrator: "Sorry, I only tell the story. I'm not part of it."
Red Riding Hood: "That's right."
Witch: "Not one of us."
Baker: "You're always on the outside."
Narrator: "Well, that's my role! You must understand, there must always be someone on the outside!"
Steward: "Well, you're going to be on the inside now."
Narrator: "You're making a big mistake!"
Stepmother: "Nonsense."
Narrator: "You need an objective observer to pass the story along!"
Witch: "Some of us don't like the way you've been telling it."
Narrator: "If you drag me into this mess, you won't know how the story ends! You'll be lost!"
Baker: "Wait! He's the only one who knows the story."
Narrator: "Do you think it'll be much fun having to finish it yourselves? Think of your baby."
Baker's Wife: "He's right. (to Red Riding Hood) You put that away."
(Red Riding Hood puts her knife away)
Narrator: "Now that's better. You don't want to live in a world of chaos. There must always be..."
Witch: "Here's the lad!" (throws the Narrator offstage)
Narrator: "I'm not the lad!"
Giant: "This is not the lad!"
Baker: "Don't drop!"
(we hear a squish, indicating that the Narrator has been killed by the Giant)
Baker: "Why did you push him into her arms?"
Witch: "You wanted to get rid of him, too."
Baker's Wife: "We might have thought of something else."
Witch: "If it were up to you, a decision would have never been made."
Red Riding Hood: "Well, now that he's gone, we'll never know what'll happen next."
Baker's Wife: "We'll manage."

Baker: "We had a cow as white as milk, honestly we did!"
Witch: "Then where is she?"
Wife: "She's dead."
Baker: "We thought you'd prefer a live cow."
Witch: "Of course I'd prefer a live cow. So bring me the dead cow and I'll bring her back to life!"
Baker: "You can do that?"
Witch: (pauses, then yells) Go!"

(Rapunzel comes in, screaming hysterically)
Witch: "What's the matter?"
Rapunzel: (stops and speaks very calmly) "Oh... nothing. You just locked me in a tower without company for fourteen years, then blinded my prince and banished me to a desert where I had little to eat and again no company...and then bore twins! Because of the way you treated me, I'll never, never be happy!"
Witch: "I was just trying to be a good mother."

Granny: No! Let the animal die a slow, painful, agonizing death!
Little Red Riding Hood: (startled) Grandmother!
Granny: Oh hush child! (excitedly) Now, you go get some great stones, we'll fill his belly with them, and then we'll watch him try to run away!

Baker's Wife: (to Baker, referring to Little Red Riding Hood) Well, there's no use frightening the poor thing.
Baker: You can't frighten her.

Baker: (directed towards Cinderella) You look just like the princess...only dirty. You are the princess!

Jack: Wait till my mother hears that I've slayed the giant.
Baker: Jack, your mother's dead.
Jack: (shocked) Dead? Was she killed by the giant?
Baker: She was arguing with the giant, trying to protect you, and she struck a deadly blow by the Prince's Steward.
Jack: Why would he do such a thing?
Baker: He thought she was provoking the giant, trying to get us all killed.
Jack: Nobody can bring her back to life?
Baker: Nobody.
Jack: (with hostility) That Steward will pay for this. After we've slayed the giant, I will slay him, too.
Baker: (also with hostility) You will do no such thing!
Jack: But he shouldn't have killed my mother, right?
Baker: I guess not.
Jack: He must die.
Baker: Well, no.
Jack: Why not?
Baker: Because that would be wrong.
Jack: But what he did was wrong. He should be punished.
Baker: And he will be, somehow.
Jack: How?
Baker: I don't know! Stop asking me questions that I can't answer!
Jack: I'm gonna kill him!
Baker: Then kill him! (pause; calms down) No, don't kill him.

Other Quotes

  • "I wish..." (Opening and closing lines of the play)
  • All: "Into the woods, and out of the woods, and home before dark!"
  • "One midnight gone!"
  • All: "Careful the things you say... children will listen."
  • Steward: (to Mysterious Man) Shut up.

Cast

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