American Playhouse (1981– )
40 user 6 critic

Into the Woods 

In this Tony Award-winning musical by Stephen Sondheim, several fairy tale characters learn the hard way that the 'Happily Ever After' they sought isn't necessarily so happy after all.


James Lapine


James Lapine (book)




Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Joy Franz ... Cinderella's Stepmother
Edmund Lyndeck ... Cinderella's Father
Philip Hoffman ... Steward
Kay McClelland Kay McClelland ... Florinda
Lauren Mitchell Lauren Mitchell ... Lucinda
Chuck Wagner ... Rapunzel's Prince
Pamela Winslow Kashani Pamela Winslow Kashani ... Rapunzel (as Pamela Winslow)
Merle Louise Merle Louise ... Grandmother / Cinderella's Mother / Giant
Barbara Bryne Barbara Bryne ... Jack's Mother
Ben Wright Ben Wright ... Jack
Danielle Ferland Danielle Ferland ... Little Red Riding Hood
Kim Crosby Kim Crosby ... Cinderella
Robert Westenberg Robert Westenberg ... Wolf / Cinderella's Prince
Tom Aldredge ... Narrator / Mysterious Man
Joanna Gleason ... Baker's Wife


A childless baker and his wife cannot have a child until they follow the bidding of the witch next door to get a cow as white as milk, the cape as red as blood, the hair as yellow as corn, and the slipper as pure as gold. Good thing, then that they've got neighbors named Jack, Little Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel and Cinderella to help them before (and after) Happily Ever After. Written by Kathy Li

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

baker | cow | giant | cinderella | witch | See All (29) »



Parents Guide:

View content advisory »






Release Date:

15 March 1991 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Brandman Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


| (video)



Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Cinderella's wedding dress is an exact replica of Princess Diana's. See more »


The Baker: [trying to guess what destroyed the witch's garden] Do you think it was a bear?
Witch: A bear? No, bears are sweet! Besides, you ever see a bear with forty-foot feet?
The Bakers Wife: A dragon?
Witch: No scorch marks. Usually they're linked.
The Baker: Manticore?
Witch: Imaginary!
The Bakers Wife: Gryphon?
Witch: Extinct.
The Baker: Giant?
Witch: [pauses] Possible. Very, very possible.
See more »


Referenced in Horton Hears a Who! (2008) See more »


Last Midnight
Music and Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim
Sung by Bernadette Peters
See more »

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User Reviews

Another Stunning Achievement from the mind of Stephen Sondheim....
16 April 2008 | by Isaac5855See all my reviews

INTO THE WOODS is a musically intricate and enchanting musical from the man who brought us COMPANY,A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC,FOLLIES, Sunday IN THE PARK WITH GEOGRE and SWEENEY TODD. Sondheim, Broadway's finest lyricist, has once again struck gold with this clever and complex story that incorporates characters from several different classic fairy tales in a mystical blend that might make the Brothers Grimm roll over in their graves but will leave fans of this musical genius clamoring for more. This musical follows the adventures of a poor Baker and his wife, who want to have a child more than anything and are promised a child by an evil witch, with secrets of her own, if they can bring her Little Red Riding Hood's Cape, Cinderella's slipper, the cow belonging to Jack of Jack and the Beanstalk fame and a lock of Rapunzel's hair and it is their journey into the fairy tale forest to find these items that provides the plot for this delightfully imaginative musical. As always, Sondheim has provided us with lush melodies and intricate musical arrangements where characters sing on top of each other and it is virtually impossible to catch everything that is being sung, but for us Sondheim-aholics, this is half the fun, requiring careful attention and multiple viewings. This DVD is a taping of a performance by the original Broadway cast, led by the divine Bernadette Peters as the Witch. Hidden behind heavy makeup for the first act, Peters proves to be a gifted actress as well as the consummate song stylist. Peters stops the show with "Children Will Listen" and "Last Midnight". Joanna Gleason won a Tony for her effervescent turn as the Baker's wife and Chip Zien is beautifully paired with her as the Baker. There are also outstanding supporting performances from Robert Westenberg in two roles as the Wolf and Cinderella's Prince, Danielle Ferland as Little Red Riding Hood, Kim Crosby as Cinderella, and Ben Wright as Jack. Other musical highlights include "Agony" a funny yet melodic duet between the two princes, "On the Steps of the Palace" sung by Cinderella, "Hello Little Girl", the musical meeting between Red Riding Hood and the Wolf" and Gleason's show stopping "Moments in the Woods". A thoroughly original and lushly theatrical musical that provides another testament to the genius that is Stephen Sondheim.

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