September 5 – 16
“LE JAZZ HOT” IS THE NUMBER WITH WHICH VICTOR, NEE VICTORIA, BRINGS PARIS TO ITS KNEES. IF LOCAL AUDIENCES AREN’T BRAIN DEAD, NEW YORK WILL FOLLOW SUIT”. “New York Times”
“BE THERE!” “Los Angeles Times”
“IT SMOULDERS” “Harvard Crimson”
A musical version of Blake Edward’s cinematic 1982 masterwork, “VICTOR/VICTORIA” served to bring Edwards’s wife, Julie Andrews, back to Broadway after a 30-year absence since she last played in “Camelot”. Premiering in 1995, the musical went on to play 734 performances and won Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards for the show, Andrews and co-star Rachel York (another Reprise favorite for “Anything Goes”).
The story (based on a 1933 German comedy) follows Victoria, a penniless out-of work soprano, whose life is changed when she meets a struggling gay impresario and, with his help, becomes “Victor”, an overnight singing sensation in the nightclubs of Paris. But, Victor’s success becomes hilariously complicated when he/she meets the love of his/her life, King Marchan, a macho Chicago gangster. King sees Victor’s act and finds himself – to his bewilderment – attracted to the star. Needless to say, King’s syntax-mangling, blonde bombshell girlfriend is not amused. More hilarity ensues.
Among the melodious songs are “If I Were a Man”, “Paris by Night”, “Crazy World” and the effervescent “Le Jazz Hot”. Lyrics were by Leslie Bricusse (“What Lind of Fool Am I”, “Goldfinger”). Legendary composer Henry Mancini (“Moon River”, The Pink Panther”) passed away before completing his score for the show and additional musical and lyrics were created by “Jekyll & Hyde’s” Frank Wildhorn.
Some other interesting facts:
Liza Minnelli took over the leading role when Andrews took a 4-week vacation and Raquel Welch finished the Broadway run.
Andrews made Broadway history when she refused a TONY nomination (and refused to perform on the awards show) when others in her cast were overlooked. Her highly publicized press conference actually stimulated ticket sales.
Toni Tennille played the lead in the national touring company – without the Captain.
Carmen Cusack (Victoria Grant) is best known for her critically acclaimed and Tony-nominated star turn Steve Martin and Edie Brickell’s Broadway musical Bright Star. It was her first Broadway role. She also appeared in Bright Star at the Ahmanson Theatre. She was featured in the 2016 City Center production of Sunday in the Park with George, and she stars this summer in the new musical, Lempicka, at the Williamstown Theatre Festival. She starred as ‘Lynn Gardner’ in Carrie at MCC, ‘Nellie Forbush’ in Lincoln Center’s national tour of South Pacific (for which she received a Helen Hayes nomination), and as ‘Elphaba’ in the first US tour and Australia productions of Wicked. Her West End credits include ‘Eva Cassidy’ in Over the Rainbow, ‘Fantine’ in Les Miserables, ‘Rose’ in The Secret Garden, ‘Kim’ in Personals, and ‘Christine’ in The Phantom of the Opera. She studied opera at the University of North Texas, which just presented her with its first honorary baccalaureate degree this March. www.carmencusack.com