Theatre Mirror Reviews - "The Baker's Wife"

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"What Happened in Boston, Willie"

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note: entire contents copyright 2001 by Beverly Creasey

Stunning Concert of
"The Baker's Wife"

Reviewed by Beverly Creasey

If you think you have to go to New York to see a sensational B'Way show, then you haven't seen "The Baker's Wife". Thirty-five local performers (and one Broadway star) prove that Boston can compete with the Big Boys. You only have two chances left, tonight and tomorrow at John Hancock Hall for a stunning concert performance.

The elegant three-time Tony-nominated Judy Kuhn plays the lead, the beautiful young wife who's the envy of everyone in town, but the real story is producer Deb Poppel's Boston cast, led by (co-producer) Michael Kreutz in a luminous performance as the kindly old baker who can offer warmth but not passion to the young woman.

Passion is provided by David Foley as the dashing love interest, with solid support from Mary Callanan, who narrates and sings the signature song about everything being "different" one day; and from Paul Farwell as the town drunk (the best portrait of inebriation I've seen yet); from Geoff Burns as the stuffy professor and from Sarah deLima as the town puritan

The musical score is the reason to see "The Baker's Wife" so a concert performance is the perfect vehicle for Stephen Schwartz' gorgeous music and clever lyrics (like "Gifts of Love" ... "Living Alone" and "Meadowlark). Director Rick Lombardo and musical director Michael Joseph get much more than concert performances from the superb cast (even though Schwartz joked at dress rehearsal that they'd only had three minutes to put it together)>

Boston stalwarts Bob Saoud, Brian DeLorenzo, Eric Sosman, Richard Santos and Poppel herself breathe vibrant life into the story --- and made numbers like three delicious "Fresh Warm Bread" so sensual I had to stop at Au Bon Pain on the way home. BRAVO.

"The Baker's Wife" (15 & 16 November)
John Hancock Hall, 180 Berkeley Street, BOSTON, MA
1 617/508 931-2787 .

THE THEATER MIRROR, New England's LIVE Theater Guide