The often-poetic songs of Jacques Brel, which address love, war, life and death, are featured in the musical revue, which began previews Off-Broadway March 5, 2006, and officially opened March 27. The original company featured Robert Cuccioli, Natascia Diaz, Gay Marshall and Rodney Hicks.
Cuccioli and Marshall continued with the show throughout its run. The current company also features former "American Idol" finalist Constantine Maroulis and Jayne Paterson.
According to a press statement, there are plans to mount Brel in various locations throughout the country as well as at the Menier Chocolate Factory in London.
The revival of Jacques Brel was directed by Gordon Greenberg. Greenberg's production features the cast of four on the intimate Zipper stage with just a few set pieces and the occasional prop: a chair, a couch, a few suitcases and several glasses of alcohol. Staircases are located on both sides of the stage, one for entrances and another that leads to the small band, whose pianist often joins the singers. Song titles include "Le Diable (Ca Va)," "Alone," "I Loved," "Jackie," "My Childhood," "Madeleine," "Bachelor's Dance," "Fanette," "Le Moribund," "The Desperate Ones," "Timid Frieda," "The Statue," "Sons of," "Amsterdam," "The Bulls," "Brussels," "Ne Me Quitte Pas," "The Middle Class," "Old Folks," "Funeral Tango," "My Death," "Marieke," "Song for Old Lovers," "Next," "You're Not Alone," "Carousel" and "If We Only Have Love."
Jacques Brel Is Alive & Well & Living in Paris features music and lyrics by the late Jacques Brel; conception, English lyrics and additional material by Eric Blau and Mort Shuman. The original staging of the revue opened in 1968 at The Village Gate in New York City and ran for 1,847 performances. Robert Cuccioli earned a Tony Award nomination for Best Actor in a Musical for his work in Jekyll & Hyde. He won the Drama Desk and the Outer Critics Circle awards for that performance as well. Cuccioli also appeared in the Broadway production of Les Misérables and has been seen on screen in "Sliders," "Baywatch," "Celebrity," "The Stranger" and "Operation Delta Force 3: Clear Target." His recent theatrical credits include Guys and Dolls, Temporary Help, Lorenzaccio, The Sound of Music and the Actors' Fund benefit concert of On the Twentieth Century.
Gay Marshall played Denise in the Paper Mill Playhouse and Goodspeed Opera House mountings of The Baker's Wife. She appeared on Broadway in A Chorus Line, in the original Paris production of Cats and in the Capital Rep production of Jacques Brel. Her solo shows are titled Piaf: La Vie l'Amour and If I Were Me.
A Brooklyn native, Constantine Maroulis is a graduate of both the Boston Conservatory and the Berklee College of Music. He trained as an apprentice at the Williamstown Theatre Festival and appeared as Roger in a tour of Rent. In addition to his performances on "American Idol," he has also been seen on "Law & Order: SVU" and in several independent films. Maroulis also played a recent engagement at the Public Theater's Joe's Pub as well as a stint in The Wedding Singer.
Jayne Paterson has appeared on Broadway in Les Misérables and Jane Eyre. Her regional credits include Romeo and Juliet, The Wizard of Oz, The Tempest, Swing, A Little Night Music, Godspell, Anne of Green Gables, Orisons and A Clockwork Orange. She also provided additional recordings as the voice of Judy Garland for the Emmy-winning ABC miniseries "Me and My Shadows."
The Zipper Theater is located in Manhattan at 336 West 37th Street. For more information visit www.jacquesbrelreturns.com.