Tuesday, March 15, 2011


#2 in my Flop Musical series

The Baker's Wife is a musical from the late 70's that started on a 6 month pre-Broadway tour and never made it to Broadway.   It encountered a lot of problems along the way, most notably the firing of it's original leading lady who was replaced with Patti LuPone; and the original leading man, Topol being replaced by Paul Sorvino.  The score by Stephen Schwartz has some very good songs, so it is fortunate that a recording was made with LuPone, Sorvino, Kurt Peterson and Terri Ralston singing the major solos and duets from the show.  While the show never made it to Broadway it did have a West End production that opened in London in late 1989, but that production only ran for 56 performances.  The London production did get a 2 cd recording of the entire score, which allowed all of the ensemble songs and the full score to finally be heard on a professional recording.   The recording with LuPone is out of print but still available via Amazon at a substantial price....
The Baker's Wife (Members of the 1976 Original Cast)

The London Cast cd is still available - The Baker's Wife: A Comedy Musical (1990 Original London Cast)

The story tells a simple tale of a young woman who is married to an older baker and the young man who comes into her life that makes her wonder if a life with him would be more exciting than the one she has as The Baker's Wife.  There is also a lot of interraction with the townspeople who inhabit the village that the baker and his wife just moved into and love to comment on the actions of it's inhabitants.

The show has a book by Joseph Stein and was based on a French film.  Besides the main cast changes, the show also suffered numerous rewrites of the book in it's long pre-Broadway journey.   And, another big problem the show almost had is that the one song from the show that has become an extremely popular one, almost got cut from the show due to the producer David Merrik's dislike of the song. 

Fortunately Merrick didn't get his way, as that song is Meadowlark, an incredibly theatrical song that has been covered by so many famous artists - here is just a sampling...

Patti LuPone -

Betty Buckley -

Liz Callaway -

Tituss Burgess -

Eden Espinosa -

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