Amélie (musical)

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Amélie
Amelie Musical Logo.jpeg
Official logo
MusicDaniel Messé
LyricsDaniel Messé
Nathan Tysen
BookCraig Lucas
Basis2001 film Amélie
PremiereSeptember 11, 2015: Berkeley Repertory Theatre
Productions2015 Berkeley
2016 Los Angeles
2017 Broadway
2018 Japan
2019 Germany
2019 UK Tour
2019 Finland

Amélie is a musical based on the 2001 romantic comedy film with music by Daniel Messé, lyrics by Messé and Nathan Tysen and a book by Craig Lucas. The musical premiered at Berkeley Repertory Theatre in September 2015. The musical opened on Broadway in March 2017 and closed on May 21, 2017.

Productions[edit]

Daniel Messé (of Hem) wrote the lyrics with Nathan Tysen, Craig Lucas wrote the book, and Messé wrote the music in the adaptation of the movie for the stage.[1][2]

Berkeley Repertory Theatre production (2015)[edit]

Amélie had its premiere at Berkeley Repertory Theatre. The musical was directed by Pam MacKinnon and starred Samantha Barks in the title role of Amélie, with scenic and costume design by David Zinn, lighting design by Jane Cox and Mark Barton and projections by Peter Nigrini.[3][4]

Los Angeles production (2016)[edit]

The musical opened at the Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles in a pre-Broadway engagement, running from December 4, 2016 to January 15, 2017[2] with Phillipa Soo taking over the role of Amélie.[5][6] The cast for the Los Angeles and Broadway productions includes Adam Chanler-Berat, Manoel Felciano, and Tony Sheldon.[7]

Broadway (2017)[edit]

The musical opened on Broadway at the Walter Kerr Theatre on March 9, 2017 in previews, officially on April 3.[8] Direction is by Pam MacKinnon with musical staging and choreography by Sam Pinkleton. Puppet design is by Amanda Villalobos.[9] The show closed on May 21, 2017, after 27 previews and 56 regular performances.[10]

Japanese production (2018)[edit]

The musical opened at The Galaxy Theater in Tokyo, Japan for a limited engagement on May 18th to June 3rd 2018. The musical then opened for a limited engagement at Morinomiya Piloti Hall, Osaka, on June 7th to June 10th.[11] Direction was by Akiko Kodama with choreography by Kuroda Eriko and Nishikawa Taku. The production used a new staging by Yagi Emiko and was translated into Japanese by Shigai Tsu. The Cast for the Japanese production included Watanabe Mayu as Amelie and Atsuhi Ota as Nino.[11]

German production (2019)[edit]

The musical, under the title "Die fabelhafte Welt der Amelie" (The Fabulous world of Amelie) had its European premiere in Germany in February 2019 at the Werk7 Theater in Munich produced by Uschi Neuss and Joop Van Den Ende.[12] On the 13th of November 2018[13] it was announced that Sandra Leitner would star as Amelie in the German production.

UK production (2019)[edit]

The musical will run in a limited engagement at the Watermill Theatre, Newbury from 11 April to 18 May before embarking on a UK wide tour later in the year. The production will be directed by Michael Fentiman.[14] On the 15th of March 2019, it was announced that the cast would include Audrey Brisson as Amelie and Danny Mac as Nino.[15]

Finnish production (2019)[edit]

The musical Amélie will have its premiere in Finland in Turku City Theatre on 13th of September in 2019. Director and choreographer of the show is Reija Wäre, musical staging is by Jussi Vahvaselkä.

Plot[edit]

NOTE: This synopsis is based on the first Broadway preview. Changes may have been implemented to the show since then.

The musical opens with an introduction of young Amélie and her family ("Times Are Hard For Dreamers (Prologue)"). Young Amélie is born to a germaphobe father, Raphael, and neurotic mother, Amandine, and she feels isolated and emotionally distant from her parents. She takes solace in her telescope, which she uses to view the universe from afar. Her only contact with her parents comes in the form of a monthly health check-up from her father. One day, Amélie gets so excited to see him that her heart races and Raphael misdiagnoses her with a heart condition ("World's Best Dad").

Her parents, paranoid, begin to homeschool Amélie and cut off all of her contact with the outside world. In a lesson with Amandine one day, Amélie imagines her goldfish, Fluffy, coming alive and speaking to her ("World's Best Friend"). When Amélie allows Fluffy to jump into her drinking glass, her parents panic and force Amélie to release Fluffy into the Seine, leaving her alone. Feeling bad, Amandine takes Amélie to Notre Dame to make up for what happened, and Amandine prays for guidance on how to deal with Amélie and hopes for a son ("World's Best Mom"). When they leave the cathedral, Amandine is crushed and killed by a suicidal tourist who leapt from the top of it. The death hits Raphael hard, and he builds a shrine in their home to Amandine, complete with a garden gnome.

Years pass, and Amélie becomes bored with her quiet life and distant father, and she decides to leave home. Five years later, she is a waitress at a café in Montmartre ("Times Are Hard for Dreamers"). She has a quiet, happy life, and spends her time with her three co-workers: Suzanne, the café's owner and a past circus performer, Georgette, a hypochondriac, and Gina. Some of Amélie's regular customers include Gina's ex-boyfriend Joseph, Hipolito, a poet, and Philomene, an air hostess. ("The Commute")

On the night of Princess Diana's death, Amélie discovers a box of childhood treasures belonging to the man who used to own her apartment ("The Bottle Drops"). She is determined to find the owner and anonymously deliver the box to him, and if the owner is touched by her gesture, she resolves that she will become an anonymous do-gooder. She first meets with a cranky grocer, Colignon, who constantly abuses his assistant, Lucien, a mentally-ill young man that has an obsession with fruit ("Three Figs"). Colignon tells Amélie to confer with his mother on the other side of town.

At the train station, Amélie spots a man her age, Nino, who she is attracted to. However, the train arrives before she can introduce herself to him. At Colignon's mother's home, Amélie learns the surname of the box's owner: Bredoteau. When Amélie returns home Nino spots her on the street, noticing how pretty she is and finds himself intrigued with the box.

Time passes, and Amélie's search for Bredoteau isn't working out. One day, she speaks to her neighbor, Julien Dufayel—an artist who suffers from a brittle bone disease, giving him the nickname 'The Glass Man'—and, possibly recognizing the box, tells her that Bredoteau is the incorrect name. The man was really called Bretodeau. Dufayel then shows Amélie his recreation of the painting The Luncheon of the Boating Party, remarking on Amélie's isolation ("The Girl with the Glass").

Amélie discovers Bretodeau in the phonebook and calls him from a payphone, telling him where he can pick up the box ("How To Tell Time"). When Bretodeau finds it, he reflects on his childhood and decides to call his ex-wife and arrange to meet their son. Taking it as a sign, Amélie continues her good-doing, taking a blind beggar on a tour of the streets of Paris, describing his surroundings in detail. ("Tour de France").

Later that night, Amélie has a strange dream where she imagines her lavish funeral in the style of Princess Diana's, where she is serenaded by Elton John and dubbed 'Godmother of the Unloved' – someone who gives herself to help others despite not being able to find her own love ("Goodbye Amélie"). Amélie suddenly realizes she hasn't helped her father and visits him the next day and tries to convince him to leave home ("Backyard"). He refuses, saying he can't leave the garden gnome, so Amélie secretly steals it as she leaves. On her way home, she spots Nino again at the train station, where he drops a photo album on the ground that Amélie takes.

Amélie explores the album with Dufayel, and finds it is full of photo-booth photographs, one of which is a picture of a man who appears over and over again, expressionless. Nino appears and explains the meaning of the photos to the company ("When the Booth Goes Bright"). Amélie watches him from the distance, and Dufayel, seeing her attraction to him, encourages her to give the album back and meet Nino.

Amélie seeks out his place of work, a sex shop, and goes dressed as a nun. While she waits for Nino, the other employees mock him, unknowingly painting him as a perfect match for Amélie. However, when he arrives, Amélie runs away ("Sister's Pickle"). He chases her but she escapes and reflects on her childhood, remembering how her mother told her never to get too close to anyone ("Halfway"). Amélie then calls Nino, but refuses to give him her identity, instead sending him a photo of her in another disguise and a riddle to solve.

At the café, Amélie secretly instigates a romantic encounter between Joseph and Georgette. Her father then turns up, telling Amélie about the missing gnome and how he has been getting anonymous postcards detailing the gnome's travels ("There's No Place Like Gnome"). The travels encouraged Raphael to step out of the house to look for him, and Amélie uses the opportunity to get him to relax and embrace the change, while introducing him to Suzanne, who he falls for.

Meanwhile, Nino has been searching Paris for Amélie, and handing out posters with her photo on them to anyone he sees, wondering how he's fallen for someone who doesn't want to be found ("Thin Air"). While doing another of her good deeds—spray painting a quote from one of Hipolito's poems on walls around Paris—Amélie notices the flyers and runs home, sending Nino another photo and instructions to meet her at the Montmartre Carousel.

Amélie constructs an elaborate trail to lead Nino to the album ("Blue Arrow Suite") and watches him follow it. When he finds the album, she calls out to him, asking about the man in the photo-booth. However, Nino is more interested in seeing her face, and she agrees to meet him at the café on Tuesday.

Tuesday arrives and Nino is late for the meeting, prompting Amélie to imagine an elaborate story to his reasoning ("The Late Nino Quincampoix"). Meanwhile, Georgette is overwhelmed by Joseph's clingy nature. Nino shows up, but when he recognizes Amélie, she finds herself nervous and runs from him. Hurt and tired, Nino leaves, but the girls in the café go after him just as Amélie reconsiders and returns. Asking of Nino's whereabouts, Joseph lies and says he went off with Gina. Heartbroken, Amélie returns home.

Outside the café, Gina, Georgette and Suzanne demand to know Nino's intentions with Amélie ("A Better Haircut"). Nino says he is honestly in love with her, and needs to know her how she feels for him. Touched, Georgette gives him Amélie's address.

At home, Dufayel tries to talk to Amélie, but she angrily tells him to stay out of her business, not stopping to hear that he has finally gotten out of his rut and painted a unique picture: a portrait of her. As she goes inside, Nino shows up outside her door and begs a conflicted Amélie to let him inside and stop running from him ("Stay"). She is convinced to let Nino inside when Dufayel, through the apartment's window, shows Amélie his painting and insists that she'll regret not trying a relationship with Nino.

She opens the door and tells Nino she wants to be with him. He tells her he loves her, even if she cannot love him back ("Halfway (Reprise)"). They kiss and Amélie takes him to the photo booth, where she shows him the answer to the mystery of the man in the album: he's the repairman who takes a photo after fixing the booth, to check if it works properly. They go into the photo booth, taking pictures together, and reflecting on their newfound happiness and wondering what will happen next ("Where Do We Go From Here?").

Songs and recordings[edit]

An original Broadway cast recording of the show was released by Warner Classics, digitally on May 19th and physically on June 9th, 2017.[16]

  • "Times Are Hard for Dreamers (Prologue)" - Young Amelie, Company
  • "World's Best Dad" - Young Amelie, Raphael
  • "World's Best Friend" - Young Amelie, Amandine, Fluffy
  • "World's Best Mom" - Young Amelie, Amandine
  • "Times Are Hard For Dreamers" - Amelie
  • "The Commute" - Company
  • "The Bottle Drops" - Young Amelie, Amelie, Company
  • "Three Figs" - Lucien
  • "The Girl With the Glass" - Dufayel, Amelie
  • "How to Tell Time" - Amelie, Bretodeau, Company
  • "Tour de France" - Amelie, Company
  • "Goodbye, Amelie" - Amelie, "Elton John," Chorus
  • "Backyard" - Amelie, Raphael
  • "When the Booth Goes Bright" - Nino
  • "Sister's Pickle" - Amelie
  • "Halfway" - Young Amelie, Amelie
  • "Window Seat" - Amelie, Gina, Gina's Husband, Company
  • "There's No Place Like Gnome" - Gnome, Company
  • "Thin Air" - Nino
  • "Blue Arrow Suite" - Amelie
  • "The Late Nino Quincampoix" - Amelie, Chorus
  • "A Better Haircut" - Gina, Suzanne, Georgette, Nino
  • "Stay" - Amelie, Nino
  • "Halfway" (Reprise) - Amelie
  • "Where Do We Go From Here" - Amelie, Nino, Company

Source: IBDB[17][18]

Original casts[edit]

Character[19] Berkeley Repertory Theatre (2015)[4] Los Angeles (2016) Broadway (2017) Munich (2019)[20] UK Tour (2019)[15]
Amélie Samantha Barks Phillipa Soo Sandra Leitner Audrey Brisson
Young Amélie Savvy Crawford [21]
Nino Adam Chanler-Berat Andreas Bongard Chris Jared/Danny Mac
Dufayel / Collignon Tony Sheldon Rob Pelzer Johnson Willis
Raphael / Bretodeau John Hickock Manoel Felciano Stephan Bürgi Jez Unwin
Amandine / Philomene Alison Cimmet Dorina Maltschewa Rachel Dawson
Suzanne Maria-Christina Oliveras Harriett D. Foy Christine Rothacker Kate Robson-Stuart
Gina Carla Duren Maria-Christina Oliveras Kira Primke Sioned Saunders
Georgette / Sylvie / Collignon's Mother Alyse Alan Louis Fleur Alders Faoileann Cunningham
Blind Beggar / Garden Gnome / Anchorperson David Andino Josh Sneesby
Hipolito / Belgian Tourist / Elton John Randy Blair André Haedicke Caolan McCarthy
Joseph / Fluffy / Collignon's Father Paul Whitty Janco Lamprecht Samuel Morgan-Grahame
Lucien / Adrien Wells / Mysterious Man Perry Sherman Heath Calvert Charles Kreische Oliver Grant

Critical reception[edit]

The San Francisco Chronicle gave the Berkeley production of the show a rave review, saying "wit crackles and charm fills the house…in this seamless blend of visual, narrative and performance delights."[22]

On Broadway, the show received mixed reviews, often praising Soo, the cast and design elements of the show, but being critical of the score. According to The New York Times, "The musical, adapted from the 2001 film about a shy but whimsically altruistic French waitress, had struggled at the box office since opening to underwhelming reviews. Without a single Tony nomination in a competitive Broadway season, an uptick in sales was unlikely."[23]

Awards and honors[edit]

Original Broadway production[edit]

Year Award Category Outcome
2017 Drama League Award Distinguished Production of a Musical Nominated
Broadway.com Audience Awards Favorite New Musical Nominated
Favorite Leading Actress in a Musical - Phillipa Soo Nominated
Favorite Breakthrough Performance (Female) - Savvy Crawford Nominated

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Amelie musical to be made for Broadway". BBC. August 23, 2013.
  2. ^ a b " 'Amelie, A New Musical' Los Angeles" centertheatregroup.org, accessed October 18, 2016
  3. ^ Hetrick, Adam (August 22, 2013). "Dan Messé, Craig Lucas and Nathan Tysen Adapting "Amélie" as Stage Musical; Pam MacKinnon at the Helm". Playbill. Retrieved November 18, 2016.
  4. ^ a b "Amélie, A New Musical at Berkeley Rep". Berkeley Repertory Theatre. Archived from the original on 2016-04-21. Retrieved 2016-06-18.
  5. ^ Amelie Los Angeles Times, June 21, 2016
  6. ^ Clement, Olivia. "What Do Critics Think of the Broadway-Bound 'Amélie?'" Playbill, December 19, 2016
  7. ^ Viagas, Robert. "Full Cast Announced for Broadway-Aimed Amélie Musical" Playbill, October 17, 2016
  8. ^ Viagas, Robert. " 'Amélie' Musical Books Broadway Dates and Theatre" Playbill, November 16, 2016
  9. ^ "Broadway’s 'Améli'e Begins Performances March 9" Playbill, March 9, 2017.
  10. ^ McPhee, Ryan. " 'Amélie', Starring Phillipa Soo, Sets Broadway Closing Date" Playbill, May 4, 2017
  11. ^ a b "ミュージカル「アメリ」日本初演、渡辺麻友「心が温かくなる作品」". Natalie (in Japanese). 2018-05-18. Retrieved 2019-01-04.
  12. ^ Entertainment, Stage. "Stage Entertainment". Stage Entertainment. Retrieved 2018-10-29.
  13. ^ "DIE FABELHAFTE WELT DER AMELIE - Das Musical". www.stage-entertainment.de. Retrieved 2018-11-25.
  14. ^ "NEWS: Amelie The Musical has its UK premiere at Newbury's Watermill Theatre in April 2019 before touring | My Theatre Mates". My Theatre Mates. 2018-10-29. Retrieved 2018-10-29.
  15. ^ a b "Danny Mac to star in Amélie the Musical | WhatsOnStage". www.whatsonstage.com. Retrieved 2019-03-16.
  16. ^ http://www.broadway.com/buzz/187834/broadways-amelie-musical-will-record-a-cast-album/
  17. ^ Amelie ibdb.com, retrieved April 4, 2017
  18. ^ "dear evan hansen — This is the "Musical Numbers" page from the Amélie..." dear evan hansen. Retrieved 2017-03-11.
  19. ^ "dear evan hansen". throughawindow.tumblr.com. Retrieved 2017-03-11.
  20. ^ Gedon, Christoph. "Besetzung für "Die fabelhafte Welt der Amélie" in München bekanntgegeben – Musicalzone" (in German). Retrieved 2019-02-12.
  21. ^ In this production young Amélie is represented by a puppet operated primarily by the actress of Amélie
  22. ^ Hurwitt, Robert. "Fanciful film floats dreamily onto the stage with ‘Amélie’" sfgate.com, September 2015
  23. ^ Paulson, Michael.. "‘Amélie,’ a Broadway Musical Starring Phillipa Soo, Will Close" The New York Times, May 4, 2017

External links[edit]