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Why Does The Witch Die In "Into the Woods"?

RentBoy86
Broadway Legend
joined:2/15/05
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I've seen the OBC on DVD, and two local productions of Into the Woods and I still don't understand why/how the Witch dies in Into the Woods. It always seems so sudden and random. None of the characters really give any thought to it. Or does she even die? Is she just disappearing? I never quite understand it. Is there a certain key line in the show that I'm just missing, or something?
SorryGrateful
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Hmmmm... I never thought she died. I just thought she got fed up and went away. (To put it simplistically.)
You promised me poems. ~Tricky
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FOAnatic
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She doesn't die.

She eats the beans and goes back to the way she originally was.
"I love talking about nothing. It is the only thing I know anything about." - Oscar Wilde
RentBoy86
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What? I'm talking about at the very end with the whole Giant business. She sings her "Last Midnight" and at the end there's smoke and then she disappears. What exactly happens? It doesn't make sense. If she goes back to her normal self then why not show her instead of having her disappear?
BSoBW2
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joined:12/8/04
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All right mother, when?
Lost the beans again!
PUNISH ME THE WAY YOU DID THEN
Give me claws and a hunch
JUST AWAY FROM THIS BUNCH
And the gloom
And the doom
And the boom
CRUNCH!

Updated On: 2/15/07 at 11:35 AM
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FOAnatic
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It depends on the version you're talking about.

In the original production, Bernadette disappears through the floor in a puff of smoke after tossing some of the beans in the ground.

In the revival, Vanessa eats some of the beans and her hair begins to fall out and she begins to become the gnarled woman she began the show as, before falling through the floor in smoke.
"I love talking about nothing. It is the only thing I know anything about." - Oscar Wilde
C is for Company
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She leaves them all, it is pretty much expressed in "Last Midnight" that she is through with all of them and returns to her former state and vanishes.
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Mister Matt
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She leaves. It's in the lyrics.

"I'm leaving you alone.
You can tend the garden, it's yours.
Separate and alone.
Everybody down on all fours.

All right, mother when?
Lost the beans again.
Punish me the way you did then.
Give me claws and a hunch
Just away from this bunch.

And the gloom...
And the doom...
And the boom...
CRUNCH!"

(and the witch disappears)
"What can you expect from a bunch of seitan worshippers?" - Reginald Tresilian
husk_charmer
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joined:10/19/06
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Where did you get the impression that she dies?
http://www.youtube.com/huskcharmer
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FOAnatic
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Perhaps he's referring to the updated lyrics in the revival where the Witch says: "Mother, here I come."
"I love talking about nothing. It is the only thing I know anything about." - Oscar Wilde
BSoBW2
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Perhaps he's referring to the updated lyrics in the revival where the Witch says: "Mother, here I come."

Why would anyone do that?
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FOAnatic
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There was a revival?
"I love talking about nothing. It is the only thing I know anything about." - Oscar Wilde
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JudasIscariot
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I think that the Witch does die. Now, when he mother punished her first, she took away her youth and beauty for losing the beans. Well, she throws away her beans in the 'Last Midnight', therefore provoking her mother to punish her again. I think that her mother takes her away and or kills her for losing the beans, which is a much more severe punishment. That is why she screams, I don't think that she would have screamed if she was just 'going away'.
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NYC4Life
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She screams because she looks like a hag again.
BSoBW2
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Billy Porter does an amazing LAST MIDNIGHT.
husk_charmer
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Porter was conisdered for the role in the revival...

I don't think she does die, she calls out to her mother, telling her to turn her back to her former ugly self. She then takes her leave, she is no longer needed, she is fed up and uses what little magic she has left to get herself out. In the revival she clearly doesn't die.
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BSoBW2
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I know. He went in to audition and Sondheim asked him to read for The Witch. That's what makes his version so heartbreaking.

It makes Vanessa Williams' version sound like crap. And I actually don't mind hers.

But Porter's is something else...
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robbiej
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As punishment for losing the beans the first time, she is turned into a hag. To regain her beauty, she sends the Baker and his wife on a mission to obtain all of materials needed to reverse the spell. When she drinks the potion, she regains her beauty but loses her powers. During Last Midnight she decides to 'lose' the beans, sacrificing her beauty, but regaining her powers so as she might escape. Which she does.
"I'm so looking forward to a time when all the Reagan Democrats are dead."
Danielm
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Hmmm--I never thought she died, although she could have--perhaps out of grief for Rapunzel she kills herself. Perhaps "Mother"--the goddess punishes her. I always thought she just went away because she couldn't stand those people anymore.
Yes, we do need a third vampire musical.--Little Sally, Gypsy of the Year 2005.
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LeadingDude
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In the revial version of the song, she does sing "mother here I come!" and then she dissapears. Her mother is dead. So if she is dead the only way for her to see her is if....
Updated On: 2/15/07 at 01:56 PM
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TheQuibbler
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...because you touch yourself at night.
Danielm
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When in the show does it say her mother is dead?
Yes, we do need a third vampire musical.--Little Sally, Gypsy of the Year 2005.
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CurtainPullDowner
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She is such a bitch.
bella cantato
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Okay so, I may be the only person in the universe who HASN'T seen Into the Woods, but was it absolutely necessary for you to put that in the subject line? Couldn't you have titled it "Into the Woods Question" ???
"You know, a little orphan girl once told me that the sun would come out tomorrow. Her adopted father was a powerful billionaire, so I supressed the urge to laugh in her face. But now, by gum, I think she might have been on to something!" --Reefer Madness
C is for Company
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Well rest assured, the bitch ain't dead! Apparently it is only her mother that is dead?