The Priory Playhouse, Arundel
This is a fantastic, if little-known, musical from the composer Stephen Schwartz, best known for his award-winning show, Wicked.
A gentle and romantic musical, The Baker’s Wife is based on the French film La Femme du Boulanger, and won a small but dedicated fan base. Despite this, the production was criticised for being over-long, with poor audience figures and only ran for 56 performances in London. It has never been produced on Broadway.
I was fortunate to be involved with a production locally which was an amazing experience. We purposely had a very short rehearsal period: if my memory serves me right, I think it was three rehearsals to learn the music, then another intensive week of evening rehearsals to block and rehearse. Doing it in this way meant the cast came with dialogue, if not learned completely, then being very familiar with it; and solos and chorus harmony learned, which enabled us to spend much more time on putting the show together rather than note-bashing.