Overview and Moral of Into the Woods: Play Analysis

2609 Words11 Pages
In society there is a longing for a story to have a nice and neat happy ending. Broadway and the theater originally would give this to their audience, especially in America. Give the audience what the want! They want happy endings that mirror their own values and interpretations of how the world should be and at the end of it should be, “and they all lived happily ever after.” The fairy tale ending is something society hopes, dreams, and strives for since we could listen to our parents read us fairy tales with these sweet stories of finding true love and having to fight the odds to be the Prince or Princess you deserve to be. With Into the Woods, Lapine and Sondheim sought out to explore what could go wrong with “happily ever after.” Effectively leaving the audience with the adage, “be careful what you ask for…”

Into the Woods was written by James Lapine with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim. The partnership of the two writers came off the break-up of the duo of Sondheim and Hal Prince (Stempel, 544). Sondheim recalls how the difference impacts his writing and what comes out of the creative process as a whole:

Hal is my age, we’ve had a more than thirty-five-year collaboration, and it’s something of a marriage…Jim is twenty something years younger and quiet, soft-spoken. He comes from an off-Broadway background where there is a different way of working and there’s more of a community feeling; everybody feels much more like a family. (Stempel, 545).

Lapine’s off-Broadway experienced definitely helped him create his style of writing, which in turn rubbed off on Sondheim even after their time as collaborators was over. Lapine felt that he championed visual theater with less reliance on text to tell the story (Stempel, ...

... middle of paper ...

...d insight to the details of how Lapine and Sondheim wanted Into the Woods to be structured. Information about how the duo referenced the psychoanalysts to create their paradigm of fairy tales and true life. Lapine’s book was interwove expertly and deftly, and Mankin’s work helped me field the thesis of how the musical brought our inner child out to realize our true struggles in life.

Stempel, Larry. Showtime: A History of the Broadway Musical Theater. New York, NY: W.W. Norton, 2010. Print. Stempel’s work gave more insight to the relationship between Lapine and Sondheim, especially after the separation of Sondheim and Hal Prince’s long partnership.

Sutton, Brian. “Sondheim and Lapine’s Into the Woods.” Explicator (Expl), 55.4 (1997):

233-236. Print. This source by Sutton gave intel to the creation and lyrics by Sondheim and Lapine.

More about Overview and Moral of Into the Woods: Play Analysis

Get Access