Can-Can (musical)

Can-Can (musical)

Infobox Musical
name= Can-Can

music= Cole Porter
lyrics= Cole Porter
book= Abe Burrows
productions= 1953 Broadway
1954 West End
1981 Broadway revival
1988 West End revival

"Can-Can" is a musical with music and lyrics by Cole Porter, and a book by Abe Burrows. The story concerns the showgirls of the Montmartre dance halls during the 1890s.

The original Broadway production ran for over two years beginning in 1953, and the 1954 West End production was also a success. Gwen Verdon, in only her second Broadway role, and choreographer Michael Kidd won Tony Awards and were praised, but both the score and book received tepid reviews, and revivals generally have not fared well.

Production history

It premiered on Broadway at the Shubert Theatre on May 7, 1953, and closed on June 25, 1955 after 892 performances. The original production, which Burrows also directed, starred Lilo, Hans Conried, Peter Cookson, and Gwen Verdon. Michael Kidd was the choreographer.

The London premiere took place at the Coliseum Theatre in October 1954, and ran for 394 performances. The cast included Irene Hilda, Edmund Hockridge, Alfred Marks, Gillian Lynne and Warren Mitchell.

A 1981 Broadway revival opened April 30, 1981 at the Minskoff Theatre and closed after five performances and sixteen previews. It was directed by Burrows with choreography by Roland Petit and starred Zizi Jeanmaire.

The London revival at the Strand Theatre ran from October 26, 1988 through January 21, 1989 [ [ listing] ] , and featured Donna McKechnie, Bernard Alane, Norman Warwick, Janie Dee and Milo O'Shea. It had a revised book which incorporated songs from "Fifty Million Frenchmen", "Nymph Errant", "Silk Stockings", "Out of This World" and other Cole Porter musicals.

In 2004, a City Center Encores! staged concert production featured Patti LuPone, Michael Nouri, Charlotte d'Amboise, Reg Rogers, and Eli Wallach. This production was directed by Lonny Price, with sets by John Lee Beatty and lighting by Kenneth Posner. [ [ NYTimes review, 2004 Encores!] ]

A 2007 production at the Pasadena Playhouse in California used a rewritten book by Joel Fields and David Lee, who also directed. Lee and Fields created a back story for the protagonists, tightened the plot, and reintroduced a song that had been cut from the original ("Who Said Gay Paree?"). The cast featured Michelle Duffy and Kevin Earley, and the production received critical praise for Patti Colombo's choreography, Steve Orich's new orchestrations and scenic design by Roy Christopher.

Musical numbers

;Act I
* Introduction
* Maidens Typical of France
* Never Give Anything Away
* C'est Magnifique
* Quadrille
* Come Along with Me
* Live and Let Live
* I Am in Love
* If You Loved Me Truly
* Montmartre
* Garden of Eden Ballet
* Allez-Vous-En;Act II
* Who Said Gay Paree?
* Never, Never Be An Artist
* It's All Right With Me
* Every Man is a Stupid Man
* The Apaches
* I Love Paris
* Can-Can
* Finale

Awards and nominations

;Original 1953 production
Tony Awards
*Best Featured Actress in a Musical Gwen Verdon [winner]
*Best Choreography Michael Kidd [winner]
Theatre World Award
*Gwen Verdon (winner);1981 revival
Tony Awards
*Best Scenic Design David Mitchell [nominee]
*Best Costume Design Franca Squarciapino [nominee]
*Best Choreography Roland Petit [nominee]

Critical response

"The New York Times" wrote: "Mr. Porter and Mr. Burrows are fascinated by the wickedness of Montmartre in the Nineties. But it is Mr. Kidd, the choreographer, who makes real theatre out of revelry in the dance halls. He and his dancers are dry and satirical about it, and also enormously expert in their performing." [Atkinson, Brooks. [ "First Night at the Theatre",] "New York Times", May 8, 1953] In a later article, the "New York Times" commented: "No doubt the ballet has become the major entertainment medium in "Can-Can" by default. For Cole Porter's score is not one of his best works, and Abe Burrows' book is old-fashioned and pedestrian." [Atkinson, Brooks [ "Regarding 'Can-Can'",] "New York Times, May 17, 1953]


External links

* [ "Can-Can"] at the Internet Broadway Database
* [ "Can-Can" listing on]
* [ "Can-Can" information at]
* [ Review of Pasadena Playhouse 'Revisal'] from Reuters

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