Baker Street (musical)

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Baker Street
A Musical Adventure of Sherlock Holmes
Baker Street CD Cover.png
Original Cast Recording [CD reissue]
Music Marian Grudeff, Raymond Jessel and Jerry Bock
Lyrics Marian Grudeff, Raymond Jessel and Sheldon Harnick
Book Jerome Coopersmith
Basis The Sherlock Holmes stories of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Productions 1965 Broadway

Baker Street is a musical with a book by Jerome Coopersmith and music and lyrics by Marian Grudeff and Raymond Jessel.

Background[edit]

Loosely based on the Sherlock Holmes story A Scandal in Bohemia by Arthur Conan Doyle, it is set in and around London in 1897, the year in which England celebrated the Diamond Jubilee of the reign of Queen Victoria (an event marked by an elaborate royal procession depicted by Bil Baird's marionettes). The musical veers from Conan Doyle's work in that Irene Adler becomes an associate of Holmes rather than his opponent, thus allowing an element of romance between the two.

Because of problems the show went through during out of town tryouts, Sheldon Harnick and Jerry Bock, the successful composing team of Fiddler on the Roof were brought in to contribute additional songs including "Cold Clear World" and "I Shall Miss You." They also wrote "I'm In London Again" which was the first number for Irene Adler, but after opening night, this number (which can be heard on the cast album) was dropped and replaced by another Bock-Harnick composition, "Buffalo Belle" which had Irene Adler performing an elaborate Wild West number.

Productions[edit]

After six previews, the Broadway production, directed by Hal Prince, opened on February 16, 1965 at The Broadway Theatre, where it ran for nine months. It then transferred to the Martin Beck Theatre (now the Al Hirschfeld Theatre), but closed after only eleven days, for a total of 311 performances.

The opening night cast included Fritz Weaver, Peter Sallis, Martin Gabel, Inga Swenson, Virginia Vestoff, Teddy Green, and, in small supporting roles, Tommy Tune and Christopher Walken in their Broadway debuts.

Producer Alexander H. Cohen felt the show was such an event that he announced, prior to the opening, men would not be admitted unless they were clad in jackets and ties, and women would be allowed in only if they wore dresses. This policy quickly changed once the mixed reviews were in and Cohen realized he needed all the business he could get, no matter how it was attired.

Song list[edit]

  • "It's So Simple" - Holmes, Watson, Lestrade, and Captain
  • "I'm in London Again" - Irene
  • "Leave it to Us, Guv" -The Irregulars
  • "Letters" - Irene
  • "Cold, Clear World" - Holmes
  • "Finding Words for Spring" - Irene
  • "What a Night This is Going to Be" - Holmes, Watson,Irene, Irene's Dresser
  • "I Shall Miss You, Holmes" - Moriarty
  • "Roof Space" - The Irregulars
  • "A Married Man" - Watson
  • "I'd Do it Again" - Irene
  • "Pursuit" - Holmes
  • "Jewelry" - Moriarty's Gang

Awards and nominations[edit]

Original Broadway production[edit]

Year Award Category Nominee Result
1965 Tony Award Best Author Jerome Coopersmith Nominated
Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical Inga Swenson Nominated
Best Scenic Design Oliver Smith Won
Best Costume Design Motley Nominated

External links[edit]