As in all fairytale settings (many are combined here), damsels need rescuing, wishing changes in life circumstances. And of course there's a dark woods.
This telling has a moral to it's story and it's wrapped up in the words from the overview: "Be careful what you wish for. ...Even storybook characters must face the music." We tell our children fairy tales because we want them to believe in the magic of wishing. There's a book titled Wishcraft. Many faith communities teach about turning wishes into reality. What creators Sondheim and Lapine put forth in this wonderful show is that wishes may come true, but not without a price. Fairy tales don't always tell that side... even if a price is exacted, the grantor of the wish is often thwarted in the end so everyone can live happily ever after ~ generally with their prince.
Life, of course, is so much more complicated, so much messier. Happily ever after is a matter of choice and a continuing process. The 'dark woods' hold terrors that have to be faced in order to reach the light on the other side. Occasionally, main characters in life suffer and even die. It's not always easy to make the choice for happy.
What do you do when you enter a 'dark woods'? Who helps you to traverse it? How have you handled the prices you've had to pay along the way?