Musical (2003)

Musique: Michael John LaChiusa
Paroles: Michael John LaChiusa
Livret: Michael John LaChiusa
Production à la création:

John LaChiusa said his musical was inspired by New York after the September 11 th attacks, and that Charlotte’s struggle to quit smoking is "a metaphor for the crises that force people to reconsider who they are and what is important... After 9/11 nobody was thinking about how to get rich and famous. You wanted to be around the people you love. . . you realize that you don't always have to swim upstream and battle the elements. When you're little fish in a big pond, it's safer to swim in schools.”

When Charlotte decides to give up smoking, she doesn't realise quite how difficult it will be. As she attempts to fill her nicotine-starved days, the events of a troubled past slowly begin to resurface; an abusive ex-boyfriend, a new life in New York, a bizarre roommate and a boss who is a little too hands on. As her emotional debris accumulates, we see Charlotte's vivid memories juxtaposed against her present day life. But even with her friends trying to help, can this Little Fish learn to survive in a pond as big as New York City?

Charlotte, a short-story writer in New York, is recovering from a broken relationship with Robert, and needs to start life anew. To help her give up cigarettes, her friends Marco and Kathy suggest various activities, such as collecting dolls or a new drug. However she opts for swimming. Ploughing up and down the pool at the YMCA she is haunted by her past mistakes and missed opportunities. She reflects on her childhood heroine, Anne Frank, who materialises to warn her about flotsam: emotional "debris" that blocks the flow of life. Charlotte gradually realises she has been addicted not just to cigarettes but to "fleeing", and, with this new knowledge, she is able to connect with her friends and her writing, and start life anew.

The musical premiered off-Broadway at the Second Stage Theatre in New York City on February 13, 2003 and closed on March 9, 2003. Directed and choreographed by Graciela Daniele, it starred Jennifer Laura Thompson in the lead role of Charlotte, and featured Hugh Panaro as Robert, Lea DeLaria as Cinder, and Jesse Tyler Ferguson as Marco.

Alice Ripley starred, with Gregory Jbara and Chad Kimball, in a production running from October 9, 2007 to November 18, 2007 at The Blank Theatre, Hollywood, California.

The Europen premiere was at the Finborough Theatre, London, from October 27, 2009 through November 21. The production was produced by JQ Productions and directed by Adam Lenson, with the cast featuring Ashley Campbell, Michael Cantwell, Katie Foster-Barnes, Nick Holder, Alana Maria, Laura Pitt-Pulford, Lee William- Davis and Julia Worsley.

Opening: Days
It's A Sign
The Pool (Part 1)
Lockerroom (Part 1)
Winter Is Here/The Pool (Part 2)
Short Story
John Paul/Disco
Cigarette Dream
Lockerroom 2
I Ran
The Track (Part 1)
Mr. Bunder/By The Way
Remember Me
Little Fish
Poor Charlotte
The Track (Part 2)
Flotsam Reprise
Simple Creature
Gallery/Perfect Reprise
In Two's and Three's

Aucun dossier informatif complémentaire concernant Little Fish

Aucun dossier informatif complémentaire concernant Little Fish

Version 1

Little Fish (2003-02-Second Stage Theatre-Off Broadway)

Type de série: Original
Théâtre: Second Stage Theatre (Broadway (Off) - Etats-Unis)
Durée : 3 semaines
Nombre :
Première Preview : 13 February 2003
Première: 13 February 2003
Dernière: 09 March 2003
Mise en scène : Graciela Daniele
Chorégraphie : Graciela Daniele
Producteur :
Star(s) :
Avec: Lea DeLaria (Cinder), Jesse Tyler Ferguson (Marco), Marcy Harriell (Kathy), Celia Keenan-Bolger (Young Girl), Ken Marks (Mr. Bunder/Bodega Man), Hugh Panaro (Robert), Jennifer Laura Thompson (Charlotte), Eric Jordan Young (John Paul)
Commentaires : The musical had a very short off-Broadway run in February 2003 and received an unenthusiastic response. The music and lyrics were recognised as complex and sophisticated, but it was generally felt to be self-consciously arty. However, LaChiusa’s talent is obvious and he is being spoken of as a natural successor to Stephen Sondheim.
Presse : "A LATTER DAY ANSWER TO 'COMPANY!' Adapted from two stories by Deborah Eisenberg, this stylish new musical has the jazzy, noirish feel of what is conventionally called the symphony of the city. As the wistful Charlotte, Jennifer Laura Thompson is charming. Her burnished voice lopes with bluesy suppleness through Mr. LaChiusa's swirling melodies."
— Ben Brantley, The New York Times

"A BRILLIANT NEW MUSICAL! LaChiusa's music ranges freely over many pop forms. Bruce Coughlin's bright orchestrations aptly unify the score's lively, eclectic sounds!"
— Michael Sommers, The Star-Ledger

"WONDERFUL WRITING AND WONDERFUL PERFORMING! LACHIUSA COMES EQUIPPED WITH TREMENDOUS TALENTS, WHICH FLOW FREELY HERE: His lyrics are wittily pointed and elegantly formed; his music inventively bends standard melodic patterns into unexpected shapes; he is sharp with observation, generous with compassion, and able to evoke volumes of experience in the flick of a single phrase.

"Director Graciela Daniele has given Little Fish a cleanly sculpted shape and a jittery post-911 atmosphere that are emphatically right for it.

"YOU COULDN'T FIND A MORE ENGAGING CAST! Thompson and Harriell are charming; DeLaria brings the monster roommate appalling conviction; and the supporting roles feature distinctive performers like Hugh Panaro, Celia Keenan-Bolger, Eric Jordan Young, Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Ken Marks."
— Michael Feingold, The Village Voice

"New York can be angst-inducing, especially for single women looking for love, trying to get in shape and giving up smoking all at the same time. Little Fish, the endearing new musical by Michael John LaChiusa at Second Stage Theatre, tells the story of Charlotte (Jennifer Laura Thompson), a young woman from upstate trying to find herself in the big city. Along the way, she tries to forget her evil ex-boyfriend and sleeps with her best friend's man. See it with a group of girlfriends."
— Daily News

Version 2

Little Fish (2009-10-Finborough Theatre-London)

Type de série: Original London
Théâtre: Finborough Theatre (Londres - Angleterre)
Durée : 3 semaines
Nombre :
Première Preview : 27 October 2009
Première: 29 October 2009
Dernière: 21 November 2009
Mise en scène : Adam Lenson
Chorégraphie :
Producteur :
Star(s) :
Avec: Julia Worsley (Charlotte), Michael Cantwell (Robert), Lee William-Davis (Marco), Laura Pitt-Pulford (Kathy), Katie Foster-Barnes (Anne), Nick Holder, Alana Maria, Ashley Campbell.
Presse : “This quirky little show manages to make a surprisingly big splash.” Sam Marlowe, The Times

“The Finborough has found itself another great little musical, with a few well-crafted, rounded characters, some seriously enjoyable music and a cast full of delights.” Timothy Ramsden, Reviewsgate

“A worthy alternative to formulaic feel-good musicals.” Sandra Giorgetti, British Theatre Guide

“The influence of Sondheim — and in particular of Company, his study of metropolitan singleton life — hovers in the episodic plot in a score that sets the fidgety and dissonant alongside the soaringly melodic and in lyrics that are sometimes tender, often acerbic. There’s a hint of Gershwin to the music too, with Rhapsody in Blue tingeing the tunes just enough to trace an aural image of the Manhattan skyline.” Sam Marlowe, The Times

“This European premiere for one of Broadway's new writers brings a welcome, edgy musical to the stage” Timothy Ramsden, Reviewsgate

“The first good thing to say about LaChiusa's music is that, unlike most young theatre composers of the past 40 years, he doesn't sound like imitation Sondheim or Lloyd Webber. He has his own melodic voice, simple and frequently wistful, and his best songs stand quite successfully on their own.” Gerald Berkowitz, Theatreguide London

“LaChiusa's spoken dialogue is frequently witty and incisive,” Gerald Berkowitz, Theatreguide London

“The best of the songs marry evocative lyrics to appropriate music. Perfect, about the need to accept the less-than-perfect, and Remember Me, about intimations of mortality and the value of friends, are particularly lovely and haunting, while Little Fish embodies the play's message without preaching and 90 Year Old Man captures a bit of urban imagery with a concise effectiveness Sondheim could envy.” Gerald Berkowitz, Theatreguide London

“What a difference a decade makes. Michael John LaChiusa's 2003 work, Little Fish, is a big leap away from First Lady Suite which I saw earlier in October and which frankly was rather a struggle. Little Fish is much easier to like and admire with less cliché and more insight in the lyrics and an altogether more appealing score: occasionally dissonant, but also occasionally beautifully melodic with well-turned pastiches.” Sandra Giorgetti, British Theatre Guide

“Julia Worsley’s accomplished central role.” Scott Matthewman, The Stage

“A fine central performance from Julia Worsley.” Sam Marlowe, The Times

“Julia Worsley is delightful as Charlotte, a recovering ex-girlfriend, insecure, anxious and quite remarkable.” Timothy Ramsden, Reviewsgate

“Julia Worsley is onstage and the focus of our attention uninterruptedly, and the actress carries the young woman through her slow learning curve with empathy and believability.” Gerald Berkowitz, Theatreguide London

“Several strong performances, notably from Julia Worsley as Charlotte and Lee William-Davis as Marco.” Theo Bosanquet,

“A strong cast is dominated by Laura Pitt-Pulford as the perky Kathy.” Scott Mattewman, The Stage

“Little Fish is short at just ninety minutes, but filled with fine music. Indeed, a sparkling and vivacious Laura Pitt-Pulford as Kathy sings about being Perfect - and it really is.” Timothy Ramsden, Reviewsgate

“Laura Pitt-Pulford is attractive as her perky best friend, and does full justice to the two best songs, Perfect and Remember Me.” Gerald Berkowitz, Theatreguide London

“Alana Maria is suitably fierce as scary flatmate Cinder.” Natasha Tipney, MusicOMH

“Laura Pitt-Pulford and Lee William-Davis stand out as Charlotte's friends Kathy and Marco. Their individual numbers are packed with emotion, moving but not over-sentimental” Sandra Giorgetti, British Theatre Guide

“The cast attack the material with gusto and Lee William-Davis is particularly good as Marco, investing his brief, funny song about finding himself (complete with comedy "oms") with real humour and injecting a flash of anger and pain into his account of being assaulted by his ex-boyfriend.” Natasha Tipney, MusicOMH

“Lee William-Davis as the obligatory gay pal comes close to stopping the show with the climactic Little Fish.” Gerald Berkowitz, Theatreguide London

“Katie Foster-Barnes' sweetly-sung Anne opens Charlotte's eyes to the perils of emotional flotsam and stands in sharp contrast to the sassy Cinder of Alana Maria, the flatmate who tells it how it is.” Sandra Giorgetti, British Theatre Guide

“Nick Holder's cameo as the sleazy martini-quaffing Mr Bunder is very funny as is Michael Cantwell's pompous ex-boyfriend Robert” Sandra Giorgetti, British Theatre Guide

“Michael Cantwell is brilliant as the terrifically terrible Robert, a little creepy, lacking any redeeming features and hilariously unpleasant to Charlotte.” Timothy Ramsden, Reviewsgate

“The rest of the cast are equally fine, which is a credit to Adam Lenson's skilled and sensitive direction.” Gerald Berkowitz, Theatreguide London

“There’s enough verve and bitter wit, both in LaChiusa’s writing and in Adam Lenson’s persuasive production, to keep it sharp rather than saccharine.” Sam Marlowe, The Times

“Director Adam Lenson has delivered a thoroughly enjoyable New York-flavoured musical.” Timothy Ramsden, Reviewsgate

“Director Adam Lenson and choreographer Nicholas Cunningham make good use of the open space provided by Bec Chippendale's creative and practical set which echoes the New York skyline.” Sandra Giorgetti, British Theatre Guide

“Bec Chippendale’s ingenious foldaway set, decorated in a range of aquatic blue hues, provides an elegant frame to a collection of technically accomplished, well-performed songs.” Scott Matthewman, The Stage

“Bec Chippendale's innovative set.” Theo Bosanquet,

“The band perch atop of Bec Chippendale's clever and versatile blue-brick set, the colour presumably meant to bring to mind a swimming pool, and their playing is excellent throughout.” Natasha Tipney, MusicOMH

“Nick Cunningham’s choreography provides some impressive routines” Scott Matthewman, The Stage

“The tight orchestrations of Richard Bates and Nick Cunningham's playful choreography.” Theo Bosanquet,

“Some endearing choreography by Nick Cunningham (the glittery swimming floats are a lovely touch).” Natasha Tipney, MusicOMH

“Musical director Richard Bates has done a great job with what is essentially an unconventional piece.” Sandra Giorgetti, British Theatre Guide

“A cast of excellent actor-singers who, aided by Nick Cunningham’s nimble choreography and Bec Chippendale’s ingeniously economical blue set, create a whole world of urban angst on the Finborough’s tiny stage. Its waters may not run all that deep; but they’re still well worth wading into.” Sam Marlowe, The Times

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