In Stephen Sondheim’s play “Into the Woods” a small disparate band of villagers are thrown together to fight a resident evil—a destructive, bloodthirsty giant—who is attacking their homes and lives.
Of course, the beginning of Sondheim’s story is none of that—terrifying, scary or full of witches and heroes. No, the first half of the play is a Happy Ending in the Making, as all fairy tales prove to be.
Little Red Riding Hood, Cinderella, Jack and the Beanstalk, Rapunzel—the usual suspects in the familiar children’s tales—are all mixed in to one larger story of facing difficulties, making choices—the right ones—and forging ahead in life even when there is loss and death.
Families are united, disaster is averted, a miracle occurs and a child is born.
The second half of the play is when an earthquake—literal and figurative—upsets the landscape of their lives forever. They are forced to realize life does NOT end happily ever after. There is evil in the world,there are giants to be faced and one’s friends are often a mix of people one would never associate with.
Cinderella’s prince turns out to be a philanderer, the baker’s wife (who gave Little Red her basket of goodies) is killed by the giant. Rapunzel’s prince is blinded by thorns in an attack by Rapunzel’s overbearing mother, the witch, who also chops off Rapunzel’s hair, banishing her to a solitary island.
Other losses occur. Jack climbs the beanstalk, returning with his golden harp, only to be followed by the angry giant whose monstrous, green vine comes crashing down, killing Jack’s mother.
The motley remaining crew must march into the dark and foreboding woods, fight the evil that wants to destroy them, pressing on to victory regardless of the cost. But not without grave losses, adjustments to their way of life and a willingness to stand up for what is right.
In the end, the Baker and cast sing “No One is Alone”, a moving song about the power of facing down evil and what happens when we rise to the occasion—you find out who your friends really are:
Witches can be right, Giants can be good.
You decide what’s right, You decide what’s good.
Just remember (Just remember)
Someone is on your side (Our side…Our side)
Someone else is not.
While we’re seeing our side-(Our side….Our side)
Maybe we forgot
They are not alone.
No one is alone
Hard to see the light now. Just don’t let it go.
Things will come out right now. We can make it so.
Someone is on your side,
No one is alone.
You read that correctly—Witches can be right, giants can be good.
Sometimes we don’t know what we believe or who we really are
until we are faced with an evil that is out to destroy us.
Because we have to decide what is right,
we have to decide what is good.
Saturday morning I joined about 126 people from all walks of life, a similar band of disparate folks of all ages from 10 different denominations in our city. We waved our signs and silently stood in protest in front of our local Planned Parenthood offices.
We banded together to do what we could against the evil that is allowing the killing of babies to harvest their organs. (I can hardly believe I’m typing those words.) Is there anything more wicked, more twisted, more evil?
This is not right. This is not good.
Saturday’s event in my fair city was part of a nationwide protest where people of faith banded together. Banded together to shed light on the dark, evil, life-destroying practice of murdering children and selling their body parts for research.
I can’t say anymore about it—the videos are incriminating and eye-opening and should shock you to your core.
If you do nothing else today, will you find out who your legislators are and tell them to defund Planned Parenthood?
Will you join with me and thousands of others across the country and fight this evil?
We are not alone.