Subscribe to our FREE email newsletter and download free character development worksheets! A synopsis conveys the narrative arc, an explanation of the problem or plot, the characters, and how the book or novel ends. It ensures character actions and motivations are realistic and make sense. It summarizes what happens and who changes from beginning to end of the story.
Into the Woods a plot summary by Bruce Janiga "Once upon a time" is the beginning of many a bedtime story for many of us. In a twist of genius they combine the stories of Jack and the Beanstalk, Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty and the newly invented Baker and His Wife into a story of deceit, dreams fulfilled and broken, wishes, death, adultery, deception, magic and almost happily ever after.
The musical begins with the narrator introducing us to three sets of characters as he recites the tale which he has been told. Cinderella who lives with her father, stepmother and two stepsisters; Jack and his mother who are faced with hunger because their cow, Milky White, produces no milk, leading them to decide to sell her before she loses all her value; and the Baker and his Wife who, though they have a good business, remain childless.
Each of them sings of their own wish: Cinderella wants to got to the King's Festival, Jack and his Mother want milk from their cow and the Baker and Wife want a child.
Little do they know that they will all get their wishes but will pay a price for them which may be more than they would have been willing to pay as their actions bring destruction and death to their kingdom. The Baker is visited by a ravenous Little Red Ridinghood who is off to visit granny and comes to stock up on bread and goodies for her journey through the woods.
After depleting the baker's supplies, including a basket to carry the goodies, Red heads out to visit granny. In the meantime the Baker and his wife are visited by their next door neighbor, the Witch, who explains to them that they are childless because of a curse which she placed on them years ago.
It seems that when the baker's mother was pregnant she developed a craving for vegetables from the Witch's garden and in stealing some from the garden for his wife the Baker also stole six magic beans.
As a result the Witch was punished by her mother who caused her to lose her beauty. The Witch offers to concoct a potion which will undo the spell on the Baker's house if they will produce a number of items: If they can provide the Witch with these three items in three days' time, she will reverse the spell for them.
And so off they go. In the next scene Cinderella visits the grave of her mother a hazel tree which has grown over her mother's grave, watered by her tears and expresses her unhappiness with her present life and her desire to go to the Festival. Magically her wish is answered as from the sky she receives a beautiful gown and slippers of gold enabling her to attend the Festival.
We next see Jack in the woods with his cow, on the way to the market. They encounter the Mysterious Man who suggest to Jack that the cow is so weak that he'd be lucky if he could get "a sack of beans" for her.
So off he goes. Meanwhile Little Red Ridinghood, instructed by her mother not to stray from the path on her way to granny's house encounters the Wolf who convinces her to stray from the path in order to gather some flowers to bring to granny.
At the same time the Wolf gets directions to Granny's house from Red and he takes the shortcut to her house, hungrily anticipating devouring Granny and Red. The Baker overhears this encounter and expresses concern for Red's safety, while his wife, who meets him in the woods, encourages him to focus on getting the items that they need in order to have a child.
At this point they encounter Jack, who, they notice, is accompanying his cow which is the color required by the Witch for her spell.
Through some deception the Baker manages to exchange five of the beans saving one for himself for Jack's cow, Milky White, convincing Jack that the beans are really magic.
With this Jack bids good-bye to his friend and hopes that someday he'll meet her again if he ever has enough money to buy her back. The Baker argues with his Wife about using deception in order to get the cow, but she convinces him that they have to sacrifice something their sense of morality in this case if they really want to have a child.
She then returns home with the cow as the Baker continues on his search for the other items.
The Witch now pays a visit to Rapunzel, who we learned earlier from the Narrator, was the Baker's sister, taken from his family at birth as a payment for the stolen beans along with the curse which was placed on his house.
Rapunzel has been locked up in a tower by her "mother" who wants to protect her from the world. As she lets her hair down from the tower for her mother to climb, she is observed by a Prince who is determined to visit her and carry her away.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.
Overview / Synopsis: Into the Woods JR.* is the authorized young performer's edition of Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine's cock-eyed view of everyone's favorite fairytale characters in this hysterical take on the Brothers Grimm.
Into the Woods is a musical with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and book by James Lapine. The musical intertwines the plots of several Brothers Grimm and Charles Perrault fairy tales, exploring the consequences of the characters' wishes and quests.
Synopsis: Into the Woods Into the Woods begins with a montage of familiar fairy tale characters and stories. Cinderella wishes to attend the Prince’s festival, but her cruel stepsisters and stepmother are trying to prevent her from going. An ambivalent Cinderella?
A blood-thirsty Little Red Ridinghood? A Prince Charming with a roving eye? A Witch who raps? They're all among the cockeyed characters in.
In her excellent biography of Stephen Sondheim, Meryle Secret describes the birth of Into the Woods as midwifed by Sondheim and his longtime creative partner James Lapine's desire to come up with a musical that was bright, lighthearted and funny. The first .