Can-Can

Definition

Theater

  • A two-act musical by Cole Porter with book by AbeBurrows. It opened on Broadway in 1953 starring the French actressLilo and ran for nearly three years; the first London production wasalso a great success. However, the 1981 Broadway revival closed afteronly five performances, with a loss of more than $2 million. Superstitiouscast members attributed the failure to the Gypsy Robe, agood-luck charm that had been passed from one Broadway musical tothe next for thirty years but disintegrated during Can-Can'sbrief run.

    Set in turn-of-the-century Paris, the story involves the handsomejudge Aristide Forestier, who is assigned to investigate the provocativecan-can dancing at a nightclub. Predictably, he falls for the owner,La Mome Pistache, and arranges an investigative visit by a panel ofjudges, with a view to legalizing the dance. Equally predictably,the judges are enchanted by the young grisettes. The play ends,with monotonous predictability, with Forestier marrying Pistache.The sub-plot includes a farcical duel fought over the rooftops ofParis.

    The songs include 'I Love Paris', 'C'est Magnifique', 'Allez-vousEn', and 'It's All Right with Me'.

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