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Musique: Victor Herbert • Paroles: Glen MacDonough • Livret: Glen MacDonough • Production originale: Fred R. Hamlin • Julian Mitchell • 4 versions mentionnées
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La production originale débute au Grand Opera de Chicago en juin 1903, produite par Hamlin et mise en scène par Mitchell, et fait des tournées dans plusieurs villes de la côte Est avant d’ouvrir ses portes à New York en octobre 1903. Cette création a été suivie par une belle tournée et de revivals. La pièce était si populaire qu’elle a suscité la création d'autres "contes de fées" dans la décennie qui a suivi.
Genèse: After a three-month tryout beginning on June 17, 1903 at the Grand Opera House in Chicago, followed by a tour to several East Coast cities, the original New York production opened on October 13, 1903 at the Majestic Theatre at Columbus Circle in Manhattan (where The Wizard of Oz had played) and closed after 192 performances on March 19, 1904. It was produced by Fred R. Hamlin and directed by Julian Mitchell. Large audiences were drawn to the musical by the spectacular settings and opulent sets (e.g., the Floral Palace of the Moth Queen, the Garden of Contrary Mary) of Toyland. The sets were designed by John H. Young and Homer Emens, with costumes designed by Caroline Siedle. In September 1904, two tours went on the road. The first-class one played a three-week return engagement beginning on January 2, 1905 at the Majestic, and then continuing its tour, kept the scenic effects and much of the original cast, making stops in major cities for extended periods of time. The second-class tour with a reduced cast and orchestra was streamlined for short stays on the road. The operetta has been staged nine times at The Muny, beginning in 1920. A Broadway revival opened on December 23, 1929 at Jolson's 59th Street Theatre, closing on January 11, 1930. It was directed by Milton Aborn. Another Broadway revival opened on December 20, 1930 at the Imperial Theatre, closing in January 1931. It was directed by Aborn and choreographed by Virginie Mauret. A new book and lyrics for the show were written for the off-Broadway Light Opera of Manhattan (LOOM) in 1975 by Alice Hammerstein Mathias (the daughter of Oscar Hammerstein II) and the company's director-producer William Mount-Burke. LOOM played this operetta as a Christmas show for six to eight weeks each year thereafter for 13 seasons with considerable success, and this version of the book and lyrics has since been used by various companies, including Troupe America and others. The ensemble becomes a mechanical militia of toys for the "March of the Toys", and children from the audience are brought up to help "wind-up" the toy dancers. In 2003, in celebration of the 100th anniversary of the operetta, Hampton, Virginia–based Rainbow Puppet Productions created a touring puppet version of the show entitled "Toyland!" The new script was adapted by David Messick Jr. Prerecorded puppet voices were created, featuring Mickey Rooney as the Master Toymaker and his wife Jan Rooney as Mother Goose. The program has toured annually since that time. In this version, Little Bo Peep has lost her sheep, and her evil Uncle Barnaby is to blame. She travels through the Spider Forest to seek help from the kind Master Toymaker.
Résumé: Alan et sa sœur, Jane, fuient leur terrible oncle Barnaby et rencontre une variété de personnages imaginés par Mother Goose, dont Contrary Mary et Tom-Tom the Piper’s Son. Ils survivent à un naufrage et voyagent vers des terres lointaines, y compris le célèbre 'Toyland' où ils rencontrent un fabricant de jouets et admirent un spectacle de Noël.
Création: 13/10/1903 - Majestic Theatre (Broadway) - 192 représ.