The Baker’s Wife (stage review)

New from The Movie Snob.

The Baker’s Wife  (B-).  This was my first experience with Pfamily Arts in Plano–in fact, I had never heard of this venue up in Plano until a week or so ago.  Then I saw a notice in The Dallas Morning News that this 1976 musical “may be one of the best musicals that never played on Broadway,” and that music and lyrics were by Stephen Schwartz, the composer behind Wicked.  So I made plans to go.  But then shortly before showtime I saw a review at TheaterJones.com that praised the production and performances but blasted the musical itself.  But lowered expectations can be a good thing, and I enjoyed it well enough.  A middle-aged baker moves into a small French village with his beautiful and much younger wife Genevieve, which sets the whole village talking.  Genevieve doesn’t seem too much in love with her husband, and a handsome young buck sets his sights on stealing her away.  And then he succeeds!  Scandal!  The baker quits baking, and the villagers try to find Genevieve and persuade her to go back to her husband.  The story is a little weak; I don’t think it was made clear why Genevieve married the baker in the first place, nor does her big number is which she explains why she decides to leave the younger guy really do much explainin’.  And, as TheaterJones points out, the village men are generally irritating or downright nasty.  But hey, not every musical can be Man of La Mancha, right?  The performances and set design were good, and the gal who played Genevieve kind of looked like Kate Beckinsale (Total Recall).  I didn’t regret seeing it.

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