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Into the Woods

Classic fairy tales (Cinderella, Jack and the Beanstalk, Little Red Ridinghood and others) are woven with the tale of a Baker and his Wife, who seek to break a spell of childlessness laid upon them by a crabby Witch. In Act One, a farcical, hilarious romp, the characters plot to get their wishes by whatever means necessary. All seems rosy until Act Two, when a furious Giantess arrives by beanstalk to seek revenge for her husband, whom Jack killed. Events turn serious as the characters learn about community responsibilities, the penalties of greed and the consequences of their actions.
Opened 11/5/1987 Ran for 764 performances.          

Version:     National Tour Version      
Credits:     Book by James Lapine

Music by Stephen Sondheim

Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim

Based on Classic Fairy Tale      
Type:     Book Show      
Acts:     Two      
Rating:     PG      
Cast Size:     Medium (11-20)      
Orchestra Size:     Medium (12-17)      
Chorus Required:     small     
Dancing Required:     Yes, but minimal/optional     
Difficulty:     Challenging to learn
Challenging to sing      
Style:     Broadway      
Category:     Comedy
Drama      
Ideal For:     Colleges
Community Theatres
Families
Regional Theatres
Young People
High Schools
Festivals
Concerts
Fund-Raising      
Cast Size:     Medium (11-20)     
     6 Men & 1 Women      
Casting Notes:     Includes older role(s)
Star vehicle - female
Children in cast     
Characters:     The Baker, harried and insecure; baritone (A - high G)
The Baker's Wife, determined and bright; mezzo (G - high F)
The Witch, sarcastic, ugly-then-gorgeous; mezzo (low F - high F)
Narrator, intellectual and pleasant, baritone (G - high E)
Jack, the feckless Giant Killer, almost a man; tenor (A - high G)
Jack's Mother, browbeating and weary; soprano (B - high F-sharp)
Cinderella, earnest, warm-hearted; soprano (G - high G)
Little Red Ridinghood, a spoiled smart aleck; mezzo (B - high F)
Rapunzel, a loopy-but-lovely maiden; soprano (C - high A-sharp)
Cinderella's Prince, vain and gorgeous; baritone (B - high F)
Rapunzel's Prince, just as vain and gorgeous; baritone (C-sharp - high E)
Mysterious Man, a mischievous vagrant; baritone (G - high E-flat)
Wolf, hungry and insatiable; baritone (B - high G-flat)
Stepmother, mean-spirited; mezzo (A-sharp - high F)
Florinda, Cinderella's stepsister, lovely but black of heart; mezzo (C - high E)
Lucinda, Cinderella's stepsister, lovely but black of heart; mezzo (C - high E)
Granny, Red's fiesty, savage grandmother
Steward, surly and bureaucratic

Cinderella's Mother, her drunken Father and the voice of The Giant's Wife. Also: brief cameos by Snow White & Sleeping Beauty (Optional; they were cut from the national tour)

Traditional doubling:
Cinderella's Mother/Granny/The Giant's Wife
Narrator/Mysterious Man or Mysterious Man/Cinderella's Father
Cinderella's Prince/Wolf      
Special Requirements:     A simple unit woodsy" set, used creatively, is really all that's required. Special prop pieces include a false cow that can "die"."     




Into the Woods
PROLOGUE: INTO THE WOODS

NARRATOR
Once upon a time,

CINDERELLA
I wish...

NARRATOR
In a far-off kingdom,

CINDERELLA
More than anything...

NARRATOR
Lived a fair young maiden,

CINDERELLA
More than life...

NARRATOR
A sad young lad,

CINDERELLA
More than jewels...

JACK
I wish...

NARRATOR
And a childless baker,

JACK
More than life...

BAKER&WIFE
I wish...

NARRATOR
With his wife.

JACK
More than anything...

ALL THREE
More than the moon...

CINDERELLA
The King is giving a Festival.

BAKER&WIFE
More than life...

JACK
I wish...

CINDERELLA
I wish to go to the Festival.

BAKER
More than riches...

CINDERELLA
And the ball...

JACK
I wish my cow would give us some milk...

CINDERELLA&JACK
More than anything...

BAKER
I wish we had a child...

JACK
Please, pal; squeeze pal...
BAKER'S WIFE
I want a child...

CINDERELLA
I wish to go to the Festival...

JACK
I wish you'd give us some milk, or even cheese...

BAKER&WIFE
I wish we might have a child.
I wish...
(Cinderella's Stepmother and stepsisters, Florinda and Lucinda, enter.)

STEPMOTHER
(to Cinderella)
You wish to go to the festival?

NARRATOR
The poor girl's mother had died,

STEPMOTHER
You, Cinderella, the Festival?
You wish to go to the Festival?

FLORINDA
What, you, Cinderella, the Festival?
The Festival?!

LUCINDA
What, you wish to go to the Festival?

ALL THREE
The Festival?
The King's Festival!?

NARRATOR
and her father had taken for his new wife

STEPMOTHER
The Festival...

NARRATOR
a woman with two daughters of her own.

FLORINDA
(to Cinderella)
Look at your nails!

LUCINDA
Look at your dress!

STEPMOTHER
People would laugh at you--

CINDERELLA
Nevertheless,
I still want to go to the Festival and dance before the Prince.

STEPMOTHER&STEPSISTERS
She still wants to go to the Festival and dance before the Prince?!

NARRATOR
All three were beautiful of face, but vile and black of heart.
Jack, on the other hand, had no father, and his mother--

JACK'S MOTHER
I wish...

NARRATOR
Well, she was not quite beautiful--

JACK'S MOTHER
I wish my son were not a fool.
I wish my house was not a mess.
I wish the cow was full of milk.
I wish the walls were full of gold--
I wish a lot of things...

(There are two knocks on the Baker's door; it is Little Red Ridinghood.)

BAKER'S WIFE
Why, come in, little girl.

LITTLE RED RIDINGHOOD
I wish...
It's not for me, it's for my Granny in the woods. A loaf of bread, please--
To bring my poor old hungry Granny in the woods...
Just a loaf of bread, please...
(The Baker gives her the bread.)

NARRATOR
Cinderella's Stepmother had a surprise for her.
(Stepmother throws a pot of lentils into the fireplace.)

STEPMOTHER
I have emptied a pot of lentils into the ashes for you. If you have picked them out again in two hours' time, you shall go to the ball with us.
(Stepmother and stepsisters leave.)

LITTLE RED RIDINGHOOD
And perhaps a sticky bun?...Or four?...

CINDERELLA
Birds in the sky, birds in the eaves, in the leaves, in the fields, in the castles and ponds...

LITTLE RED RIDINGHOOD
And a few of those pies...please...

CINDERELLA
Come, little birds, down from the eaves, and the leaves, over fields, out of castles and ponds...

JACK
No, squeeze, pal...

CINDERELLA
Ahhh...
(Birds descend.)
Quick, little birds, flick through the ashes.
Pick and peck, but swiftly, sift through the ashes, into the pot...
(Birds start picking at the lentils and dropping them into the pot.)

JACK'S MOTHER
Listen well, son. Milky-White must be taken to market.

JACK
But, mother, no--he's the best cow--

JACK'S MOTHER
Look at her. 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--

JACK
But--

JACK'S MOTHER
Son, we've had no time to sit and dither, while her withers wither with her--
And no one keeps a cow for a friend! Sometimes I fear you're touched.

LITTLE RED RIDINGHOOD
(to the Baker and his Wife)
Into the woods, it's time to go. I hate to leave; I have to, though.
Into the woods--It's time, and so I must begin my journey.

Into the woods and through the trees to where I am expected, ma'am,
Into the woods to Grandmother's house--
Into the woods to Grandmother's house--

BAKER'S WIFE
You're certain of your way?

LITTLE RED RIDINGHOOD
The way is clear, the light is good. I have no fear, nor no one should.
The woods are just trees. The trees are just wood.
I sort of hate to ask it, but do you have a basket?

Into the woods and down the dell; the path is straight, I know it well.
Into the woods, and who can tell what's waiting on the journey?

Into the woods to bring some bread to Granny who is sick in bed.
Never can tell what lies ahead. For all that I know, she's already dead.

But into the woods, into the woods, into the woods to Grandmother's house and home before dark!

CINDERELLA
Fly, birds: back to the sky, back to the eaves and the leaves and the fields and the--
(The stepsisters enter, dressed for the ball.)

FLORINDA
Hurry up and do my hair, Cinderella!
(to Lucinda, as Cinderella fusses with her hair)
Are you really wearing that?

LUCINDA
(pointing to her sleeves)
Here, I found a little tear, Cinderella.
(to Florinda, eyeing her hair)
Can't you hide it with a hat?

CINDERELLA
You look beautiful.

FLORINDA
I know.

LUCINDA
She means me.

FLORINDA
(to Cinderella)
Put it in a twist.

LUCINDA
Who will be there?...
(She and Florinda continue babbling underneath.)

CINDERELLA
Mother said to be good; Father said to be nice; that was their advice.
So be nice, Cinderella. Good, Cinderella. Nice good good nice--

FLORINDA
Tighter!

CINDERELLA
What's the good of being good if everyone is blind and you're always left behind?
Nevermind, Cinderella. Kind Cinderella--
(accenting each word with a twist of a strand of hair)
Nice good nice kind good nice--

FLORINDA
(screaming, slapping Cinderella)
Not that tight!

CINDERELLA
Sorry.

FLORINDA
Clod.

(There is a knock on the Baker's door.)

BAKER'S WIFE
Who might that be?

BAKER
It's the Witch from next door.
(He opens the door; the Witch enters.)

NARRATOR
The old enchantress told the couple she had placed a spell on their house.

BAKER
What spell?

WITCH
In the past, when your mother was with child, she developed an unusual appetite. She took one look at my beautiful garden and told your father that what she wanted more then anything was
Greens, greens and nothing but greens: parsley, peppers, cabbages and celery,
Asparagus and watercress and fiddleferns and lettuce--!

He said, "all right," but it wasn't quite, 'cause I caught him in the autumn in my garden one night!
He was robbing me, raping me, rooting through my rutabaga, raiding my arugula and Ripping up the rampion (My champion! My favorite!)--I should have laid a spell on him right there.
Could have turned him into stone or a dog or a chair...
But I let him have the rampion--I'd lots to spare. In return, however, I said, "Fair is fair: You can let me have the baby that your wife will bear. And we'll call it square."

BAKER
I had a brother?

WITCH
No. But you had a sister.

NARRATOR
But the Witch refused to tell him any more of his sister. Not even that her name was Rapunzel.

WITCH
I thought I had been more than reasonable.
But how was I to know what your father had also hidden in his pocket?!

BAKER
What?

WITCH
Beans.

BAKER&WIFE
Beans?

WITCH
The special beans! I let him go, I didn't know he'd stolen my beans!
I was watching him crawl back over the wall--!
And then bang! Crash! And the lightning flash! And--well, that's another story, never mind--
Anyway, at last the big day came, and I made my claim.
"Oh, don't take away the baby," they shrieked and screeched.
But I did, and I hid her where she'll never be reached.
And your father cried, and 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 will always be a barren one...
(She rises in her chair, laughing as she goes.)
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 ever never ever mess around with my greens! Especially the beans.

(Jack puts his cap and coat on.)

JACK'S MOTHER
Now listen to me, Jack. Lead Milky-White to market and fetch the best price you can.
Are you listening to me?
Jack Jack Jack, head in a sack, the house is getting colder, this is not a time for dreaming.
Chimney stack starting to crack, the mice are getting bolder, the floor's gone slack,
Your mother's getting older, your father's not back,
And you can't just sit here dreaming pretty dreams.
To wish and wait from day to day will never keep the wolves away.

So into the woods, the time is now. We have to live, I don't care how.
Into the woods to sell the cow, you must begin the journey.
Straight into the woods and don't delay--we have to face the marketplace.
Into the woods to journey's end--

JACK
(leading Milky-White out)
Into the woods to sell a friend--

NARRATOR
Meanwhile, the Witch, for purposes of her own, explained how the Baker might lift the spell:

WITCH
You wish to have the curse reversed I'll need a certain potion first. Go to the wood and bring me back
One: the cow as white as milk, Two: the cape as red as blood,
Three: the hair as yellow as corn, Four: the slipper as pure as gold.
Bring me these before the chime of midnight in three days' time,
And you shall have, I guarantee, a child as perfect as child can be. Go to the wood!
(She disappears.)

STEPMOTHER
(to stepsisters)
Ladies. Our carriage awaits.
(Cinderella hands her the plate of lentils.)

CINDERELLA
Now may I go to the festival?

STEPMOTHER
The Festival--! Darling, those nails! Darling, those clothes! Lentils are one thing but Darling, with those, you'd make us the fools of the Festival and mortify the Prince!
(Cinderella's Father sticks his head through the door.)

CINDERELLA'S FATHER
The carriage is waiting.

STEPMOTHER
We must be gone.
(They go out with a flourish.)

CINDERELLA
Good night, Father. I wish..
(She sits dejected, crying.)

BAKER
Look what I found in father's hunting jacket.

BAKER'S WIFE
Six beans. We'll take them with us.

BAKER
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.

BAKER
No. You are not to come and that is final.
Now what am I to return with?

BAKER'S WIFE
You don't remember?
The cow as white as milk, the cape as red as blood,
The hair as yellow as corn, the slipper as pure as gold--

BAKER
(memorizing)
The cow as white as milk, the cape as red as blood,
The hair as yellow as corn, the slipper as pure as gold...

NARRATOR
And so the Baker, reluctantly, set off to meet the enchantress' demands. As for Cinderella:

CINDERELLA
I still wish to go to the Festival,
But how am I ever to get to the Festival?

BAKER
The cow as white as milk, the cape as red as blood, the hair as yellow as corn--

CINDERELLA
I know! I'll visit my Mother's grave,
The grave at the hazel tree, and tell her I just want to go to the King's Festival...

BAKER'S WIFE
The slipper--

BAKER
The slipper as pure as gold...The cow, the cape, the slipper as pure as gold--

BAKER'S WIFE
The hair--!

CINDERELLA&BAKER
Into the woods, it's time to go; it may be all in vain, you/I know.
Into the woods--but even so, I have to take the journey.
(add Wife)
Into the woods, the path is straight, you know it well, but who can tell--

BAKER&WIFE
Into the woods to lift the spell--

CINDERELLA
Into the woods to visit Mother--

BAKER'S WIFE
Into the woods to fetch the things--

BAKER
To make the potion--

CINDERELLA
To go to the festival--

CINDERELLA, JACK, JACK'S MOTHER, BAKER, WIFE
Into the woods without regret; the choice is made, the task is set.
Into the woods, but not forgetting why I'm on the journey.
(add Little Red Ridinghood)
Into the woods to get my wish, I don't care how, the time is now.

JACK'S MOTHER
Into the woods to sell the cow--

JACK
Into the woods to get the money--

BAKER'S WIFE
Into the woods to lift the spell--

BAKER
To make the potion--

CINDERELLA
To go to the Festival--

LITTLE RED RIDINGHOOD
Into the woods to Grandmother's house...Into the woods to Grandmother's house...

ALL
The way is clear, the light is good; I have no fear, nor no one should.
The woods are just trees, the trees are just wood. No need to be afraid there--

CINDERELLA&BAKER
There's something in the glade there...

(Cinderella's Father, Stepmother, and stepsisters are seen riding in their carriage.)

ALL
Into the woods without delay, but careful not to lose the way.
Into the woods, who knows what may be lurking on the journey?
Into the woods to get the thing that makes it worth the journeying.
Into the woods--

STEPMOTHER&STEPSISTERS
To see the King--

JACK&MOTHER
To sell the cow--

BAKER&WIFE
To make the potion--

ALL
(variously)
To see--
To sell--
To get--
To bring--
To make--
To lift--
To go to the Festival--!
Into the woods!
Into the woods!
Into the woods,
Then out of the woods
And home before dark!


CINDERELLA AT THE GRAVE

NARRATOR
Cinderella had planted a branch at the grave of her Mother,
And her tears watered it until it had become a handsome tree.

CINDERELLA
I've been good and I've been kind, Mother. Doing what I learned from you.
Why then am I left behind, Mother, is there something more that I should do?
What is wrong with me, Mother? Something must be wrong. I wish...

(The ghost of Cinderella's Mother appears within the tree.)

CINDERELLA'S MOTHER
Do you know what you wish? Are you certain what you wish is what you want?
If you know what you want, then make a wish. Ask the tree, and you shall have your wish.
(The image disappears.)

CINDERELLA
Shiver and quiver, little tree, silver and gold throw down on me.
(A white and silver dress and gold slippers drop down from the tree.)
I'm off to get my wish...


HELLO, LITTLE GIRL

WOLF
Good day, young lady.

LITTLE RED RIDINGHOOD
Good day, Mr. Wolf.

WOLF
(grunts lasciviously as he watches Little Red Ridinghood skip about)
Mmm...Unhh...
Look at that flesh, pink and plump. Hello, little girl...
Tender and fresh, not one lump. Hello, little girl...
This one's especially lush, delicious...mmm...
(smacks his lips, then runs over and pops up in front of Little Red Ridinghood)
Hello, little girl, what's your rush?
You're missing all the flowers. The sun won't set for hours, take your time.

LITTLE RED RIDINGHOOD
Mother said, "Straight ahead," not to delay or be misled.

WOLF
But slow, little girl, hark! and hush--The birds are singing sweetly.
You'll miss the birds completely, you're traveling so fleetly.
(devours her with his eyes, mutters to himself)
Grandmother first, then Miss Plump...What a delectable couple:
Utter perfection--one brittle, one supple--
(sees Little Red Ridinghood start to move off)
One moment, my dear--!

LITTLE RED RIDINGHOOD
(stopping)
Mother said, "Come what may, follow the path and never stray."

WOLF
Just so, little girl--any path. So many worth exploring; just one would be so boring.
And look what you're ignoring...
(gestures to the trees and flowers; to himself as Little Red Ridinghood looks around)
Think of those crisp, aging bones, then something fresh on the palate,
Think of that scrumptious carnality twice in one day--!
There's no possible way to describe what you feel when you're talking to your meal!

LITTLE RED RIDINGHOOD
Mother said not to stray. Still, I suppose, a small delay...Granny might like a fresh bouquet...
Goodbye, Mr. Wolf.
(wanders deeper into the woods)

WOLF
Goodbye, little girl. And hello...
(runs off, howling)


I GUESS THIS IS GOODBYE

NARRATOR
And the Baker gave Jack five beans in exchange for his cow, keeping one for himself.

JACK
(to Milky-White)
I guess this is goodbye, old pal, you've been a perfect friend.
I hate to see us part, old pal,
Some day I'll buy you back. I'll see you soon again.
I hope that when I do, it won't be on a plate.


MAYBE THEY'RE MAGIC

BAKER
Magic beans!

BAKER'S WIFE
No one would have given him more for this creature.

BAKER
Are we to dispel this curse through deceit?

BAKER'S WIFE
If you know what you want, then you go and you find it and you get it--

BAKER
(pointing off)
Home.

BAKER'S WIFE
Do we want a child or not?
And you give and you take and you bid and you bargain, or you live to regret it.

BAKER
Will you please go home?

BAKER'S WIFE
There are rights and wrongs and in-betweens--no one waits when fortune intervenes.
And maybe they're really magic, who knows?
Why you do what you do, that's the point: all the rest of it is chatter.

BAKER
(gesturing toward Milky-White)
Look at her. She's crying.

BAKER'S WIFE
If the thing you do is pure of 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 lies. What's important, really, is the size.
Only three more tries and we'll have our prize.
When the end's in sight, you'll realize: if the end is right, it justifies the beans!


I KNOW THINGS NOW

LITTLE RED RIDINGHOOD
Mother said, "Straight ahead," not to delay or be misled.
I should've heeded her advice...
But he seemed so nice.

And he showed me things, many beautiful things, that I hadn't thought to explore.
They were off my path, so I never had dared.
I had been so careful, I never had cared.
And he made me feel excited--well, excited and scared.

When he said, "Come in!" with that sickening grin, how could I know what was in store?
Once his teeth were bared, though, I really got scared--well, excited and scared--
But he drew me close, and he swallowed me down,
Down a slimy path where secrets lie that I never want to know,
And when everything familiar seemed to disappear forever,
At the end of the path was Granny once again.
So we wait in the dark until someone sets us free,
And we're brought into the light, and we're back at the start.

And I know things now, many valuable things, that I hadn't known before:
Do not put your faith in a cape and a hood,
They will not protect you the way that they should.
And take extra care with strangers, even flowers have their dangers.
And though scary is exciting, nice is different than good.
Now I know: don't be scared. Granny is right, just be prepared.
Isn't it nice to know a lot! And a little bit not...


A VERY NICE PRINCE

CINDERELLA
He's a very nice prince.

BAKER'S WIFE
And--?

CINDERELLA
And--It's a very nice ball.

BAKER'S WIFE
And--?

CINDERELLA
And--When I entered, they trumpeted.

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? Did you dance?
Is he charming?
They say that he's charming.

CINDERELLA
We did nothing but dance.

BAKER'S WIFE
Yes--? And--?

CINDERELLA
And it made a nice change.

BAKER'S WIFE
No, the Prince!

CINDERELLA
Oh, the Prince...

BAKER'S WIFE
Yes, the Prince.

CINDERELLA
He has charm for a Prince, I guess...

BAKER'S WIFE
Guess?

CINDERELLA
I don't meet a wide range.

BAKER'S WIFE
Did he bow? Was he cold and polite?

CINDERELLA
And it's all very strange.

BAKER'S WIFE
Did he speak? Did he flirt?
Could you tell right away he was royalty?
Is he sensitive, clever, well-mannered, considerate, passionate, charming,
As kind as he's handsome, as wise as he's rich,
Is he everything you've ever wanted?

CINDERELLA
Would I know?

BAKER'S WIFE
Well, I know.

CINDERELLA
But how can you know what you want
Till you get what you want
And you see if you like it?

BAKER'S WIFE
Would I know?

CINDERELLA
All I know is--

BAKER'S WIFE
I never wish--

CINDERELLA
What I want most of all--

BAKER'S WIFE
Just within reason.

CINDERELLA
Is to know what I want.

BAKER'S WIFE
When you can't have what you want,
Where's the profit in wishing?

BOTH
He's a very nice Prince...

(as the first chime of midnight sounds)

BAKER'S WIFE
What I wouldn't give to be in your shoes.

CINDERELLA
Will you look over there, an enormous beanstalk growing next to that little cottage!

BAKER'S WIFE
(looking down at Cinderella's feet)
I mean slippers as pure as gold.

CINDERELLA
I must get home.

BAKER'S WIFE
I need your shoes.
(A moo is heard as Milky-White runs off)
Wait!


FIRST MIDNIGHT

BAKER
One midnight gone...

MYSTERIOUS MAN
No knot unties itself...

WITCH
Sometimes the things you wish for are not to be touched...

PRINCES
The harder to get, the better to have...

FLORINDA
Never wear mauve to a ball...

LUCINDA
Or pink...

STEPMOTHER
(to her daughters)
Or open your mouth...

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...

LITTLE RED RIDINGHOOD
The prettier the flower, the farther from the path...

CINDERELLA'S FATHER
The closer to the family, the closer to the wine...

RAPUNZEL
Ah-ah-ah-ah-ah...

WITCH
One midnight gone!...

GRANNY
The mouth of a Wolf's not the end of the world...

STEWARD
A servant is not just a dog, to a Prince...

CINDERELLA
Opportunity is not a lengthy visitor...

BAKER'S WIFE
You may know what you need, but to get what you want, better see that you keep what you have.

BAKER
One midnight gone...

WITCH
Sometimes the things you most wish for are not to be touched...

PRINCES
The harder to get, the better to have...Agreed.

BAKER
One midnight gone...one midnight gone...

FLORINDA
Never wear mauve at a ball...

LUCINDA
Or pink...

JACK'S MOTHER
Slotted spoons don't hold much soup...

BAKER'S WIFE
To get what you want, better keep what you...

LITTLE RED RIDINGHOOD
The prettier the flower...

ALL
One midnight one midnight gone...
Into the woods,
Into the woods,
Into the woods, then out of the woods
And home before--


GIANTS IN THE SKY

JACK
There are Giants in the sky!
There are big tall terrible Giants in the sky!
When you're way up high and you look below at the world you left and the things you know,
Little more than a glance is enough to show you just how small you are.

When you're way up high and you're on your own in a world like none that you've ever known,
Where the sky is lead and the earth is stone, you're free to do whatever pleases you,
Exploring things you'd never dare 'cause you don't care, when suddenly there's
A big tall terrible Giant at the door, a big tall terrible lady Giant sweeping the floor.
And she gives you food and she gives you rest and she draws you close to her giant breast,
And you know things now that you never knew before, not till the sky.

Only just when you've made a friend and all, and you know but she's big but you don't feel small,
Someone bigger than her comes along the hall to swallow you for lunch.
And your heart is lead and your stomach stone, and your really scared being all alone...

And it's then that you miss all the things that you've known
And the world you've left and the little you own--
The fun is done. You steal what you can and run.
And you scramble down and you look below, and the world you know begins to grow:

The roof, the house and your Mother at the door.
The roof, the house and the world you never thought to explore.
And you think of all of the things you've seen, and you wish that you could live in between,
And you're back again, only different than before, after the sky.
There are Giants in the sky! There are big tall terrible awesome scary wonderful
Giants in the sky!


AGONY

CINDERELLA'S PRINCE
Did I abuse her or show her disdain? Why does she run from me?
If I should lose her, how shall I regain the heart she has won from me?
Agony! Beyond power of speech,
When the one thing you want is the only thing out of your reach.

RAPUNZEL'S PRINCE
High in her tower, she sits by the hour, maintaining her hair.
Blithe and becoming, and frequently humming a lighthearted air:
Ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah--
Agony! Far more painful than yours,
When you know she would go with you if there only were doors.

BOTH
Agony! Oh, the torture they teach!

RAPUNZEL'S PRINCE
What's as intriguing--

CINDERELLA'S PRINCE
Or half so fatiguing--

BOTH
As what's out of reach?

CINDERELLA'S PRINCE
Am I not sensitive, clever, well-mannered, considerate, passionate, charming,
As kind as I'm handsome and heir to a throne?

RAPUNZEL'S PRINCE
You are everything maidens could wish for!

CINDERELLA'S PRINCE
Then why no--?

RAPUNZEL'S PRINCE
Do I know?

CINDERELLA'S PRINCE
The girl must be mad!

RAPUNZEL'S PRINCE
You know nothing of madness till you're climbing her hair
And you see her up there as you're nearing her,
All the while hearing her: Ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah--

BOTH
Agony!

CINDERELLA'S PRINCE
Misery!

RAPUNZEL'S PRINCE
Woe!

BOTH
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.
Agony that can cut like a knife!
I must have her to wife.


IT TAKES TWO

BAKER'S WIFE
You've changed. You're daring. You're different in the woods.
More sure. More sharing. You're getting us through the woods.
If you could see--you're not the man who started,
And much more openhearted than I knew you to be.

BAKER
It takes two. I thought one was enough, it's not true: it takes two of us.
You came through when the journey was rough. It took you. It took two of us.
It takes care, it takes patience and fear and despair to change.
Though you swear to change, who can tell if you do? It takes two.

BAKER'S WIFE
You've changed. You're thriving. There's something about the woods.
Not just surviving. You're blossoming in the woods.
At home I'd fear we'd stay the same forever.
And then out here--you're passionate, charming, considerate, clever--

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,
Each accepting a share of what's there.

BOTH
We've changed. We're strangers. I'm meeting you in the woods.
Who minds what dangers? I know we'll get past the woods.
And once we're past, let's hope the changes last
Beyond woods, beyond witches and slippers and hoods, just the two of us--
Beyond lies, safe at home with our beautiful prize, just the few of us.

It takes trust. 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.


STAY WITH ME

WITCH
(throwing Rapunzel to the ground)
What did I clearly say? Children should listen.
(grabs Rapunzel's hair, takes out scissors)

RAPUNZEL
No, no, please!

WITCH
What were you not to do? Children must see--

RAPUNZEL
No!

WITCH
And learn. Why could you not obey? Children should listen.
What have I been to you? What would you have me be? Handsome like a prince?
Ah, but I am old. I am ugly. I embarrass you.

RAPUNZEL
No!

WITCH
You're ashamed of me.

RAPUNZEL
No!

WITCH
You are ashamed. You don't understand.

RAPUNZEL
It was lonely atop that tower.

WITCH
I was not company enough?

RAPUNZEL
I am no longer a child. I wish to see the world.

WITCH
Don't you know what's out there in the world?
Someone has to shield you from the world. Stay with me.
Princes wait there in the world, it's true. Princes, yes, but wolves and humans, too.
Stay at home. I am home.
Who out there could love you more than I?
What out there that I cannot supply? Stay with me.
Stay with me, the world is dark and wild.
Stay a child while you can be a child. With me.


ON THE STEPS OF THE PALACE

CINDERELLA
(enters, limping)
He's a very smart Prince, he's a Prince who prepares.
Knowing this time I'd run from him, he spread pitch on the stairs.
I was caught unawares.

And I thought: well, he cares--this is more than just malice.
Better stop and take stock while you're standing here stuck on the steps of the palace.

You think, what do you want? You think, you make a decision.
Why not stay and be caught?
You think, well, it's a thought, what would be his response?
But then what if he knew who you were
When you know that you're now what he thinks that he wants?

And then what if you are what a Prince would envision?
Although how can you know who you are till you know what you want, which you don't?
So then which do you pick: when you're safe, out of sight,
And yourself, but where everything's wrong?
Or where everything's right and you know that you'll never belong?

And whichever you pick, do it quick,
'Cause you're starting to stick to the steps of the palace.

It's your first big decision, the choice isn't easy to make.
To arrive at a ball is exciting and all--
Once you're there, though, it's scary. And it's fun to deceive
When you know you can leave, but you have to be wary.

There's a lot that's at stake, but you've stalled long enough,
'Cause you're still standing stuck in the stuff on the steps...

Better run along home and avoid the collision.
Even though they don't care, you'll be better off there where there's nothing to choose,
So there's nothing to lose. So you pry up your shoes.

Then from out of the blue, and without any guide,
You know what your decision is, which is not to decide.
You'll just leave him a clue: for example, a shoe. And then see what he'll do.

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...

COMPANY
Ever after!

NARRATOR
Journey over, all is mended, and it's not just for today,
But tomorrow, and extended ever after!

COMPANY
Ever after!

NARRATOR
All the curses have been ended, the reverses wiped away.
All is tenderness and laughter for forever after!

COMPANY
Happy now and happy hence and happy ever after!

NARRATOR
There were dangers--

COMPANY
We were frightened--

NARRATOR
And confusions--

COMPANY
But we hid it--

NARRATOR
And their paths would often swerve.

COMPANY
We did not.

NARRATOR
There were constant--

COMPANY
It's amazing--

NARRATOR
Disillusions--

COMPANY
That we did it.

NARRATOR
But they never lost their nerve.

COMPANY
Not a lot.

NARRATOR&COMPANY
And they/we reached the right conclusions, and they/we got what they/we deserve!

ALL
Not a sigh and not a sorrow, tenderness and laughter.
Joy today and bliss tomorrow, and forever after!

FLORINDA
I was greedy

LUCINDA
I was vain.

FLORINDA
I was haughty.

LUCINDA
I was smug.

BOTH
We were happy.

LUCINDA
It was fun.

FLORINDA
But we were blind.

BOTH
Then we went into the woods to get our wish, and now we're really blind.

WITCH
I was perfect.
I had everything but beauty.
I had power, and a daughter like a flower, in a tower.
Then I went into the woods to get my wish, and now I'm ordinary.
Lost my power and my flower.

FLORINDA&LUCINDA
We're unworthy.
(add Witch)
We're/I'm unhappy now, unhappy hence, as well as ever after.
Had we used our common sense, been worthy of our discontents,
We'd be happy.

ALL
To be happy, and forever, you must see your wish come true.
Don't be careful, don't be clever. When you see your wish, pursue.
It's a dangerous endeavor, but the only thing to do--
(in three groups)
Though it's fearful, though it's dark, and though you may lose the path,
Though you may encounter wolves,
You mustn't stop, you mustn't swerve, you mustn't ponder, you have to act!
When you know your wish, if you want your wish,
You can have your wish, but you can't just wish--no, to get your wish

You go into the woods, where nothing's clear,
Where witches, ghosts and wolves appear.
Into the woods and through the fear, you have to take the journey.
Into the woods and down the dell, in vain, perhaps, but who can tell?
Into the woods to lift the spell, into the woods to lose the longing,
Into the woods to have the child,
To wed the Prince, to get the money,
To save the house, to kill the Wolf, to find the father,
To conquer the kingdom, to have, to wed, to get,
To save, to kill, to keep, to go to the Festival!

Into the woods, into the woods,
Into the woods, then out of the woods and happy ever after!




ACT II PROLOGUE: SO HAPPY

NARRATOR
Once upon a time...later...

CINDERELLA
I wish...

NARRATOR
in that same far-off kingdom

CINDERELLA
More than anything...

NARRATOR
lived a young princess,

CINDERELLA
More than life...

NARRATOR
the lad Jack,

CINDERELLA
More than footmen...

JACK
I wish...

NARRATOR
And the Baker with his family.
(Baby cries)

JACK
No, I miss...

CINDERELLA&BAKER
I wish...
(Baby cries)

JACK
More than anything...

CINDERELLA, JACK, BAKER
More than the moon...

BAKER'S WIFE
(to the Baby)
There, there...

CINDERELLA
I wish to sponsor a Festival.
(Baby cries)

BAKER
More than life...

JACK
I miss...

CINDERELLA
The time has come for a Festival...


BABY
Waah!

BAKER'S WIFE
Shhh...

BAKER
More than riches...

CINDERELLA
And a ball...

JACK
I miss my kingdom up in the sky.

CINDERELLA&BAKER
More than anything...

BAKER'S WIFE
I wish we had more room...

JACK
Play, harp...

BAKER
Another room...
(Jack strums the harp.)

NARRATOR
But despite some minor inconveniences, they were all quite content...
(Cinderella's Prince enters the castle.)

CINDERELLA
I never thought I'd wed a Prince...

CINDERELLA'S PRINCE
I never thought I'd find perfection...

BOTH
I never thought I could be so happy!

CINDERELLA
Not an unhappy moment since...

JACK&MOTHER
I didn't think we'd be this rich...

CINDERELLA'S PRINCE
Not a conceivable objection...

BAKER&WIFE
I never thought we'd have a baby...

CINDERELLA, PRINCE, JACK, MOTHER
I didn't know I could be so happy!

BAKER&WIFE
I'm so happy!

STEPMOTHER
(to Cinderella)
Happy now, happy hence, happy ever after--
(stepsisters join in)
We're so happy you're so happy!
Just as long as you stay happy, we'll stay happy...

CINDERELLA&PRINCE
Not one row...

JACK'S MOTHER
Pots of pence...

JACK
With my cow...

BAKER&WIFE
Little gurgles...

CINDERELLA'S PRINCE
(to Cinderella)
Darling, I must go now...

JACK'S MOTHER
(to Jack)
We should really sell it.

BAKER
(to Wife)
Where's the cheesecloth?

ALL (except Baker)
Wishes may bring problems, such that you regret them.
(with the Baker)
Better that, though, than to never get them...

CINDERELLA
I'm going to be a perfect wife!

JACK
I'm going to be a perfect son!

BAKER'S WIFE&JACK'S MOTHER
I'm going to be a perfect mother!

BAKER
I'm going to be a perfect father! I'm so happy!

ALL (except Baker)
I'm going to see that he/she is so happy!
(add Baker)
I never thought I'd love my life! I would have settled for another!

CINDERELLA
Then to become a wife...

JACK&MOTHER
Then to be set for life...

BAKER&WIFE
Then to beget a child...

ALL
That fortune smiled...I'm so hap--!

(A loud rumbling noise is followed by an enormous crash. The Baker's house caves in. He is caught underneath the rubble as his Wife runs forward with their baby. The Witch enters.)

BAKER
Have you done this to our house?

WITCH
Always thinking of yourself! Look at my garden.

BAKER
Destroyed!

BAKER'S WIFE
Who could do such a thing?

BAKER
Do you think it was a bear?

WITCH
A bear? Bears are sweet. Besides, you ever see a bear with forty-foot feet?

BAKER'S WIFE
Dragon?

WITCH
(shaking her head)
No scorch marks, usually they're linked.

BAKER
Manticore?

WITCH
Imaginary.

BAKER&WIFE
Griffin?

WITCH
Extinct.

BAKER
Giant?

WITCH
Possible. Very, very possible...
(She leaves.)

NARRATOR
More than possible. Their fears would prove to be well-founded.

BAKER
Into the woods, it's always when you think at last you're through, and then
Into the woods you go again to take another journey.

BAKER'S WIFE
Into the woods, the weather's clear, we've been before, we've naught to fear...
Into the woods, away from here--

JACK
Into the woods to find a Giant--!

LITTLE RED RIDINGHOOD
Into the woods to Grandmother's house...

BAKER
Into the woods, the path is straight. No reason then to hesitate--

BAKER'S WIFE
Into the woods, it's not too late; it's just another journey...

CINDERELLA
Into the woods, but not too long: the skies are strange, the winds are strong.
Into the woods to see what's wrong...

JACK
Into the woods to slay the Giant!

BAKER'S WIFE
Into the woods to shield the child...

LITTLE RED RIDINGHOOD
To flee the winds...

BAKER
To find a future...

BAKER'S WIFE
To shield...

JACK
To slay...

LITTLE RED RIDINGHOOD
To flee...
BAKER
To find...

CINDERELLA
To fix...

BAKER'S WIFE
To hide...

LITTLE RED RIDINGHOOD
To move...

JACK
To battle...

CINDERELLA
To see what the trouble is...

(Rapunzel screams.)



AGONY

CINDERELLA'S PRINCE
High in a tower--like yours was, but higher--a beauty asleep.
All round the tower a thicket of briar a hundred feet deep.
Agony! No frustration more keen,
When the one thing you want is a thing that you've not even seen.

RAPUNZEL'S PRINCE
I found a casket entirely of glass--
(as Cinderella's Prince starts to shrug)
No, it's unbreakable.
Inside--don't ask it--a maiden, alas, just as unwakable--

BOTH
What unmistakable agony! Is the way always barred?

RAPUNZEL'S PRINCE
She has skin white as snow--

CINDERELLA'S PRINCE
Did you learn her name?

RAPUNZEL'S PRINCE
No, there's a dwarf standing guard.

BOTH
Agony! Such that Princes must weep!
Always in thrall most to anything almost, or something asleep.

CINDERELLA'S PRINCE
If it were not for the thicket--

RAPUNZEL'S PRINCE
A thicket's no trick. Is it thick?

CINDERELLA'S PRINCE
It's the thickest.

RAPUNZEL'S PRINCE
The quickest is pick it apart with a stick--

CINDERELLA'S PRINCE
Yes, but even one prick--it's my thing about blood.

RAPUNZEL'S PRINCE
Well, it's sick!

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.

BOTH
Not forgetting the tasks unachievable, mountains unscalable--
If it's conceivable but unavailable,
Ahhhhhhhhh--Agony!

CINDERELLA'S PRINCE
Misery!

RAPUNZEL'S PRINCE
Woe!

BOTH
Not to know what you miss.

CINDERELLA'S PRINCE
While they lie there for years--

RAPUNZEL'S PRINCE
And you cry on their biers--

BOTH
What unbearable bliss!
Agony that can cut like a knife!
Ah, well, back to my wife...


ANY MOMENT

CINDERELLA'S PRINCE
Anything can happen in the woods.
May I kiss you--?
Any moment we could be crushed.

BAKER'S WIFE
Uh--

CINDERELLA'S PRINCE
Don't feel rushed.

(He kisses her; she is stunned, turns to the audience.)

BAKER'S WIFE
This is ridiculous, what am I doing here? I'm in the wrong story.
(resumes the kiss, then pulls away)
Wait one moment, please! We can't do this!

CINDERELLA'S PRINCE
Of course, you're right. How foolish.
Foolishness can happen in the woods.
Once again, please--let your hesitations be hushed.
Any moment, big or small, is a moment, after all.
Seize the moment, skies may fall any moment.
(kisses her again)
Days are made of moments, all are worth exploring.
Many kinds of moments--none is worth ignoring.
All we have are moments, memories for storing.
One would be so boring...

BAKER'S WIFE
But this is not right!

CINDERELLA'S PRINCE
Right and wring don't matter in the woods, only feelings.
Let us meet the moment unblushed.
Life is often so unpleasant--you must know that, as a peasant--
Best to take the moment present as a present for the moment.
(He carries her deeper into the woods.)

(Later)
I must leave you.

BAKER'S WIFE
Why?

CINDERELLA'S PRINCE
The Giant.

BAKER'S WIFE
Will we ever find each other in the woods again?

CINDERELLA'S PRINCE
This was just a moment in the woods.
Our moment, shimmering and lovely and sad.
Leave the moment, just be glad for the moment that we had.
Every moment is of moment when you're in the woods...
Goodbye.


MOMENTS IN THE WOODS

BAKER'S WIFE
What was that?
Was that me?
Was that him?
Did a Prince really kiss me?
And kiss me?
And kiss me?
And did I kiss him back?
Was it wrong?
Am I mad?
Is that all?
Does he miss me?
Was he suddenly getting bored with me?

Wake up!
Stop dreaming.
Stop prancing about the woods.
It's not beseeming.
What is it about the woods?

Back to life,
Back to sense,
Back to child,
Back to husband,
You can't live in the woods.

There are vows,
There are ties,
There are needs,
There are standards,
There are shouldn't and shoulds.

Why not both instead?
There's the answer if you're clever:
Have a child for warmth,
And a Baker for bread,
And a Prince for whatever--
Never! It's these woods.

Face the facts,
Find the boy,
Join the group,
Stop the Giant--
Just get out of these woods.

Was that him?
Yes, it was.
Was that me?
No, it wasn't.
Just a trick of the woods.

Just a moment,
One peculiar passing moment...
Must it all be either less or more,
Either plain or grand?
Is it always "or"?
Is it never "and"?
That's what woods are for:
For those moments in the woods...

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.

First a Witch,
Then a child,
Then a Prince,
Then a moment--
Who can live in the woods?

And to get what you wish,
Only just for a moment--
These are dangerous woods...

Let the moment go...
Don't forget it for a moment, though.
Just remembering you've had an "and,"
When you're back to "or,"
Makes the "or" mean more than it did before.
Now I understand--
And it's time to leave the woods.


YOUR FAULT

BAKER
(to Jack)
It's because of you there's a Giant in our midst and my Wife is dead!

JACK
But it isn't my fault,
I was given those beans!
You persuaded me to trade away my cow for beans!
And without those beans
There'd have been no stalk
To get up to the Giants in the first place!

BAKER
Wait a minute,
Magic beans for a cow so old
That you had to tell a lie to sell it,
Which you told!
Were they worthless beans?
Were they oversold?
Oh, and tell us who persuaded you to steal that gold.

LITTLE RED RIDINGHOOD
(to Jack)
See, it's your fault.

JACK
No!

BAKER
So, it's your fault...

JACK
No!

LITTLE RED RIDINGHOOD
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!

LITTLE RED RIDINGHOOD
(to Baker)
So it's your fault!

JACK
Yes!

BAKER
No, it isn't!
I'd have kept those beans,
But our house was cursed.
(referring to Witch)
She made us get a cow to get the curse reversed!

WITCH
It's your father's fault that the curse got placed
And the place got cursed in the first place!

LITTLE RED RIDINGHOOD
Oh. Then it's his fault!

WITCH
So.

CINDERELLA
It was his fault...

JACK
No.

BAKER
Yes, it is. It's his.

CINDERELLA
I guess...

JACK
Wait a minute, though--
I chopped down the beanstalk--
Right? That's clear.
But without any beanstalk,
Then what's queer is
How did the second Giant get down here in the first place?
(confused)
Second place...

CINDERELLA
Yes!

LITTLE RED RIDINGHOOD
How?

BAKER
Hmm...

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! Yes, I did.

LITTLE RED RIDINGHOOD
So it's your--!

BAKER
No, it isn't, 'cause I gave it to my Wife!

LITTLE RED RIDINGHOOD
So it's her--!

BAKER
No, it isn't!

CINDERELLA
Then whose is it?

BAKER
Wait a minute!
(to Cinderella)
She exchanged that bean
To obtain your shoe,
So the one who knows what happened to the bean is you!

CINDERELLA
You mean that old bean--
That your Wife--?
Oh, dear--
(as they all look at her)
But I never knew, and so I threw--
Well, don't look here!

LITTLE RED RIDINGHOOD
So it's your fault!

CINDERELLA
But--

JACK
See, it's her fault--

CINDERELLA
But--

JACK
And it isn't mine at all!

BAKER
(to Cinderella)
But what?

CINDERELLA
(to Jack)
Well, if you hadn't gone back up again--

JACK
We were needy--

CINDERELLA
You were greedy!
Did you need that hen?

JACK
But I got it for my Mother--!

LITTLE RED RIDINGHOOD
So it's her fault then!

CINDERELLA
Yes? And what about the harp in the third place?

BAKER
The harp--yes!

JACK
(referring to Little Red Ridinghood)
She went and dared me to!

LITTLE RED RIDINGHOOD
I dared you to?

JACK
You dared me to!
(to the others)
She said that I was scared--

LITTLE RED RIDINGHOOD
Me?

JACK
To. She dared me!

LITTLE RED RIDINGHOOD
No, I didn't!

BAKER, CINDERELLA, JACK
So it's your fault!

LITTLE RED RIDINGHOOD
Wait a minute--!

CINDERELLA
If you hadn't dared him to--

BAKER
(to Jack)
And you had left the harp alone,
We wouldn't be in this trouble in the first place!

LITTLE RED RIDINGHOOD
(to Cinderella)
Well, if you hadn't thrown away the bean in the first place--!

CINDERELLA
(looking at the Witch)
Well, if she hadn't raised them in the first place--!

LITTLE RED RIDINGHOOD
(to Cinderella)
It was your fault!

JACK
(to Witch)
Yes, if you hadn't raised them in the first place--!

LITTLE RED RIDINGHOOD&BAKER
(to Witch)
Right! It's you who raised them in the first place--!

CINDERELLA
You raised the beans in the first place!

JACK
It's your fault!

ALL (except Witch)
You're responsible!
You're the one to blame!
It's your fault!


LAST MIDNIGHT

WITCH
(to the others)
Shhhhhhhhh!
It's the last midnight.
It's the last wish.
It's the last midnight,
Soon it will be boom--squish!
Told a little lie,
Stole a little gold,
Broke a little vow,
Did you?

Had to get your Prince,
Had to get your cow,
Have to get your wish,
Doesn't matter how--
Anyway, it doesn't matter now.

It's the last midnight,
It's the boom--splat!
Nothing but a vast midnight,
Everybody smashed flat!
Nothing we can do.
Not exactly true:
We can always give her the boy...
(They protect Jack as she reaches for him.)
No? No, of course what really matters is the blame,
Somebody to blame.
Fine, if that's the thing you enjoy,
Placing the blame,
If that's the aim,
Give me the blame--
Just give me the boy.

OTHERS
(backing away from her)
No!

WITCH
No?
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.

I'm the hitch.
I'm what no one believes,
I'm the Witch.
You're all liars and thieves,
Like his father;
Like his son will be, too--
Oh, why bother?
You'll just do what you do.

It's the last midnight,
So goodbye, all.
Coming at you fast, midnight--
Soon you'll see the sky fall.
Here, you want a bean?
(starts to scatter beans)
Have another bean.
Beans were made for making you rich!
Plant them and they soar--
Here, you want some more?
Listen to the roar...
Giants by the score--!
Oh well, you can blame another 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.
Separate and alone,
Everybody down on all fours.

All right, Mother, when?
Lost the beans again!
Punish me the way you did then!
Give me claws and a hunch,
Just away from this bunch
And the gloom and the doom and the boom
Cruuunch!
(She disappears.)


NO MORE

BAKER
No more questions, please.
No more tests.
Comes the day you say, "What for?"
Please--no more.

MYSTERIOUS MAN
They disappoint, they disappear, they die but they don't...

BAKER
What?

MYSTERIOUS MAN
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
Running away--let's do it.
Free from the ties that bind.
No more despair or burdens to bear out there in the yonder.
Running away--go to it.
Where did you have in mind?
Have to take care:
Unless there's a "where,"
You'll only be wandering blind.
Just more questions.
Different kind.
Where are we to go?
Where are we ever to go?

Running away--we'll do it.
Why sit around, resigned?
Trouble is, son,
The farther you run,
The more you feel undefined
For what you have left undone
And, more, what you've left behind.

We disappoint,
We leave a mess,
We die but we don't...

BAKER
We disappoint
In turn, I guess.
Forget, though, we won't...

BOTH
Like father, like son.

BAKER
(as Mysterious Man disappears)
No more Giants
Waging war.
Can't we just pursue our lives
With our children and our wives?
Till that happy day arrives,
How do you ignore
All the witches, all the curses,
All the wolves, all the lies,
The false hopes, the goodbyes, the reverses,
All the wondering what even worse is still in store?

All the children...
All the Giants...
No more.


NO ONE IS ALONE

CINDERELLA
(to Little Red Ridinghood)
Mother cannot guide you.
Now you're on your own.
Only me beside you.
Still, you're not alone.
No one is alone, truly.
No one is alone.

Sometimes people leave you
Halfway through the wood.
Others may deceive you.
You decide what's good.
You decide alone.
But no one is alone.

LITTLE RED RIDINGHOOD
I wish...

CINDERELLA
I know...
(to Little Red Ridinghood)
Mother isn't here now.

BAKER
(to Jack)
Wrong things, right things...

CINDERELLA
Who knows what she'd say?

BAKER
Who can say what's true?

CINDERELLA
Nothing's quite so clear now--

BAKER
Do things, fight things...

CINDERELLA
Feel you've lost your way?

BAKER
You decide, but

CINDERELLA
You are not alone,

BAKER
You are not alone.

CINDERELLA
Believe me.
No one is alone.

BAKER
No one is alone.
Believe me.

CINDERELLA
Truly...

BOTH
You move just a finger,
Say the slightest word,
Something's bound to linger,
Be heard

BAKER
No one acts alone.
Careful, no one is alone.

BOTH
People make mistakes,

BAKER
Fathers,

CINDERELLA
Mothers,

BOTH
People make mistakes,
Holding to their own,
Thinking they're alone.

CINDERELLA
Honor their mistakes...

BAKER
Fight for their mistakes--

CINDERELLA
Everybody makes--

BOTH
One another's terrible mistakes.
Witches can be right,
Giants can be good.
You decide what's right,
You decide what's good.

CINDERELLA
Just remember:

BAKER
Just remember:

BOTH
Someone is on your side.

LITTLE RED RIDINGHOOD&JACK
Our side.

CINDERELLA&BAKER
Our side--someone else is not.
While we're seeing our side--

LITTLE RED RIDINGHOOD&JACK
Our side...

CINDERELLA&BAKER
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.
Someone is on your side;
No one is alone.


FINALE: CHILDREN WILL LISTEN

JACK'S MOTHER
The slotted spoon can catch the potato--

MYSTERIOUS MAN
Every knot was once straight rope.

PRINCES
(entering with Snow White and Sleeping Beauty)
The harder to wake, the better to have.

STEWARD
The greater the good, the harder the blow...

STEPMOTHER
When going to hide, know how to get there.

CINDERELLA'S FATHER
And how to get back...

STEPSISTERS
And eat first...

GRANNY
The knife that is sharp today may be dull by tomorrow...

RAPUNZEL
Ah-ah-ah-ah-ah...

(Baby cries.)

BAKER
Maybe I just wasn't meant to have children--

BAKER'S WIFE
Don't say that, of course you were meant to have children...

BAKER
But how will I go about being a father with no one to mother my child?
(Baby cries.)

BAKER'S WIFE
Just calm the child.

BAKER
Yes, calm the child.

BAKER'S WIFE
Look, tell him the story of how it all happened.
Be father and mother, you'll know what to do.

BAKER
Alone?...

BAKER'S WIFE
Sometimes people leave you
Halfway through the wood.
Do not let it grieve you,
No one leaves for good.
You are not alone.
No one is alone.

Hold him to the light now,
Let him see the glow.
Things will be all right now.
Tell him what you know...
(Baby cries.)

BAKER
Shhh. Once upon a time...in a far-off kingdom...there lived a young maiden...
A sad young lad...and a childless baker...with his wife...

WITCH
Careful the things you say,
Children will listen.
Careful the things you do,
Children will see, and learn.
Children may not obey,
But children will listen.
Children will look to you
For which way to turn,
To learn what to be.
Careful before you say,
"Listen to me."
Children will listen.

ALL
Careful the wish you make,
Wishes are children.
Careful the path they take,
Wishes come true, not free.
Careful the spell you cast,
Not just on children.
Sometimes the spell may last
Past what you can see
And turn against you...

WITCH
Careful the tale you tell.
That is the spell.
Children will listen...

ALL
(in three groups)
Though it's fearful, though it's deep, though it's dark
And though you may lose the path, though you may encounter wolves,
You can't just act, you have to listen. You can't just act, you have to think.
Though it's dark, there are always wolves, there are always spells,
There are always beans, or a Giant dwells.

So it's into the woods you go again; you have to every now and then.
Into the woods, no telling when, be ready for the journey.
Into the woods, but not too fast or what you wish you lose at last.
Into the woods, but mind the past. Into the woods, but mind the future.
Into the woods, but not to stray, or tempt the Wolf, or steal from the Giant--

The way is dark, the light is dim, but now there's you, me, her and him.
The chances look small, the choices look grim,
But everything you learn there will help you return there.

BAKER, CINDERELLA, LITTLE RED RIDINGHOOD, JACK
The light is getting dimmer--

BAKER
I think I see a glimmer--

ALL
Into the woods--you have to grope, but that's the way you learn to cope.
Into the woods to find there's hope of getting through the journey.
Into the woods--each time you go, there's more to learn of what you know.

Into the woods, but not too slow--
Into the woods, it's nearing midnight--
Into the woods to mind the Wolf,
To heed the Witch, to honor the Giant,
To mind, to heed, to find, to think, to teach, to join, to go to the Festival!

Into the woods,
Into the woods,
Into the woods,
Then out of the woods
And happy ever after!

CINDERELLA
...I wish...