The first question you’re likely to ask about “The Great British Bake Off Musical” is, surely, “Is it sweet?” Such a tone, dusted with lots of sugar, has been crucial to the success of the popular TV program this new stage show adapts, and which pits amateur bakers against one another to see who can perfect the petit four or come up with the most luscious Key lime pie.

And the show, which opened on Monday at the Noël Coward Theater for a limited run through May 13, really is generous-spirited. During its two-and-a-half hour running time, the musical’s likability is never in question, even if its craft sometimes is: You can’t help wishing the creators had been as exacting with their own material as some of the contestants are with their ovens.

Newcomers to this milieu should know that “The Great British Bake Off” first aired in Britain in 2010 on the BBC, before moving to the commercial broadcaster Channel 4, and spawning various offshoots along the way: “Junior Bake Off,” for one, to showcase those adolescents, and younger, who have a penchant for pastry. (In the United States, the original is known as “The Great British Baking Show.”)

This stage iteration, written by Pippa Cleary and Jake Brunger and directed by Rachel Kavanaugh, was first seen last summer in the spa town of Cheltenham, in the west of England, and has been put together in conjunction with Love Productions, the company behind the TV show.

On home turf, the TV series has regularly made headlines, but you don’t have to be familiar with the so-called “Hollywood handshake” — the gesture of approval from Paul Hollywood, one of the judges — to grasp the terrain of the musical. Devotees of its small-screen original will note various in jokes, not to mention the visual match that has been achieved between Hollywood and Prue Leith — his bespectacled fellow judge — and the musical’s co-stars John Owen-Jones and Haydn Gwynne.

But perhaps the biggest appeal of the TV material is the cross-section of British society the competitors represent. The musical, perhaps inevitably but also rather drippily, whisks dollops of uplift into the mix. You get a comic number in which the two judges appear as dueling scones alongside life lessons elsewhere about “the recipe of me,” and it’s suggested that baking can make you feel better about yourself.

An introductory sequence announces, with mock-biblical fervor, the birth of flour and sugar. And before we know it, we’re in the show’s iconic white tent — Alice Power designed not just the sets and costumes but also the cakes — and meeting the disparate group of eight bakers who will be whittled down to one winner. Their fates are accompanied by continual innuendo about soggy bottoms, spotted dicks and any other culinary double entendres that might induce a snicker (let’s not forget cream-filled buns).

The self-regarding Izzy (Grace Mouat) is so sure of her success that she gets a dance number, “Obviously,” in praise of her own bravura. At the opposite end of the spectrum is the nervous chatterbox Gemma (Charlotte Wakefield), a depressive health aide from Blackpool whose climactic anthem, “Rise,” draws directly from the “Wicked” playbook of self-empowerment. In keeping with the “Wicked” theme, the older, notably fastidious Russell (Michael Cahill) speaks separately of people “coming into your life for a reason” — a familiar sentiment from the earlier show. The pie-themed musical “Waitress” hovers in the wings, as well.

There’s something of a rummage-sale feel to Cleary and Brunger’s eclectic score, which draws upon such diverse sources as Cole Porter (a jaunty duet for the judges) and Stephen Sondheim: The wonderful Gwynne starts the second act with a sequined dance number that could have come from “Follies.” She also reprises the cartwheel that wowed audiences some years back in “Billy Elliot,” and when she speaks of dipping “your little finger in my raclette,” the image sounds notably lewd.

Hassan (a winning Aharon Rayner), an immigrant based in Wembley, northwest London, hankers for the smells of Syria, his onetime home, while Francesca (Cat Sandison), a teacher with infertility issues, sings of how panforte and panettone are part of her Italian heritage.

I wish it weren’t quite so preordained that the outspoken, thrice-married Babs (the redoubtable Claire Moore) would get a lusty showstopper in which her libido is revealed in all its power; the song’s title, “Babs’ Lament,” nods directly toward “Guys and Dolls,” a revival of which happens to be previewing across town at the moment.

And as soon as we have glimpsed the widower Ben (Damian Humbley, in characteristically fine voice), it’s clear the contest will find him a companion: he’s even got a precocious 9-year-old daughter, Lily, to urge him on his amorous path, though not before she rather implausibly rattles off a list of today’s ills, the war in Ukraine among them.

This musical occupies a different, more innocent world — one in which strudels are restorative and, as the show puts it, “cake is the cure.” I’m as fully on board with that message as anyone. What’s needed is more art to accompany the heart.

The Great British Bake Off Musical

Through May 13 at the Noël Coward Theater in London;

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