Into the Woods

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Happiness and virtue rest upon each other; the best are not only the happiest, but the happiest are usually the best.
Edward G. Bulwer-Lytton
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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.


  • 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...

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!!


  • 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.


  • 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!


  • (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!

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.


  • 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.


Red Riding Hood: And perhaps a sticky bun? Or four?
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: The woods are just trees
The trees are just wood
I have no fear
Nor no one should
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
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?
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.
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
Jack: There are giants in the sky
There are big tall, terrible,
Awesome, scary, wonderful giants
In the sky!
Witch: Princes wait there in the world, it's true. Princes, yes, but wolves and humans, too.
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!"
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.
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...
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
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

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!

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.
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
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.
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.


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!"

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!

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."


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