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Stephen Schwartz's Cuts Songs

Stepfhen Schwartz Hidden Song TreasuresHidden Song Treasures - Songs Cut from Musicals

(or never in them)

By Carol de Giere

By the time I interviewed Stephen Schwartz about The Baker's Wife, he and the show's bookwriter Joseph Stein had already reworked it twice since it closed out-of-town in 1976 before it reached Broadway. I had seen different song lists from these versions: pre-Broadway trial, the London West End production, the York Theatre revival, and the current script that the writers were tweaking again for an upcoming production in Connecticut. And so as we sipped tea at his dining room table in Stephen's office/studio/condo in Manhattan, I said to him, "You wrote a ton of songs for the show."

"Oh, millions of songs! They weren't all in the show at the same time. People who hear the cast album say, 'How did this show not work?' What they don't understand is that there was never a single performance of the show where all the songs that were in the album were in the show at the same time. For instance 'Proud Lady' was cut very early in the Broadway tryout. It was something David Merrick felt strongly about. And it was gone before [the opening number] 'Chanson' came into the show so there was never a performance when 'Chanson' and 'Proud Lady' were in the show at the same time in the pre-Broadway trial."

As we conversed in the room where one of Stephen's golden Oscar statuettes gleams in the sun from the south window, I couldn't help but wonder how someone at his level deals with so many cuts and changes. At one point he described his delight to cut "Endless Delights," one of my favorite tunes. "It doesn't tell you something you don't already know," he claimed.

I said, "It amazes me, your objectivity in terms of your babies. You don't seem to have this thing of 'these are my babies' that everybody does with their creations."

"It's not about that," Stephen insisted. "I'm very fond of quoting Tom Jones because he says really pithy things about musicals. One thing that he said is that in a musical, everything is more important than anything, which simply means that it's about the totality. And you have to be willing to change or sacrifice any given thing in order to make the entire thing work. So individual songs or moments or lines--if they're not serving the piece as a whole, they have to go. And I have absolutely no sentimental attachment to them whatsoever."

Here are some notes about some of those songs that he released into obscurity along the way.

Written in Stone: Stephen Schwartz was originally scheduled to write music and lyrics for Disney's Mulan. He wrote "Written in Stone" for the moment when Mulan changed into soldier's clothing and rode her horse off to join the army. But when DreamWorks executives asked him to write songs for The Prince of Egypt as well, Disney gave him the choice to continue with them exclusively or leave. Schwartz chose his independence and the two songs he had written for Mulan were dropped. Fortunately he could use the music, composed using the pentatonic scale, as inspiration for the opening number for his next Broadway show. (RECORDING: Not publically available)

Endless Delights: Cut recently from The Baker's Wife, Schwartz believes firmly that the show, "works much better without it." He wrote it for the baker's wife Genevieve and her lover Dominique to sing in Act II when they have run off together, (before Genevieve decides to go back home during the song "Where is the Warmth?"). Schwartz concluded as he worked on rewrites: "Either you see them having a romp in which case it doesn't tell you something you don't already know OR you see contained within the romp the seeds of the relationship not working, in which case you are undercutting "Where is the Warmth." Either way it doesn't work." RECORDING: On The Baker's Wife cast albums

Making Good: "Making Good" was the first song Stephen Schwartz finished for his witches of Oz musical Wicked, and the first to be revised. Scene two and its song were crucial for setting up Elphaba's desire line for the entire show. "Making Good" explored her ambition to "making good" in both senses of the phrase, "that is, to do things which were good, and in doing so, to make good in the sense of succeed," Schwartz explains. But there was something too mild about it, so he wrote a second version, which still wasn't hitting the mark. Then the songwriter reconsidered what Elphaba wanted. "It's got to be about the Wizard," he said to bookwriter Winnie Holzman in their next phone call. "What does she want? She's gotta want to meet the Wizard because she thinks that's going to solve her problems, just like everybody else in The Wizard of Oz." He asked Holzman to write a monologue that would express the ideas, and spun "The Wizard and I" from there. RECORDING: Not available.

Goodtime Ladies' Rag: This Pippin song segment from the middle of "Glory" was an instrumental section during which Ben Vereen danced with straw hat and cane along with Pam Sousa and Candy Brown. Upon request, Schwartz wrote lyrics later in order for it to be performed out of context. It's in the middle of "Glory" on the cast album.

See also Fosse video and DVD that includes a dance bit from Pippin DVD: Fosse [new browser window]

Marking Time: Schwartz wrote "Marking Time" to express Pippin's tentative and somewhat frustrated feelings with his domestic situation in Act II. But in the out-of-town trial running at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., it was clearly not working for John Rubinstein. From his room at the Watergate hotel, Schwartz wrote "Extraordinary" to replace the number. Rubinstein later remarked, "'Marking Time' was a perfectly good song. But that part of the show needed a punch. And that song was sort of an easy-going sort of Laura Nyro-esque…So that wasn't a frustrating song and Fosse asked Stephen to write another."

Stephen Schwartz remarks on his discussion forum at Stephenschwartz.com: While I have always liked the song, there is of course a good reason it was replaced, which is that "Extraordinary" works much better thematically. The emotional message of "Marking Time" is well conveyed in the book, particularly in the scene where Pippin sits "at the head of the table" and the following scene with Catherine. More important to the story is not to forget the pull on him of his original quest within the long Catherine sequence, which is what "Extraordinary" deals with; otherwise, the final scene with the Players lacks some persuasiveness.

RECORDING: John Barr has recorded several songs cut from Schwartz musicals, including "Marking Time" and "World Without You - London version"

A World Without You: In 1984 when Children of Eden was conceived, (then as Family Tree), it was designed to provide a modern story about family conflict, even though it was based on The Book of Genesis chapters 1 – 9. Schwartz wrote a tender ballad "A World Without Her" for Adam to sing to the audience about his leaving the tranquil beauty of Eden in order to be with Eve. While working with John Caird on Children of Eden for London's West End in 1991, Schwartz rewrote "A World Without You" for Adam to sing to Eve. Finally for American productions, the writers made Father a central character to be played by an actor on stage, thus further fulfilling the original intent of the show to focus on family issues. Schwartz rewrote "A World Without You" to be sung by Adam to both Father and Eve. The new version is "much more story-oriented," says the songsmith.


If We Never Meet Again: This song is from Rags, an original musical created by Joseph Stein (bookwriter), Charles Strouse (composer), and Stephen Schwartz (lyricist). As Stein explains, "The basic story was about this woman who comes to America with her child looking for her husband, and about her adventures and her growth." The primary setting is Manhattan's Lower East Side in 1910, but it originally began on the boat as Rebecca travels over from Russia. Rebecca and her friend Bella sang the sweet duet "If We Never Meet Again" on board. Eventually the entire first scene on the boat was cut and so there was no room for the tune. "It's one of my favorite songs," Schwartz remarks, "so this is a case of really murdering a darling.

RECORDING: Alice Ripley and Emily Skinner have recorded several songs from The Magic Show and also the cut song from Rags "If We'll Never Meet Again."

Which Way's the Party?: "Which Way's the Party was cut from Wicked after the pre-Broadway trial. See info on the "Dancing Through Life" page.


Photograph: Broadway PBS DVD Cover.Broadway: The American Musical - DVD at Amazon.com The DVD version of Broadway: the American Musical includes bonus features. Among them: "Wicked: The Road to Broadway" (16 minutes) and rehearsal of "For Good." The footage from WICKED includes about five minutes of the cast singing and dancing a rehearsal of "Which Way's The Party."

If We Never Meet Again: "If We Never Meet Again" was cut from the movie Pocahontas but included over the credits.

Someday: Someday was written for the place of "God Help the Outcast in The Hunchback of Notre Dame but then transferred to be run over the credits.


Goldfarb Variations: "The music for that was originally written for a show I did at Carnegie Mellon in my sophomore year," Schwartz writes on his website forum. "….When I decided to do another four-part fugue for The Magic Show, I was too lazy to write another one and simply appropriated the music. They say confession is good for the soul; after this posting, my soul should be in great shape."

Dreamscape and Crowded Island: "Dreamscape" and "Crowded Island" are from Reluctant Pilgrim, Schwartz's first album of personal songs. About the album he says, "It's the first time that I was writing songs which were not from a show, not hiding behind other characters, being more revealing. I had no singers or producers or anybody to hide behind."

RECORDING: Reluctant Pilgrim

Cry Without A Reason: This ballad was born after Stephen Schwartz and his long-time friend Dean Pitchford decided to write a song together.

RECORDINGS: John Barr has recorded "Cry Without A Reason," as has Scott Coulter.

Two's Company: When The Magic Show closed in 1978, "Two's Company" was not forgotten. Dina and Donna, a singing group at the nightclub where magician Doug is about to perform, sing to his assistant Cal about her situation. She is about to become a c-r-o-w-d when Doug conjures up someone more glamorous for his act.

RECORDING: Alice Ripley and Emily Skinner have recorded several songs from The Magic Show including "Two's Company." It's also sung on The Magic Show cast album.

Cold Enough to Snow: This song, with lyrics by Stephen Schwartz and music by Alan Menken, runs over the credits in Life with Mikey, a Disney film.

RECORDING: Schwartz sings it beautifully on "Uncharted Territory"

Forgiveness' Embrace: Singer Cass Morgan wanted to include the work of songwriter friends in her autobiographical musical True Home. Stephen Schwartz wrote music and lyrics for "Forgiveness' Embrace," the final song for True Home, based on an interview he conducted with Morgan. Even though it was written for that circumstance, he was able to infuse it with his own experiences and philosophy. The piece is one of his four favorite songs out of his whole body of work.

RECORDING: Schwartz sings this lofty song on "Uncharted Territory"

Wings of a Swan: As with "Defying Gravity" in Wicked, "Wings of a Swan" is sung while the singer is soaring over the stage. This one is fromMy Fairy Tale, or Mit Eventyr, a musical commissioned for a Hans Christian Andersen celebration opening November 5th near Copenhagen in Denmark.

RECORDING: See link to audio clip on My Fairy Tale page

Carol de Giere is webmaster for independent site MusicalSchwartz.com and editor of The Schwartz Scene.