Musical (1969)

Musique: André Previn
Paroles: Alan Jay Lerner
Livret: Alan Jay Lerner
Production à la création:

Set between early autumn of 1953 and late spring of 1954, fashion designer Coco Chanel, after fifteen years of retirement, decides to return to the world of haute couture and reopen her Paris salon. With her new collection derided by the critics, she faces bankruptcy until buyers from four major American department stores - Saks Fifth Avenue, Bloomingdale's, Best & Company, and Ohrbach's - place orders with her. She becomes involved with the love life of one of her models, and flashbacks utilizing filmed sequences recall her own past romantic flings. Adding humor to the proceedings is a highly stereotypical rude gay designer who tries to impede Chanel's success.[2] The finale is a fashion show featuring actual Chanel designs from 1918 to 1959.

Synopsis complet

Theatre producer Frederick Brisson originally had optioned Chanel's life for his wife Rosalind Russell, but Russell had developed acute arthritis, making it difficult for her to function. That meant another leading lady with star quality needed to be found. Irene Selznick suggested Katharine Hepburn, who initially scoffed at the idea of appearing in a musical but agreed to work with former MGM vocal coach Roger Edens for ten days. Following an audition in Selznick's suite at The Pierre Hotel, Hepburn felt comfortable enough to mull seriously the proposition, and was further convinced to accept the offer after meeting Chanel.

Lerner had assured the designer his book would cover only the early years of her life and career, and she was distressed when the plan was jettisoned to accommodate the older star. The highly fictionalized book and score underwent massive revisions and were far from complete when Hepburn concluded filming on The Madwoman of Chaillot, at which time she was scheduled to begin work on the show, and Coco was postponed a season while its creators worked on it.

The six-week rehearsal period finally began in September 1969. Cecil Beaton's set proved to be a complicated piece of machinery that frequently malfunctioned and was difficult for the cast to maneuver, and the final scene required a troublesome coordination of mirrors, platforms, runways, and flashing lights. Hepburn insisted the theater's thermostat be set at 60 degrees and the exterior doors left open, and most of the cast became ill due to the unusually cold fall weather.

After 40 previews, the Broadway production opened on December 18, 1969 at the Mark Hellinger Theatre, where it ran for 329 performances. Directed by Michael Benthall and choreographed by Michael Bennett, the cast included René Auberjonois, George Rose, Michael Allinson, David Holliday, Bob Avian, Jon Cypher, Suzanne Rogers, Graciela Daniele, Ann Reinking, and Gale Dixon. Danielle Darrieux replaced Hepburn eight months into the run, but without the drawing power of a major star the poorly reviewed show closed two months later.

Hepburn was scheduled to star in a West End production, but when the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane proved to be unavailable she refused to consider other venues and the project was abandoned. She headed the cast of the US national tour, which opened in Cleveland on January 11, 1971, the day after Chanel's death, which the star acknowledged at the final curtain call. She continued with the tour through June, when it ended at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles. Although reviews in most cities were mediocre, it played to sold-out houses everywhere. Despite its financial success, executives at Paramount Pictures, which had financed the original Broadway production - at $900,000, the most expensive show in Broadway history at the time - in exchange for the cast album and film rights, opted not to transfer Coco to the big screen.

Coco was produced as a staged concert 42nd Street Moon in San Francisco in April and May 2008, starring Andrea Marcovicci in the title role. The production played for a total of 16 performances. It was directed by Mark D. Kaufmann and choreographed by Jayne Zaban. Marcovicci revisited the role in September 2010 for the show's first New York revival as part of the York Theatre Company's Musicals in Mufti.

Acte I
But That's the Way You Are
The World Belongs to the Young
Let's Go Home
Mademoiselle Cliche de Paris
On the Corner of the Rue Cambon
The Money Rings Out Like Freedom
A Brand New Dress
A Woman Is How She Loves
The Preparation

Acte II
When Your Lover Says Goodbye
Coco (Reprise)
Ohrbach's, Bloomingdale's, Best & Saks
Always Mademoisielle


  Ce que d'autres acteurs pensent de Katharine Hepburn dans Coco… 

  Ce que Katharine Hepburn en pense … 

Version 1

Coco (1969-12-Mark Hellinger Theatre-Broadway)

Type de série: Original
Théâtre: Mark Hellinger Theatre (Broadway - Etats-Unis)
Durée : 9 mois 2 semaines
Nombre : 40 previews - 329 représentations
Première Preview : jeudi 13 novembre 1969
Première : jeudi 18 décembre 1969
Dernière : samedi 03 octobre 1970
Mise en scène : Michael Benthall
Chorégraphie : Michael Bennet
Producteur :
Avec : Coco Chanel … Katharine Hepburn
Louis Greff … George Rose
Noelle … Gale Dixon
Georges … David Holliday
Sebastian Baye … René Auberjonois
Pignol … Jeanne Arnold
Dwight Berkwit, Orbach's … Will B. Able
Ronny Ginsborn, Best & Co. … Chad Block
Eugene Bernstone, Saks … Robert Fitch
Phil Rosenberry, Bloomingdale's … Dan Siretta
Charles, Duke of Glenallen … Michael Allinson
Grand Duke Alexandrovitch … Bob Avian
Albert … Jack Beaber
Voice of Grand Duke Alexandrovitch … Jack Dabdoub
Papa … Jon Cypher
Simone … Charlene Ryan
Adrienne … Kathie Dalton
Nadine … Leslie Daniel
Claire … Graciela Daniele
Armand … Al De Sio
Julian Lesage … Paul Dumont
Colette … Rosemarie Heyer
Madelaine … Carolyn Kirsch
Docaton … Eve March
Mimi … Maralyn Miles
Jeanine … Rita O'Connor
Lucille … Diane Phillips
Varne … Shirley Potter
Solange … Suzanne Rogers
Annette … Marianne Selbert
Helene … Maggie Task
Claude … David Thomas (i)
Marie … Margot Travers
Loublaye/Lapidus … Gene Varrone
Juliette … Lynn Winn
Dr. Petitjean … Richard Woods
Presse : Walter Kerr - The New York Times: "The show has become a showcase, a form of endearment, a gesture of assent, an open palm of respect, Miss Hepburn will never be old enough or tired enough to undergo one of those official evenings of tribute at which everyone gathers to summarize and reminisce. And so it's been arranged right now, with her doing all the work. If Coco is anything, it is Miss Hepburn's gala Benefit Performance, for our benefit."

Version 2

Coco (1971-01-US Tour)

Type de série: US Tour
Théâtre: US Tour ( - Etats-Unis)
Durée : 5 mois 2 semaines
Nombre :
Première Preview : lundi 11 janvier 1971
Première : lundi 11 janvier 1971
Dernière : samedi 26 juin 1971
Mise en scène : Michael Benthall
Chorégraphie : Michael Bennet
Producteur :
Avec : Coco Chanel … Katharine Hepburn
Louis Greff … George Rose
Noelle … Lana Shaw
Georges … Don Chastain
Sebastian Baye … Daniel Davis
Pignol … Jeanne Arnold
Grand Duke's Voice … Jack Dabdoub
Dwight Berkwit, Orbach's … Will B. Able
Eugene Bernstone, Saks … Ted Agress
Phil Rosenberry, Bloomingdale's … Michael Dominico
Ronny Ginsborn, Best & Co. … Rod Barry
Helene … Joan Shea
Albert … Al DeSio
Docaton … Eve March
Georges … Michael Amber
Loublaye … Candace Cooke
Marie … Susan Cartt
Jeanine … Denise Mauthe
Claire … Pamela Serpe
Juliette … Turid Olsen
Madelaine … Diane Phillips
Colette … Annette Cardona
Solange … Brenda Lynn
Simone … Charlene Ryan
Mimi … Susan Sfreddo
Adrienne … Sandahl Bergman
Annette … Jane Karel
Dr. Petitjean … Richard Woods
Claude … James Oliver
Nadine … Gia de Silva
Zizi … Graziella
Grand Duke Alexandrovitch … Bob Avian
Charles, Duke of Glenallen … Michael Allinson
Julian Lesage … Paul Dumont
Papa … Jon Cypher
Commentaires longs: Music Hall - Cleveland – (11/1/1971 - 23/1/1971)
Opera House – Chicago – (26/1/1971 - 13/2/1971)
Rochester Theatre Club – New York (16/2/1971 - 20/2/1971)
Bushnell’s Stage – Hartford (23/2/1971 - 27/2/1971)
Morris A Mechanic Theatre - Baltimore (2/3/1971 - 16/3/1971)
O’Keefe Center - Toronto (21/3/1971 - 3/4/1971)
State Fair Music Hall – Dallas (20/4/1971 - 24/4/1971)
Ahmanson Theatre - Los Angeles (June 1971)

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1) 1969-12-Original Broadway Cast