Triumph of Love

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Triumph of Love
Music Jeffrey Stock
Lyrics Susan Birkenhead
Book James Magruder
Basis 1732 Pierre de Marivaux
commedia dell'arte play
Le Triomphe de l'Amour
Productions 1997 Broadway

Triumph of Love is a musical with a book by James Magruder, lyrics by Susan Birkenhead, and music by Jeffrey Stock.

Resembling a chamber musical more than a traditional book musical, it is based on the 1732 Pierre de Marivaux commedia dell'arte play Le Triomphe de l'Amour and centers on Spartan princess Léonide, whose love for Agis is complicated by the fact her throne was wrongfully wrested by her family from the object of her affection. Agis has been raised an educated man ruled by reason rather than passion by his uncle Hermocrates and his aunt Hesione. The princess, conspiring with her servant Corine, disguises herself as Phocion in order to infiltrate the guarded "men-only" palace compound occupied by Agis, who is plotting her assassination. Complications ensue when both Agis and Hermocrates separately guess her secret, and she tells the former she's Cécile, on the lam from an undesirable paramour, and to the latter claims to be Aspasie, who wishes to study philosophy with him. Adding to the convoluted plot are Hermocrates' valet Harlequin and gardener Dimas.

After thirty previews, the Broadway production, directed by Michael Mayer and choreographed by Doug Varone, opened on October 23, 1997 at the Royale Theatre, where it ran for 85 performances. The cast included Susan Egan as Léonide, Christopher Sieber as Agis, F. Murray Abraham as Hermocrates, Betty Buckley as Hesione, Nancy Opel as Corine, Roger Bart as Harlequin, and Kevin Chamberlin as Dimas. Comedienne Elayne Boosler had been announced to play Corine but dropped out during rehearsals due to creative differences.

An original cast recording was released by Jay Records. As a bonus track, it included Buckley's cut solo from Act II, "If I Cannot Love."



  • Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical (Buckley)
  • Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical (Buckley)
  • Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Lyrics
  • Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Costume Design

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