Irma la douce, the classical musical comedy featuring the tender love story between a prostitute and her pimp (who also masquerades as her only john), gets a new revival in Italy. The show, produced by Teatro Stabile del Friuli-Venezia Giulia, opens tomorrow (March 17) at Romes Teatro Sistina for a four-week run thru April 12, following a successful tour which began last June in Trieste.
Irma la douce, with a book by Alexandre Breffort and music by Marguerite Monnot (author of several Edith Piaf hits), originally opened in Paris in 1956. The English production, directed by Peter Brook, with Elisabeth Seal in the leading role, ran for over three years in London and more than one year in Broadway. The 1963 internationally acclaimed film version, directed by Billy Wilder and starring Shirley Mac Laine and Jack Lemmon, deleted all the songs and used some of the music as background themes.
The new Italian version of Irma la dolce keeps all the original songs including the hits "Dis-donc" and "Our language of love." The show features a cast of 15 with Daniela Giovanetti in the lead role of Irma, the sweet Pigalle prostitute with a heart of gold. Fabio Camilli is Nestore, the young impoverished student who becomes Irmas pimp, falls in love with her and disguises himself as Lord Oscar to become her only client. Paolo Triestino is Couteau, Irmas former mec, and the popular comedian Gian plays Bob, the bar owner.
Directed by Antonio Calenda, Irma la dolce has been translated into Italian by Roberto Cavosi. The musical director is Germano Mazzocchetti, with sets and costumes by Bruno Buonincontri, choreography by Marco Ierva and lighting by Claudio Schmid. The orchestra is conducted by Pino Iodice.Tickets are available at the Teatro Sistina box office (tel. +39 6 48.26.841) and at various ticket agencies in Rome including Prontospettacolo (tel. +39 6 188.8.131.52) and Box Office (tel. +39 6 37.20.216). Further information may be found at Teatro Sistinas website "www.infoserv.it/show/sistina".
--By Stefano Curti