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Boy Friend (The) (1954)

Compositeur: Sandy Wilson

Parolier: Sandy Wilson

Librettiste: Sandy Wilson

The Boy Friend is a comic pastiche of 1920s shows (in particular early Rodgers and Hart musicals such as The Girl Friend). Its relatively small cast and low cost of production makes it a continuing popular choice for amateur and student groups.

Généralités: Histoire, thèmes et particularités

Résumé

Madame Dubonnet's finishing school, near Nice, could exist only in musical comedy. The charming young pupils burst into song at the least provocation, and forbidden boy friends are forever popping through the french windows to make up the numbers. Polly Browne is too rich to be allowed a boy friend. Tony, for whom she falls, turns out to be the Hon. Tony Brockhurst, which is very lucky, because Polly thought he was just a delivery boy. Written in the fifties as "a new musical of the twenties", this is still the most successful, tuneful and witty of the send-up musicals, which ape the style of earlier, lighter-hearted and more disarming days.

Synopsis complet

 

Historique du musical

Génèse du musical

London
The musical was first performed in London in 1953. It opened at the Players' Theatre Club on April 14, 1953, and reopened in an expanded version on October 13. It transferred for a short season to the Embassy Theatre, Swiss Cottage and then opened at Wyndham's Theatre in the West End on January 14, 1954. The light, tuneful piece proved immensely popular with the British public and ran for more than five years, a total of 2,082 performances.
The principal role of Polly Browne was to have been played by Diana Maddox, who fell sick on the afternoon of the final dress rehearsal. Anne Rogers (at that point playing a minor role) volunteered to take over, having learnt the role on her own. The show opened the following evening and made an overnight star of Rogers, who stayed with the production through its expanded versions to the triumphant West End first night at Wyndham's.
In 1995, on its 40th anniversary, the musical returned to The Players' Theatre in London in a new production that was as near a reproduction of the original as possible. It was directed by Maria Charles, who had played the original Dulcie. The choreography was by Geoffrey Webb who was also in the original production. It was originally planned that the choreography would be done by Larry Drew, the original Bobby van Husen, but he died suddenly during the early planning stages of the production. Set design was by Disley Jones who was responsible for the hat designs in the original production. Among the cast were Gemma Page, Oliver Hickey, Sophie Louise Dann and John Rutland (in his original role as Lord Brockhurst). Following its success at the Players' it went on a nationwide tour and was very successful.
A production played in 2006 at the Open Air Theatre at Regent's Park, London. This also proved to be a highly acclaimed production, and was revived during the Open Air Theatre's 2007 season.
The Boy Friend is the chosen title for the Showtime Challenge 2011 at Her Majesty's Theatre, London, to be produced by Eyebrow Productions. Rehearsals take place over a 48 hour period immediately prior to the performance on Sunday 8 May, and all proceeds go to The Prince's Foundation for Children and The Arts.

Broadway
The Boy Friend opened on Broadway at the Royale Theatre on September 30, 1954 and closed on November 26, 1955 after 485 performances. Starring was newcomer Julie Andrews in her Broadway debut as Polly, with a cast including John Hewer, Geoffrey Hibbert, Dilys Laye, Bob Scheerer, Stella Claire, Ann Wakefield, Millicent Martin and Moyna MacGill. Some of them had connections with The Players' Theatre in London, but only Wakefield had actually appeared in the show's London production (in the very first run at the Players'). For the Broadway opening, veteran orchestrator Ted Royal and jazzman Charles L. Cooke contributed period authenticity to the 1920 arrangements.
In her Broadway debut Andrews received the Theatre World Award. She was "discovered" by My Fair Lady producers during her appearance in this play, prompting her casting in the lead in that production, catapulting her to fame on Broadway (and beyond) in the following years.
A revival directed by Gus Schirmer opened on Broadway at the Ambassador Theatre on April 14, 1970, and ran for 111 performances. Starring were Judy Carne as Polly, Sandy Duncan as Maisie, Ronald Young as Tony, Jeanne Beauvais as Madame Dubonnet, Leon Shaw as Percival Browne, Simon McQueen as Dulcie, Harvey Evans as Bobby Van Husen, David Vaughn as Lord Brockhurst, Barbara Andres as Hortense, Marie Paxton as Lady Brockhurst, Lesley Secombe and Mary Zahn. Duncan received the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Performance as well as a Tony Award nomination for Best Actress in a Musical.

 

Détails

Liste des chansons

Act I
Perfect Young Ladies - Hortense, Maisie, Dulcie, Fay, Nancy, Ensemble
The Boy Friend - Polly, Dulcie, Maisie, Fay, Nancy, Marcel, Pierre, Alphonse, Ensemble
Won't You Charleston With Me? - Bobby, Maisie
Fancy Forgetting - Mme Dubonnet, Percival
I Could Be Happy With You - Polly, Tony
Finale Act 1 - Ensemble

Act II
Sur La Plage - Dulcie, Nancy, Ensemble
A Room In Bloomsbury - Tony, Polly
Nicer In Nice - Hortense ensemble
The You-Don't-Want-To-Play-With-Me Blues - Mme Dubonnet, Percival
Safety In Numbers - Maisie, Bobby, Marcel, Alphonse, Pierre
I Could Be Happy With You (Reprise) - Polly, Tony
Finale Act 2 - ALL

Act III
The Riviera - Bobby, Maisie, Dulcie, Fay, Nancy, Marcel, Alphonse, Pierre, Ensemble
It's Never Too Late To Fall In Love - Lord Brockhurst, Dulcie
Carnival Tango - Tango Dancers
Poor Little Pierrette - Mme Dubonnet, Polly
Finale Act 3 - ALL

Textes disponibles on-line

Aucun livret ou texte de chanson disponibles pour le moment

Pour en savoir plus

Aucun dossier informatif complémentaire concernant Boy Friend (The).

Quelques remarques

This musical marked Julie Andrews' American stage debut.

 

Versions du musical

Versions majeures de Boy Friend (The)

Version 1

Boy Friend (The) (1954-01-Wyndham s Theatre-London) (Original)
Durée :
Nombre : 2084 représentations
Première Preview : jeudi 14 janvier 1954
Première : jeudi 14 janvier 1954
Dernière : Inconnu
Mise en scène : Cy Feuer
Chorégraphie :
Avec : Joan Sterndale Bennett (Madame Dubonnet), Violetta (Hortense), Denise Hirst (Maisie), Maria Charles (Dulcie), Joan Gadson (Fay), Juliet Hunt (Nancy), Anne Rogers (Polly Browne), Stephen Warwick (Marcel), Jack Thomson (Pierre), Geoffrey Webb (Alphonse)
Commentaires :
The musical's original 1954 London production ran for 2,078 performances, making it briefly the third-longest running musical in West End or Broadway history (after Chu Chin Chow and Oklahoma!) until it was surpassed by Salad Days.
En savoir plus sur cette version

Version 2

Boy Friend (The) (1954-09-Royale Theatre-Broadway) (Original Broadway)
Durée : 1 an 1 mois 3 semaines
Nombre : 485 représentations
Première Preview : jeudi 30 septembre 1954
Première : jeudi 30 septembre 1954
Dernière : samedi 26 novembre 1955
Mise en scène : John Heawood • Sandy Wilson
Chorégraphie : Noel Tovey
Avec : Julie Andrews (Polly), John Hewer (Tony), Eric Berry (Percival Browne), Ruth Altman (Madame Dubonnet), Bob Scheerer (Bobby Van Husen), Ann Wakefield (Maisie), Millicent Martin (Nancy), Dilys Lay (Dulcie), Stella Claire (Fay/Lolita), Buddy Schwab (Alphonse)
En savoir plus sur cette version

Version 3

Boy Friend (The) (1958-01-Off Broadway Run) (Revival)
Durée :
Nombre : 763 représentations
Première Preview : samedi 25 janvier 1958
Première : samedi 25 janvier 1958
Dernière : Inconnu
Mise en scène : Gus Schirmer
Chorégraphie : Buddy Schwab
Avec : Margaret Hall (Hortense), Christina Gillespie (Nancy), Gerrianne Raphael (Maisie), Michele Burke (Fay), June Squibb (Dulcie), Ellen McCown (Polly), Thom Molinaro (Marcel), Neal Kenyon (Pierre), Jeanne Beauvais (Mme. Dubonnet), Peter Conlow (Bobby Van Husen)
Commentaires :
Downtown Theatre 25/1/1958 - ?
Cherry Lane Theatre 28/4/1958 - ?
En savoir plus sur cette version

Version 4

Boy Friend (The) (1958-04-Off Broadway Run-Cherry Lane Theatre) (Revival)
Durée :
Nombre :
Première Preview : lundi 28 avril 1958
Première : lundi 28 avril 1958
Dernière : Inconnu
Mise en scène : Gus Schirmer
Chorégraphie : Buddy Schwab
Avec : Margaret Hall (Hortense), Christina Gillespie (Nancy), Gerrianne Raphael (Maisie), Michele Burke (Fay), June Squibb (Dulcie), Ellen McCown (Polly), Thom Molinaro (Marcel), Neal Kenyon (Pierre), Jeanne Beauvais (Mme. Dubonnet), Peter Conlow (Bobby Van Husen)
Commentaires :
Transféré au Cherry Lane Theatre le 28/4/1958
En savoir plus sur cette version

Version 5

Boy Friend (The) (1967-11-Comedy Theatre-London) (Revival)
Durée :
Nombre :
Première Preview : mercredi 29 novembre 1967
Première : mercredi 29 novembre 1967
Dernière : Inconnu
Mise en scène : Dan Siretta
Chorégraphie : Steven Luke Walker
Avec : Cheryl Kennedy (Polly Browne), Tony Adams (ii) (Tony), Marion Grimaldi (Madam Dubonnet), Frances Barlow (Maisie), Nicholas Bennett (Bobby Van Husen), Jeremy Hawk (Percival Browne), Ann Beach (Hortense), Geoffrey Hibbert (Lord Brockhurst), Jacqueline Clarke (Dulcie), Celia Helda (Performer)
En savoir plus sur cette version

Version 6

Boy Friend (The) (1970-04-Ambassador Theatre-Broadway) (Revival)
Durée : 3 mois
Nombre : 4 previews - 111 représentations
Première Preview : vendredi 10 avril 1970
Première : mardi 14 avril 1970
Dernière : samedi 18 juillet 1970
Mise en scène : Gus Schirmer
Chorégraphie : Buddy Schwab
Avec : Judy Carne (Polly), Ronald Young (Tony), Leon Shaw (Percival Browne), Jeanne Beauvais (Madame Dubonnet), Harvey Evans (Bobby Van Husen), Sandy Duncan (Maisie), Lesley Secombe (Nancy), Simon McQueen (Dulcie), Mary Zahn (Fay/Lolita), Ken Mitchell (Alphonse)
En savoir plus sur cette version

Version 7

Boy Friend (The) (1984-07-Old Vic-London) (Revival)
Durée : 1 mois
Nombre :
Première Preview : mercredi 18 juillet 1984
Première : mercredi 18 juillet 1984
Dernière : samedi 18 août 1984
Mise en scène : Christopher Hewett
Chorégraphie : David Ball
Avec : Rosemary Ashe (Hortense), Linda-Mae Brewer (Maisie), Jan Todd (Dulcie), Rossana Dane (Fay), Bronwen Stanway (Nancy), Jane Wellman (Polly Browne), Philip Day (Marcel), Bill Deamer (Pierre), Anna Ouayle (Madame Dubonnet), Bob Newent (Bobby Van Husen)
Commentaires :
This was a 30th Anniversary revival production, and had opened at Bromley and then played a season at the Royal Alexandra Theatre,Toronto, and Manchester before coming to the Old Vic. Mme Dubonnet was originally played by Glynis Johns, but she was replaced before the show came to London.
Transfered to Albery Theatre.
En savoir plus sur cette version

Version 8

Boy Friend (The) (1984-09-Albery Theatre-London) (West End Transfer)
Durée : 4 mois 2 semaines
Nombre :
Première Preview : jeudi 20 septembre 1984
Première : jeudi 20 septembre 1984
Dernière : samedi 02 février 1985
Mise en scène : Christopher Hewett
Chorégraphie : David Ball
Avec : Rosemary Ashe (Hortense), Linda-Mae Brewer (Maisie), Jan Todd (Dulcie), Rossana Dane (Fay), Bronwen Stanway (Nancy), Jane Wellman (Polly Browne), Philip Day (Marcel), Bill Deamer (Pierre), Anna Ouayle (Madame Dubonnet), Bob Newent (Bobby Van Husen)
Commentaires :
Transfert de l'Old Vic
En savoir plus sur cette version

Version 9

Boy Friend (The) (1994-04-Players Theatre-London) (Revival)
Durée : 3 semaines
Nombre :
Première Preview : jeudi 14 avril 1994
Première : jeudi 14 avril 1994
Dernière : dimanche 08 mai 1994
Mise en scène : Maria Charles
Chorégraphie : Geoffrey Webb
Avec : Jane Stoggles (Hortense), Gemma Page (Polly Browne), Oliver Hickey (Tony), James Davies (Bobby van Husen), Karen Clegg (Maisie), Judith Bruce (Mme Dubonnet)
Commentaires :
This was a 40th Anniversary production at the venue where the show was first created in 1954.
En savoir plus sur cette version

Version 10

Boy Friend (The) (2006-07-Open Air Theatre Regent's Park-London) (Revival)
Durée : 1 mois 3 semaines
Nombre :
Première Preview : mardi 18 juillet 2006
Première : mardi 18 juillet 2006
Dernière : samedi 09 septembre 2006
Mise en scène : Ian Talbot
Chorégraphie : Bill Deamer
Avec : Rachel Jerram (Polly Browne), Joshua Dallas (Tony), Anna Nicholas (Madame Dubonnet), Summer Strallen (Maisie), Ian Talbot (Lord Brockhurst), James Bisp (Marcel), Vivien Care (Guest), Claire Carrie (Hortense), Selina Chilton (Dulcie), Matthew Clark (Pepe)
Commentaires :
Described as a “perfectly joyful piece of summer fluff” coinciding with glorious summer weather, and as entertaining now as it was at its premiere over 50 years ago.
En savoir plus sur cette version

Version 11

Boy Friend (The) (2007-08-Open Air Theatre Regent's Park-London) (Reprise)
Durée : 2 semaines
Nombre :
Première Preview : mardi 28 août 2007
Première : mardi 28 août 2007
Dernière : samedi 15 septembre 2007
Mise en scène : Ian Talbot
Chorégraphie : Bill Deamer
Avec : Claire Carrie (Hortense), Rachel Jerram (Polly Browne), Richard Reynard (Tony), Chris Ellis Stanton (Bobby van Husen), Kate Nelson (Maisie), Anna Nicholas (Mme Dubonnet), Ian Talbot (Lord Brockhurst) , Margaret Tyzack (Lady Brockhurst), Neil McCaul (Percival Browne), Charlotte Warren, Gemma Sutton, Hayley Gallivan
Commentaires :
This was a three-week return of the production which had been a huge success at the Open Air Theatre in 2006 – with some changes of cast.
En savoir plus sur cette version

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