Goodspeed Musicals will cook up a revival of composer-lyricist Stephen Schwartz's The Baker's Wife in 2002, after all, the renowned Connecticut producer of new and old musicals announced.
The romantic musical comedy was mentioned as a 2002 season possibility back in fall 2001 when producer Michael Price was finalizing the lineup, but a scheduling conflict kept it off the official slate. Details have now been worked out and the revised version of the 1976 flop will play Goodspeed's Norma Terris Theatre in Chester, CT, Nov. 7-Dec. 1. (The Baker's Wife was seen in a previously-revised form on London in 1989, directed by Trevor Nunn.) Broadway vets Schwartz and librettist Joseph Stein (drawing from a Marcel Pagnol film) have teamed up again to further tweak their show, which closed on the road in a 1976 production — producer David Merrick chose not to bring to Broadway. Several recordings of the score, which includes the lush "Meadowlark," are in stores. Paul Sorvino, Patti LuPone, Keene Curtis and Portia Nelson were the original stars.
The musical tells of a baker in a small French village whose young wife runs off with the local handyman. When the baker stops baking, the locals protest — and try to fetch the wayward wife.
Gordon Greenberg directs. Also at the Norma Terris Theatre — Goodspeed's "developmental" house for small shows, new works or unique revised revivals — are Craig Carnelia and David H. Bell's Actor, Lawyer, Indian Chief, May 15 June 9 and the Bob Hope-flavored The Road to Hollywood, Aug. 8-Sept. 1. At Goodspeed's flagship theatre, Goodspeed Opera Theatre, in East Haddam, CT, expect Dames at Sea, April 5-July 6; Babes in Arms, July 12-Sept. 28; and the original version of Steve Tesich's musical, King of Hearts Oct. 4-Dec. 15.
Subscription tickets to both theatres are now on sale through the box office (860) 873-8668. Single tickets go on sale March 3. Visit goodspeed.org. *
Goodspeed Musicals, "dedicated to the preservation and advancement of musical theatre," is the recipient of two Tony Awards for its achievements. In addition to its on-stage productions, Goodspeed also maintains the Scherer Library of Musical Theatre and publishes Show Music, The Musical Theatre Magazine. Annie and Man of La Mancha had formative stagings there prior to international success.
— By Kenneth Jones