New Play About Maurice Chevalier Debuts Tonight

News   New Play About Maurice Chevalier Debuts Tonight Nascent Productions presents Defendant Maurice Chevalier Feb. 8, a new play examining the celebrated French entertainer's infamous collaboration with the Nazi government during WWII. The work is penned by his great grandnephew Alexis Chevalier.

Featuring music from the 1930's and 40's, performances run through Feb. 21 at the American Theatre of Actors, in the John Cullum Theatre.

Alex Notkin directs a cast that features Ken Straus, Deanna Jelardi, Kian Kavousi, Matthew Serra, Micah Stinson, Ben Rademacher, Sam Schall, Alexandra Kainoa and Miah Kane.

Maurice Chevalier
Maurice Chevalier

Kavousi is production manager; musical direction is by Chang Liu with vocal supervision by Christina Dinella; and choreography is by Elena Notkina and Inna Muratova.

A young Chevalier was motivated to write the play by his great uncle's legacy and own writings. Chevalier was accused of treason for collaborating with the Nazis during their occupation of France and went on trial for his life in the aftermath of World War II.

"In view of a probable death sentence he is confronted by a judge to answer whether or not the accusations made against him are true," state production notes. "Chevalier is given pause to reflect on the years following his success in Hollywood when he returned to the Paris stage and fell in love with Nita Raya, a promising young actress whom he married. At that point the singing star faced his greatest trial; how to protect his Jewish bride from detection by the Nazis during the war years while maintaining his performing career and status as the worldwide symbol of France. Caught between the demands of German propaganda, the collaborators and the French Resistance, Chevalier reveals his side of the story."

Tickets are on sale for $35; to purchase visit smarttix.com or call (212) 868-4444. The John Cullum Theatre is located at 314 W. 54th St., Manhattan. 

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