Into The Woods Play Analysis

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The musical Into the Woods, by Stephen Sondheim (music and lyrics) and James Lapine (book) is a compilation of fairytales with a unique twist of life’s hard lessons after getting what you “wished” for. The play’s main story line is composed of well-known fairytales such as: Little Red Riding Hood, Cinderella, Rapunzel, and Jack and the bean stock. These fairytales are all intertwined in order to help the protagonist (the baker) collect all the ingredients the witch has asked for in order for him and his wife to have a baby. The play is a metaphor for the different paths a person may take when opportunities unfold. Characters in this production have a wish they want to come true, but things do not necessarily go the way they plan, and the choices they make are not exactly the wisest.
The production begins with three of the four fairytales on stage. The lighting shifts from one fairytale to the next as the storyline develops. There appears to be two major scene designs - the first being each fairytale’s home setting and the second the woods. Each has a slight variation depending upon where in the story it is. For example, little red riding hood is in the woods, but as she gets to her
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“Sometimes people leave you halfway through the woods.” The main characters in each fairytale have lost someone in the woods at some point. Some of the characters loved ones, like Jack’s mother who is killed or Cinderella’s prince when he is off committing adultery are both examples of how they were “lost”. And even though your loved ones exit your life quickly the story quickly reminds you that, “you are never truly alone.” This is an important message because many times in life people walk in and out of our lives but you also have many people who enter you life and they help you move forward. Just like Jack and Little Red Riding Hood decide to take care of one another. All of these speak to the play’s

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