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0001 - Chess (1986)
Musique: Benny Andersson • Björn Ulvaeus
Paroles: Tim Rice
Livret: Richard Nelson
Production originale:
20 versions mentionnées
Dispo: Résumé  Synopsis  Commentaire  Génèse  

Genèse: Tim Rice began thinking about writing a Cold War musical in 1979. He approached Andrew Lloyd Webber about it, but Lloyd Webber was busy with Cats (1981) at the time. In 1980, Rice wrote a five-page synopsis and producer Richard Vos became interested. He helped Rice find Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus, who were looking to branch out from ABBA at the time. The four of them met in Sweden in 1981 and discussed several projects, but it was Chess in which Andersson and Ulvaeus were most interested. While in London on a 10th anniversary tour with ABBA, they announced the project publicly. The song list/stack for the show changes with almost every individual production. Therefore, it's almost impossible to have a finalized song list. In November 1999, a new Broadway production was announced by Tim Rice for the 2000-2001 season. It was to be the definitive Chess, replacing all other version available for staging. An 8-city, 40-week tour was to happen prior to Broadway. This version would be set in 1984 with Anatoly as the focus. Material cut after the original London production would be restored. "Someone Else's Story" would be given to Svetlana, as it had in several productions since the 1991 Australian production. These plans were put on hold as Andersson and Ulvaeus were preparing a reworked concert version in Sweden (work began in 1998 and the concert was presented in 2002).

Résumé: Il est difficile de résumer le livret de Chess et ce, pour plusieurs raisons. En premier lieu, l’oeuvre n’a cessé d’être remaniée. Chaque version propose une histoire et des chansons tout à fait différentes de la précédente. Par ailleurs, l’intrigue commune est des plus compliquées : durant le championnat mondial d’échecs, Freddie Trumper, le tenant du titre américain affronte son challenger, le Russe Anatoly Sergievsky. Florence, l’assistante du premier, tombe amoureuse du second, mariée à Svetlana. Sur fond d’affrontements politiques entre Russes et Américains, la bataille approche… Elle se jouera aux quatre coins de la planète (dans des lieux différents selon les versions) : on passe de Merano (en Italie) à Bangkok ou Budapest.

Création: 14/5/1986 - Prince Edward Theatre (Londres) - représ.

0002 - King, a Musical Testimony (1990)
Musique: Richard Blackford
Paroles: Alistair Beaton • Maya Angelou
Livret: Lonnie Elder • Richard Nelson
Production originale:
1 version mentionnée
Dispo: Résumé  Génèse  Liste chansons  

Genèse: This was a deeply troubled show. Before the opening night writers, directors, a producer, a leading actor had all either walked out or been sacked following rows over racial politics, money or artistic content. Maya Angelou wanted her name removed from the credits saying “it takes a black man to write about a black man and there hasn’t been a single black man in the writing of this show”. Martin Luther King’s widow, Coretta, initially had strong objections to the show and attempted to ban the impersonation of herself. Once it had opened, the show was criticised for its lack of drama and character. The book and the production itself were described as “an insignificant offering. . . of such banality it is a crime against humanity... melodramatic Jim Crowism... with little dramatic flair and less depth.” It closed after six weeks with losses of around £3 million.

Résumé: This show skims through the highlights in Martin Luther King’s life, establishing the romantic hold between King and his wife, and dealing with the alleged infidelities with which J. Edgar Hoover tried to smear King, and the defection of one of his trusted disciples to form the Black Power movement. A subplot saw a redneck garage owner, Billy, torn between his friendship with his black mechanic, George, and his pack-loyalty i H „ to his bigoted brother and Klansmen friends.

Création: 7/4/1990 - Piccadilly Theatre (Londres) - représ.

0003 - Paradise found (2010)
Musique: Johann Strauss II
Paroles: Ellen Fitzhugh
Livret: Richard Nelson
Production originale:
1 version mentionnée
Dispo: Résumé  Commentaire  Génèse  Isnpiration  Liste chansons  

Genèse: In an interview, Hal Prince said that the musical would "center on a Middle Eastern ruler who travels to Vienna in search of romantic 'inspiration,' and the machinations that occur when he demands a rendezvous with a noblewoman who turns out to be the empress of Austria." It had been planned to bring the musical to Broadway after its premiere in London. Early readings featured John Cullum, Mandy Patinkin, Shuler Hensley, Judy Kaye, Emily Skinner, Rebecca Luker and Kate Baldwin. Paradise Found opened in London on May 26, 2010, after previews starting on May 19, at the Menier Chocolate Factory and closed on June 26. The musical was directed by Prince and Susan Stroman (who also choreographed), with scenic design by Beowulf Boritt, costume design by Judith Dolan and arrangements and orchestrations by Jonathan Tunick. The cast featured John McMartin as the Shah of Persia, Mandy Patinkin as a Eunuch, Shuler Hensley as the Baron, Judy Kaye as Frau Matzner and Kate Baldwin as Mizzi.

Résumé: A sexually exhausted Shah of Persia comes to late 19 th Century Vienna and asks his eunuch to procure the sexual services of the Empress of Austria to stimulate his jaded appetite. His eunuch conspires with a Viennese baron to substitute an Empress look-alike, who is really a courtesan called Mizzi, and to disguise the local brothel as a Palace. Having thus fooled the Shah, the aristocrat himself, both client and lover of Mizzi, becomes intensely jealous, and even more so when the Eunuch, by virtue of his (lack of? ) assets, is allowed to view several Viennese sexual escapades with voyeuristic delight. So, the Shah is in love with Mizzi, who is in love with the aristocrat, who is also having an affair with the soap manufacturer’s wife. . .

Création: 26/5/2010 - Menier Chocolate Factory (Londres) - représ.