Will Amour Be Lovelier the Second Time Around? Goodspeed Reconceives Legrand Musical, Through Sept. 4

News   Will Amour Be Lovelier the Second Time Around? Goodspeed Reconceives Legrand Musical, Through Sept. 4 Amour, the quirky Anglo-French musical fable with music by Michel Legrand, re-emerged at Goodspeed Musicals' Norma Terris Theatre Aug. 11 in a reconceived production slightly different than what Broadway audiences saw in 2002.

The Goodspeed production, a developmental situation in Chester, CT, with no critics invited, has less elaborate scenery than the earlier U.S. production, which was Tony Award-nominated despite its short New York life.

The show earned something of a cult following after its cast album was released. The Goodspeed run lasts to Sept. 4.

Darko Tresnjak directs as cast that includes Joe Farrell (as Dusoleil), Michael Thomas Holmes, T. Doyle Leverett, Deborah Lew (as Isabelle), Mary Jo Mecca, Joshua Finkel, Amanda Naughton, Gordon Stanley and Price Waldman.

Choreography is by Peggy Hickey. The musical director Albin Konopka. Sets are designed by David Gordon with costume design by Laurie Churba. Lighting is designed by York Kennedy. Amour is produced for Goodspeed Musicals by Michael P. Price.

Tresnjak's work was last seen at Goodspeed with A Little Night Music on the Goodspeed Opera House stage. With music by Michel Legrand and French libretto by Didier van Cauwelaert, the musical has English adaptation by Jeremy Sams. The musical was adapted from the short story "Le Passe-Murraille" by Marcel Aymé.

"Set in 1950s Paris, an unassuming civil servant finds he has the uncanny ability to walk through walls," according to Goodspeed. "With this magical discovery, he finally summons the courage to confess his feelings to his beautiful love-from-afar. Meanwhile, her husband has different plans for him. But how do you lock up a man who can simply slip away? A whimsical tale to buoy your spirits. A completely musical love story!"

Academy Award-winner Legrand is the French composer with a penchant for jazz waltzes. He is known for his haunting melodies from the film scores for "Summer of '42," "The Thomas Crown Affair," "The Umbrellas of Cherbourg," "The Young Girls of Rochefort." Among the standouts in the Amour score was the sweet lament, "Other People's Stories," sung by a lonely wife in Paris.

Born in Nice, France, van Cauwelaert has written 12 novels. He also writes for film, television and cartoons. He has written two other musicals with Michel Legrand, Dreyfus and L'Amour Fantome.

Sams wrote the book to Broadway's Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. The 2002-03 Broadway staging of Amour, produced by The Shubert Organization, Jean Doumanian Productions, Inc., and USA Ostar Theatricals, starred Malcolm Gets, Melissa Errico, Lewis Cleale, Christopher Fitzgerald, Sarah Litzsinger, Nora May Lyng, Bill Nolte and John Cunningham. The company members doubled and tripled in roles to create a sense of a large Parisian community, from newsboy to whore to office worker to painter, and more.

James Lapine directed. Orchestrations were by Legrand. Scott Pask designed the whimsical Broadway set.

The intermissionless confection ran 90 minutes and was later nominated for 2003 Tony Awards for Best Musical, Best Actor in a Musical (Gets), Actress in a Musical (Errico), Best Book of a Musical (Sams, van Cauwelaert), Best Score (Legrand, Sams, van Cauwelaert).

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Goodspeed Musicals "is dedicated to the preservation and advancement of musical theatre, producing six musicals each season at the historic Goodspeed Opera House and The Norma Terris Theatre, opened in Chester, CT., in 1984 for the development of new musicals. In addition to its onstage productions, Goodspeed also maintains The Scherer Library of Musical Theatre and The Max Showalter Center for Education in the Musical Theater."

For more information, visit www.goodspeed.org.