The French production of Nine opened Sept. 16 at the Folies Bergere in front of an enthusiastic audience.
This production brought together cast members and a production team from different countries, making this Nine truly international.
Directing the show is Saverio Marconi whose credits include Italian productions of Little Shop of Horrors, La Cage aux Folles, A Chorus Line, West Side Story, Cabaret and Grease. His Italian sensibility was a perfect match for this musical based on Fellini's8 1/2. Nine marks Marconi's French debut. Fabrizio Angelini, who choreographed most of the shows directed by Marconi in Italy, also worked on this production.
The sets and costumes were created by French designer David Belugou whose name might sound familiar to American audiences since Belugou designs sets and costumes for the Big Apple Circus since 1995. He also created costumes for Sean Mathias film version of Bent.
The cast is even more international than the production team. Jerome Pradon as Guido is one one the rare French performers to have reached the West End with success, playing Chris in Miss Saigon and Guillaume in the original production of Martin Guerre. He is now back in Paris for this major role. Denmark-born Lisbet Bongarcon plays Claudia, Guido's favorite actress. She has played the title-role of Annie in Denmark when she was a child, before coming to France.
Also from Italy comes Mimma Lovoi as Saraghina, the high-spirited prostitute. Lovoi's film credits include Fellini'sGinger and Fred -- no wonder why she is in harmony with the atmosphere of this musical.
Chicago-born Alyssa Landry is Notre-Dame des Lunes, director of the spa. Landry was in the French productions of Cats and Les Miserables. She also had the opportunity to play with one of the stars of the original Broadway cast of Nine, Liliane Montevecchi, in a Belgian production of Hello, Dolly! at the Opera de Royal de Wallonie.
For tickets and information on Nine, call 331 44 79 98 98 or visit the Folies Bergere web site at http://www.foliesbergere.com.
-- By Stephane Ly-Cuong