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Into the Woods

Into the Woods blends various familiar fairy tales with an original story of a childless Baker and his Wife, who catalyze the action of the story by attempting to reverse a curse on their family in order to have a child.

In the first act, the characters set out to achieve their goal of living "Happily Ever After" through familiar routes - Cinderella goes to the Ball and captures the heart of Prince Charming, Jack climbs the Beanstalk and finds a land of Giants and Gold, Little Red Riding Hood survives her clash with the wolf at Grandma's house, and Rapunzel manages to escape her tower with the aid of a handsome prince who climbs her long hair. The Baker and his Wife move through their stories while pursuing their own goal - the witch who keeps Rapunzel (revealed to be the Baker's sister) has put the curse on his house, and agrees to lift it if the Baker and his Wife can find the ingredients to help her reverse a spell which her mother has laid on her, keeping her old and ugly. Those ingredients are: A Slipper As Pure As Gold, which the Baker's wife gets from Cinderella, A Cow As White As Milk, which the Baker buys from Jack in exchange for the fateful magic beans, A Cape As Red As Blood, which the Baker gets from Little Red Riding Hood in exchange for freeing her and Granny from the Wolf, and Hair As Yellow As Corn, which they get from Rapunzel. The ingredients are gathered, and the spell works, stripping the Witch of her power, but restoring her beauty. At the end of Act I, all characters seem poised to live "Happily Ever After".

Act Two, however, deals with the consequences that traditional fairy tales conveniently ignore. What does one do with a dead Giant in the back yard? Does marrying a Prince really lead to a happy and fulfilling life? Is carving up the wolf the solution? Is the Giant always wrong? In Act Two, all the characters must deal with what happens AFTER "Happily Ever After". As they face a genuine threat to their community, they realize that all actions have consequences, and their lives are inescapably interdependent, but also that that interdependence is their greatest strength.

- June Abernathy

Show Data

Original Broadway Production:

Opened November 5, 1987
Ran 764 Performances
Theatre Martin Beck Theatre
Music Stephen Sondheim
Lyrics Stephen Sondheim
Book James Lapine
Producer Heidi Landesman
  Rocco Landesman
  Rick Steiner
M. Anthony Fisher
  Frederic H Mayerson
Jujamcyn Theaters
Executive Producer Michael David
Associate Producers Greg C Mosher
  Paula Fisher
  David B Brode
  The Mutual Benefit Companies
  Fifth Avenue Productions
Director James Lapine
Set Designer Tony Straiges
Lighting Richard Nelson
Costumes Ann Hould-Ward
  Patricia Zipprodt
Magic Consultant Charles Reynolds
Sound Alan Stieb
  James Brousseau
Hair Design Phyllis Della Illien
Casting Joanna Merlin
General Manager David Strong Warner, Inc
Musical Staging Lar Lubovitch
Orchestrations Jonathan Tunick
Musical Direction Paul Gemignani
Originally Produced Old Globe Theater

Original Broadway Cast:

Tom Aldredge
Cinderella Kim Crosby
Jack Ben Wright
Baker Chip Zien
Baker's Wife Joanna Gleason
Cinderella's Stepmother Joy Franz
Florinda Kay McClelland
Lucinda Lauren Mitchell
Jack's Mother Barbara Bryne
Little Red Danielle Ferland
Witch Bernadette Peters
Cinderella's Father Edmund Lyndeck
Cinderella's Mother Merle Louise
Mysterious Man Tom Aldredge
Wolf Robert Westenberg
Rapunzel Pamela Winslow
Rapunzel's Prince Chuck Wagner
Grandmother Merle Louise
Cinderella's Prince Robert Westenberg
Steward Philip Hoffman
Giant Merle Louise
Snow White Jean Kelly
Sleeping Beauty Maureen Davis

Musical Numbers:

  1. Prologue: Into the Woods
  2. Cinderella at the Grave
  3. Hello, Little Girl
  4. Guess This Is Goodbye
  5. Maybe They're Magic
  6. I Know Things Now
  7. A Very Nice Prince
  8. First Midnight
  9. Giants in the Sky
  10. Agony
  11. It Takes Two
  12. Stay With Me
  13. On the Steps of the Palace
  14. Ever After
  15. Prologue: So Happy
  16. Agony
  17. Lament
  18. Any Moment
  19. Moments in the Woods
  20. Your Fault
  21. Last Midnight

Original London Production:

September 25, 1990
Theatre Phoenix Theatre
Music Stephen Sondheim
Lyrics Stephen Sondheim
Book James Lapine
Producer David Mirvish
General Manager Andrew Leigh
Director Richard Jones
Set Designer Richard Hudson
Costumes Sue Blane
Choreography Anthony Van Laast
Orchestrations Jonathan Tunick
Musical Director Peter Stanger
Musical Supervisor Martin Koch
Lighting Pat Collins
Magic Kovari
Sound Andrew Bruce

Original London Production: Added Songs:

  1. Our Little World


  1. Original Broadway Cast DVD, 1990 (Image Entertainment)
  2. Original Broadway Cast VHS, 1990 (Image Entertainment)
  3. Original Broadway Cast CD, 1987 (RCA Victor, 6796-2-RC)
  4. Original London Cast CD, 1990 (RCA Victor, 60752-2-RC)


1987 Tony Awards - 9 nominations, 3 wins:

  1. Best Score (Stephen Sondheim)
  2. Best Book (James Lapine)
  3. Best Actress in a Musical (Joanna Gleason)

1997 Drama Desk Award

  1. Best Musical
  2. Best Lyrics (Stephen Sondheim)
  3. Best Book for a Musical (James Lapine)
  4. Featured Actor in a Musical (Robert Westenberg)
  5. Featured Actress in a Musical (Joanna Gleason)

New York Drama Critics Circle Award

  1. Best Musical

Secondary performance rights handled by Music Theatre International

Articles: 1.

Discuss this show in's community forum: Finishing the Chat... ››



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“I found [the Sondheim Celebration's Company] to be completely delightful. Almost all of the numbers excited and energized me, and most of the scenes were about as pitch-perfect as you can get. I just sat there with a big smile on my face the whole show.

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