The Paris company will be headed by Kad Merad — one of the most popular French film stars — as Georg Nowack. Merad received a César (French Film Academy Award) in 2006 for Best Supporting Actor in "Je Vais Bien, Ne T'en Fais Pas." He then starred in "Bienvenue Chez Les Ch'tis," a comedy that became the highest-grossing French film of all times in France. Rendez-Vous will mark Merad's musical theatre debut.
Merad's co-stars will be Magali Bonfils (Hair) as Amalia Balash, Alyssa Landry (Les Misérables, Nine) as Ilona, Laurent Laffite as Steven, Pierre Santini as Maraczek, Andy Cocq (Spamalot) as Sipos, Paolo Domingo as Arpad and Jean-Michel Fournereau (The Lion King) as Headwaiter. The ensemble comprises Sofia Nait, François Beretta, Gregory Gonel, Lauri Lupi, Olivier Tiago Nascimiento, Laure Balon and Melusine.
Rendez-Vous will be directed by Jean-Luc Revol, choreographed by Armelle Ferron and adapted into French by Laurent Lafitte and Judith El Zein. The creative team also includes Sophie Jacob (set designer), Aurore Popineau (costume designer), Philippe Lacombe (lighting designer) and Thierry Boulanger (musical direction).
She Loves Me, based on a Miklos Laszlo play, features such tunes as "Dear Friend," "Vanilla Ice Cream," "Will He Like Me?" and the title tune. Set in a Hungarian perfume store in the 1930's, the musical tells the story of two feuding co-workers who don't know they are each other's anonymous and romantic pen-pals. The original She Loves Me production opened at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre April 23, 1963, playing 302 performances before closing Jan. 11, 1964. It was directed by Harold Prince and starred Barbara Baxley, Jack Cassidy, Barbara Cook, Daniel Massey, Ludwig Donath, Nathaniel Frey and Ralph Williams.
The Théâtre de Paris is located 15 rue Blanche, 75009 Paris. Call 331 48 74 25 37 for more information or visit www.theatredeparis.com. *
Stéphane Ly-Cuong is a Paris-based freelance writer and director.