A Baker and his wife wish for a child but suffer under a curse laid upon the Baker’s family by a Witch. The witch had previously found the baker’s father robbing her garden when the baker’s mother was pregnant, demanding their daughter in return. Because the Baker’s father also stole some magic beans, the Witch’s own mother also punished her with the curse of ugliness. The Witch is able to lift the curse and allow them to have a child, but only if the Baker and his wife obtain four critical items for her to make a potion: a cow as white as milk, a cape as red as blood, a hair as yellow as corn, and a slipper as pure as gold, none of which she is allowed to touch. Into the Woods 2014
The Witch’s demands eventually bring the Baker and his wife into contact with Jack, who is selling his beloved cow, Milky-White, and to whom the Baker offers magic beans left to him by his father (which were stolen from the Witch) which Jack accidentally grows into a large beanstalk; with Red Riding Hood, whose red cape the couple noticed when she stopped by the bakery earlier to buy bread and sweets on her way to her grandmother’s house; with blonde-haired Rapunzel (the Witch’s adopted daughter/the Baker’s biological sister), whose tower the Baker’s wife passes in the woods; and with Cinderella, who also runs into the Baker’s wife while fleeing from the pursuing Prince and whose ball outfit includes gold slippers.
After a series of failed attempts and misadventures, the Baker and his wife are finally able to gather the items necessary to break the spell. After the potion is completed, each of the characters receives a “happy ending“: Cinderella marries the Prince; Rapunzel is freed from the Witch by Cinderella’s Prince’s brother, whom she marries;