Cast size: Medium, 11 plus
Book by James Lapine Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim Music by Stephen Sondheim

James Lapine | kids MUSICAL | medium 11 plus

  • About the Show

    The Brothers Grimm "go Broadway" as Sondheim and Lapine offer up a cockeyed fairy tale where all of your favorite characters-Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Jack (and his beanstalk) and The Witch-meet and interact on their journeys. With unforgettable roles, little dancing and no chorus, Into The Woods Junior showcases a medium-sized ensemble of talented singers and actors. The sophisticated score has been adapted to make it easier-though still challenging-for young performers. Into The Woods Junior is a funny and engaging way to get young people to think about the stories with which they've grown up and the ethical issues raised therein.

    One-act Book Musical

    Broadway Junior Version - MTI's Broadway Junior Collection includes some of Broadway's best-loved musicals which have been specially adapted for young performers - abridged to 60-80 minutes, with music transposed into keys appropiate for young voices.

    Some content © MTI Enterprises, Inc. d/b/a Music Theatre International. Used by permission. Portions © Respective Trademark Holders. All rights reserved.

    Synopsis

    We discover three dwellings in a large forest. In one, we see Cinderella cleaning; in the second, we see Jack trying to milk his pathetic-looking cow, Milky-White; and in the third, we see the Baker and the Baker's Wife preparing tomorrow's bread.

    The Narrator leads the company through "The Prologue" as we learn about a series of wishes that are more important than anything - even life itself - to these characters. Cinderella wants to go to the King's Festival; Jack wishes his cow could give milk; and the Baker (who believes his parents were killed in a baking accident) wishes he and his Wife could have a child. As these characters express their wishes, we meet Cinderella's Stepmother and Stepsisters who laugh at the idea of her going to a ball; Jack's mother who wishes for a lot of gold and a less foolish son; and Little Red Ridinghood, who comes to buy bread, sticky buns and pies from the Baker and his Wife before starting her journey into the woods to see her sick Grandmother.

    We learn Jack's cow (whom Jack foolishly persists in referring to as "he") is no longer giving milk. Jack's Mother says he must sell the cow so they can survive. He is crushed because he thinks the cow is his best friend, but sets off to the market to sell it. Leaving Cinderella in tears, her family rides off to the ball without her.

    The Baker and his Wife learn the ugly Witch next door, has placed a curse on them to prevent their having a child. She explains the Baker's father had stolen various vegetables from her garden many years ago to satisfy his wife's insatiable desire for greens. He also stole the Witch's magic beans. To punish him for the theft, she demanded and had been given the Baker's sister, a sibling the Baker never knew existed. She claims she still has the Baker's sister hidden away and that he can break the spell that makes him childless only by bringing her a cow as white as milk, a cape as red as blood, hair as yellow as corn and a slipper as pure as gold.

    The Baker puts on his father's old jacket as he prepares to journey into the woods. He finds six beans in the pockets and wonders if they are the Witch's magic beans. He forbids his Wife to join him on this dangerous quest as he tries to memorize the list of things the Witch says he must deliver. As "The Prologue" ends, Cinderella decides to visit her mother's grave.

    At this point, the show takes on a rapid pace.

    Cinderella tells her mother her wish and is given a fancy dress and slippers to wear to the ball. While walking through the woods to market, Jack encounters a Mysterious Man who tells Jack his cow is only worth a sack of beans. Little Red Ridinghood meets a Wolf who targets her and her grandmother as his next meal. The Baker appears and is concerned harm will come to Little Red Ridinghood. The Witch warns him not to worry about the child's welfare; his task is simply to steal her cape. We hear the sound of a woman singing in the distance; it is the voice of the Baker's lost sister, Rapunzel.

    As the Baker struggles to remember the four objects on his list, his Wife appears, with another offer to help him. They argue about her presence as they encounter Jack and his cow, a beast like the one the Witch has demanded. The Baker's Wife persuades Jack to sell the cow for five of their beans (which leaves them with one remaining bean). After Jack sings a sad farewell to the cow ("I Guess This Is Goodbye") the Baker is upset they used deceit to acquire the animal. The Baker's Wife insists they did Jack a favor. ("Maybe They're Magic"). She says you have to go after what you want and not hesitate. The Baker sends his wife home with the cow and continues on his way, as Rapunzel sings again.

    The Witch visits Rapunzel at the tower where she is kept prisoner. A handsome prince sees the Witch climb Rapunzel's hair and decides to try it himself the following day.

    The Baker makes an unsuccessful try at stealing Little Red Ridinghood's cape - thievery does not come naturally to him. Little Red Ridinghood enters her Grandmother's house to find theWolf, in bed, pretending to be the old woman (whom he has eaten). After the Wolf eats Little Red Ridinghood, he takes a nap. The Baker sees a corner of the red cloak hanging out of the Wolf's mouth and hoping to get the whole thing cuts his stomach open, releasing Little Red Ridinghood and her Grandmother. After the ordeal, Little Red Ridinghood realizes that "I Know Things Now." Grateful to the Baker for saving her life, Little Red Ridinghood gives him her cloak.

    Jack's Mother is furious with him for selling their cow for five seemingly worthless beans and she throws them away. The Baker's Wife, leading Milky-White through the forest, encounters Cinderella, who is running from the Prince (the brother, coincidentally, of the prince who is smitten with Rapunzel) and his Steward. When Cinderella reveals she isn't sure she wants the Prince, the Baker's Wife thinks she is being very foolish ("Very Nice Prince"). The Baker's Wife tries to take one of Cinderella's gold shoes, but is forced to chase after the runaway cow instead.

    The next morning the characters realize one midnight has gong and they have not realized their wishes. Jack discovers a beanstalk has grown up overnight.

    As the Baker sleeps beneath a tree, Jack appears with an oversized money sack. He sings about "Giants In The Sky" and relates his adventure. He describes the sensation of being high in the sky and meeting a lady giant. The appearance of her husband, an even bigger giant who intended to harm him, sent him scrambling back to earth with one of the giant's sacks of gold. Jack's Mother, delighted by his acquisition, has let him keep five gold pieces which he wants to use to buy back Milky-White. He finds the Baker and demands his cow. The Baker cannot sell the cow because the Witch wants it. Jack, thinking the Baker is holding out for more money, goes off in search of additional funds, leaving the gold with the Baker. The Baker's Wife appears, confessing she has lost the cow.

    Rapunzel's Prince and Cinderella's Prince exchange tales of woe ("Agony") each insisting his romantic problem is more serious than his brother's.

    The Baker's Wife, who is searching for the hair as yellow as corn, encounters Jack's Mother, who is looking for Jack. The Mysterious Man returns the cow to the Baker. The Witch warns the Mysterious Man to stay out of her business. The Baker's Wife, recognizing Rapunzel's hair as the perfect shade to satisfy the Witch's hair demand, grabs one of the girl's substantial tresses, rips it out, and runs into Cinderella, who is on her way home from another night at the Festival. The Baker's Wife tries, without success, to take Cinderella's shoe. The Baker and his Wife run into each other and he finally agrees it will take both of them to accomplish their goal ("It Takes Two").

    Jack appears with the hen that lays golden eggs. The Baker's Wife realizes the Baker has considered selling the cow for money. The cow drops dead and all seems lost for the Baker and his Wife. Two midnights are gone.

    The Baker goes in search of another cow. The Baker's Wife goes off to try again to grab a golden slipper. The Witch warns Rapunzel to obey her ("Stay With Me") and to remain shielded from the world. Rapunzel says she is not longer a child and wants to see the world. Infuriated, the Witch cuts off most of Rapunzel's hair and exiles her. The Narrator reveals while pursuing Rapunzel, Rapunzel's Prince has fallen into a patch of thorns and blinded himself.

    Leaving her third visit to the royal ball wit only one slipper, Cinderella reflects on her indecision about leaving her miserable home for the unknown aspects of life with the Prince ("On The Steps Of The Palace"). She decides not to decide. She has left a shoe for the Prince to find and it will be his decision.

    The Baker's Wife gives Cinderella her own shoes in exchange for the remaining gold slipper. She then has a struggle with the Prince's Steward who also wants the second gold slipper. The Mysterious Man becomes involved in the struggle. The Prince decides they only need on shoe. There is a horrible thud. Jack's Mother screams that a dead giant has fallen from the sky. No one seems to care. The third midnight is near.

    The Baker and his Wife report to the Witch with their four objects, but she rejects the new cow, which they have covered with flour to look like the dead Milky-White. The Witch demands they bring the dead Milky-White to her and she'll bring it back to life.

    Jack appears with a golden harp. The Witch restores Milky-White to life and commands the Baker to feed the cow the other objects. A clock chime begins to strike. The Witch insists the cow be milked to fill a silver goblet. Jack tries, but no milk flows. When the Baker's Wife says she pulled the hair as yellow as corn from a maiden in the tower, the Witch explains she, the Witch, cannot have touched any of the objects needed to break the spell. The Mysterious Man says to feed the cow an ear of corn. The Witch reveals the Mysterious Man is the Baker's father. The cow eats the corn; the milk flows into the goblet and the Witch drinks it. She is transformed into a beautiful woman and the Baker's father dies as the third midnight strikes.

    The Narrator explains the Witch had been cursed with ugliness after her beans were stolen, but is now beautiful once again. Milky-White is reunited with Jack. The Prince searches for Cinderella with the golden slipper. Lucinda and Florinda try to fit into the slipper by cutting off parts of their feet, but their tricks are discovered and the Prince finally finds Cinderella.

    The Narrator states Rapunzel, has been reunited with her blind prince and Rapunzel's tears restored his vision. The Witch attempts reconciliation with her adopted daughter, but Rapunzel refuses. When the Witch tries to enchant Rapunzel and her prince, she realizes that in exchange for her own youth and beauty, she has lost her magical power over others.

    The Baker's Wife, who appears, very pregnant, greets Cinderella. The Narrator observes that everything, which seemed wrong, is now right. The kingdoms are filled with joy and those who deserve happiness are certain to live long and satisfying lives. Only tenderness and laughter are foreseen forever after. In the finale we are reminded there will be times when each of us must journey into the woods but that we must mind the future and the past.

    The show ends as Cinderella says, "I wish..."

    Casting Information

    Cast size: Medium (11-20)
    Cast Type: Children in Cast
    Dance requirement: None/minimal
    Character Breakdown
    BAKER Strong actor, good singer, good-hearted man
    A flat - E flat
    BAKER'S WIFE Excellent singer and actress, comic timing, determined and patient, drives the play forward
    B flat - D
    CINDERELLA Strong singer, moves well, comic timing, beautiful yet awkward and clumsy
    A - D
    CINDERELLA'S FATHER Some group singing, seemingly no interest in his daughter's well-being, in one scene
    CINDERELLA'S MOTHER Good singer, in one scene
    B flat - D
    CINDERELLA'S STEPMOTHER Good actress, good singer, selfish, mean and nasty
    G - D
    FLORINDA
    LUCINDA Good actresses, good singers, step-sisters to Cinderella, spoiled brats
    E - G
    GRANNY Good speaking voice, fiesty and fierce, may be doubled with Cinderella's Mother
    Non-singing
    JACK Good actor, excellent singer, capable of transitioning from a simple boy to a more grown-up young man
    A - D
    JACK'S MOTHER Good actress, strong speaking voice, some singing
    C - C
    LITTLE RED RIDINGHOOD Good actress, strong voice, pushy, bratty and spoiled
    B flat - C
    MILKY WHITE Good part for young child, moves well
    Non-singing
    MYSTERIOUS MAN Strong speaking voice, can be doubled with Narrator role
    Non-singing
    NARRATOR Engaging, charismatic, strong speaking voice, some singing, may double as Mysterious Man
    G - B
    RAPUNZEL Excellent singing voice
    C - A
    RAPUNZEL'S PRINCE
    CINDERELLA'S PRINCE Good singers, good actors, brothers, pompous and self-absorbed
    B flat - D flat
    STEWARD Featured role, good singer
    C - D
    WITCH Good actress, strong singer, mysterious, mischievous, mother to Rapunzel
    B flat - C
    WOLF Strong speaking voice, can be doubled or played by female
    Non-singing

    Rehearsal Set

    The following materials are provided as a set in a Showkit

    20 x Student Books
    1 x Director's Guide
    2 x Accompaniment and Vocal Guide CDs
    1 x Choreographic DVD
    20 x Family Matters
    1 x Piano Vocal Score

    Orchestration

    The Accompaniment and Vocal Guide CD is the only orchestration available for this show.

    Resources

    Perusal CD
    Logo Pack
    Production Slides

Partners & Associates

  • cipc
  • bsa
  • samro