| or Call: 250.744.4357

Tweet Me!

Call Me Madam (1950)

Compositeur: Irving Berlin

Parolier: Irving Berlin

Librettiste: Howard Lindsay • Russel Crouse

A satire on politics and foreign affairs that spoofs America's penchant for lending billions of dollars to needy countries, it centers on Sally Adams, a well-meaning but ill-informed socialite widow who is appointed United States Ambassador to the fictional European country of Lichtenburg. While there, she charms the local gentry, especially Cosmo Constantine, while her press attaché Kenneth Gibson falls in love with Princess Maria.

Généralités: Histoire, thèmes et particularités

Résumé

Sally Adams becomes Ambassador of Lichtenburg and charms Cosmo Constanstine with her undiplomatic manner. Meanwhile, her press attache, Keneth Gibson, falls in love with Princess Maria.

Synopsis complet

 

Historique du musical

Génèse du musical

The lead character is based on Washington, D.C. hostess and Democratic Party fundraiser Perle Mesta, who was appointed the Ambassador to Luxembourg in 1949. The Playbill distributed at each performance humorously noted that "neither the character of Mrs. Sally Adams nor Miss Ethel Merman resemble any person living or dead."
In 1949, Merman and her family were vacationing at the Hotel Colorado in Glenwood Springs with Howard Lindsay and his wife Dorothy Stickney. Watching Merman poolside while reading a magazine article about Mesta, Lindsay was struck by how typically "American" she was and immediately envisioned her portraying a colorful character similar to the newly appointed ambassador. When he proposed the idea to Merman, who had little interest in either society or political news, she responded, "Who's Perle Mesta?"
Although Merman had announced she was interested in playing a dramatic role in her next project, Lindsay and Russel Crouse approached Irving Berlin and began working on the book for Call Me Madam when he expressed interest in composing the score. Berlin's last production, Miss Liberty, had failed to recoup its investment, and he was determined to repeat the success he had had with Annie Get Your Gun. The three collaborators agreed they needed to treat their subject with care to avoid any legal action by Mesta. As the work progressed, Merman conceded she would be willing to sing two or three songs, but eventually accepted the fact she was going to star in a full-scale musical comedy instead of the drama she preferred.
Producer Leland Hayward budgeted the production at $250,000. In exchange for the original cast recording and television broadcast rights, he arranged to have it financed 100% by RCA Records and NBC, with the two sharing 35% of the net earnings. In order to increase the profits, Hayward decided to charge an all-time high of $7.20 for orchestra seats.
Hayward hired George Abbott to direct, and Abbott and casting director Harold Prince auditioned thousands of actors for the twenty speaking roles and twenty-nine chorus members. Raoul Pene du Bois was hired to design sets and costumes, although the wardrobe worn by Merman was the responsibility of Mainbocher.
Once the script was completed, everyone agreed that while it was little more than standard situation comedy material it was a perfect vehicle for Merman, and that Berlin's score, although far from his best, was tuneful and memorable. It included the comic song "Mr. Monotony", which originally was written for and dropped from the film Easter Parade. Berlin had then included it in Miss Liberty, but it was dropped from that as well. In this instance, the third time was not the charm; during out-of-town tryouts, Merman insisted it be dropped. (In 1989, Sarah Brightman recorded it for her CD The Songs That Got Away.) To fill the hole its omission left in the second act, Berlin wrote "Something to Dance About" to give the second act a lively opening. When the star requested a duet with Russell Nype playing her lovestruck press attache Berlin responded by writing the counterpoint tune "You're Just in Love" and it ultimately became a showstopper at every performance.

Directed by George Abbott and choreographed by Jerome Robbins, the musical premiered at the Shubert Theatre in New Haven, Connecticut on September 11, 1950. Reviews were mixed - Variety said it "inspires warm applause rather than cheer"—and Berlin wrote two new songs to bolster the sagging second act. It opened in Boston on September 19, and while The Boston Record thought it offered "only an occasional flash of inspirational fire", it played to standing-room-only audiences throughout the run.
With a record advance sale of $2 million, the Broadway production opened on October 12 at the Imperial Theatre, where it ran for 644 performances and grossed more than $4 million. In addition to Merman and Nype, the cast included Paul Lukas, Pat Harrington, Sr., Lilia Skala, and Richard Eastham. Brooks Atkinson of The New York Times thought it offered one of Berlin's "most enchanting scores: fresh, light, and beguiling, and fitted to lyrics that fall out of it with grace and humor", and the New York Post called Merman "indescribably soul-satisfying", "a comedienne of rare skill", and "one of the joys of the world." She remained with the show for the entire run and appeared in the limited four-week engagement staged to celebrate the reopening of the National Theatre in Washington, D.C., but her understudy Elaine Stritch starred in the national tour.
The musical opened in the West End at the London Coliseum on March 15, 1952 where it ran for 486 performances and starred Billie Worth.
The New York City Center Encores! semi-staged concert version starring Tyne Daly was presented in February 1995.[3] A regional production ran at the Paper Mill Playhouse, Millburn, New Jersey, in April–May 1996 and starred Leslie Uggams.

 

Détails

Liste des chansons

Acte I
Overture - Orchestra
Mrs. Sally Adams - The Company
Hostess with the Mostes' on the Ball, The - Sally
Washington Square Dance - Sally & Company
Lichtenburg - Cosmo & Singers
Can You Use Any Money Today? - Sally
Marrying for Love - Cosmo & Sally
Ocarina, The - Princess Maria, Dancers, 'Potato Bug' & Company
It's a Lovely Day Today - Kenneth & Princess Maria
It's a Lovely Day Today (reprise) - Kenneth, Dancers & Company
Best Thing for You, The - Sally & Cosmo


Acte II
Entracte - Orchestra
Lichtenburg (reprise) - Cosmo & Singers
Something to Dance About - Sally, Principal Dancers & Company
Once Upon a Time Today - Kenneth
They Like Ike - Congressman Wilkins, Senator Gallagher & Senator Brockbank
You're Just in Love - Sally & Kenneth
Best Thing for You, The (reprise) - Sally & Cosmo
It's a Lovely Day Today (reprise) - Kenneth & Princess Marie
Mrs. Sally Adams (reprise) - The Company
Finale - The Company & Sally

Textes disponibles on-line

Texte des chansons

 1950 Original Broadway

Pour en savoir plus

Aucun dossier informatif complémentaire concernant Call Me Madam.

 

Versions du musical

Versions majeures de Call Me Madam

Version 1

Call Me Madam (1950-09-Shubert Theatre-Boston) (Pre-Broadway Try Out)
Durée :
Nombre :
Première Preview : Inconnu
Première : mardi 19 septembre 1950
Dernière : Inconnu
Mise en scène : George Abbott
Chorégraphie : Jerome Robbins
Avec : Mrs. Sally Adams … Ethel Merman
Cosmo Constantine … Paul Lukas
Kenneth Gibson … Russell Nype
Princess Maria ... Galina Talva
Congressman Wilkins ... Pat Harrington
Pemberton Maxwell ... Alan Hewitt
Senator Gallagher ... Ralph Chambers
Hugo Tantinnin ... E. A. Krumschmidt
Sebastian Sabastian ... Henry Lascoe
The Secretary of State ... Geoffrey Lumb
En savoir plus sur cette version

Version 2

Call Me Madam (1950-10-Imperial Theatre-Broadway) (Original)
Durée : 1 an 5 mois
Nombre : 644 représentations
Première Preview : Inconnu
Première : jeudi 12 octobre 1950
Dernière : samedi 15 mars 1952
Mise en scène : George Abbott
Chorégraphie : Jerome Robbins
Avec : Mrs. Sally Adams … Ethel Merman
Cosmo Constantine … Paul Lukas
Kenneth Gibson … Russell Nype
Princess Maria ... Galina Talva
Congressman Wilkins ... Pat Harrington
Pemberton Maxwell ... Alan Hewitt
Senator Gallagher ... Ralph Chambers
Hugo Tantinnin ... E. A. Krumschmidt
Sebastian Sabastian ... Henry Lascoe
The Secretary of State ... Geoffrey Lumb
En savoir plus sur cette version

Version 3

Call Me Madam (1951-??-US Tour) (US Tour)
Durée :
Nombre :
Première Preview : Inconnu
Première : Inconnu
Dernière : Inconnu
Mise en scène : George Abbott
Chorégraphie : Jerome Robbins
Avec :
En savoir plus sur cette version

Version 4

Call Me Madam (1952-03-London Coliseum Theatre-London) (Original London)
Durée :
Nombre : 486 représentations
Première Preview : Inconnu
Première : samedi 15 mars 1952
Dernière : Inconnu
Mise en scène : Richard Bird
Chorégraphie : George Carden
Avec : Mrs. Sally Adams ... Billie Worth
The Secretary of State ... Robert Henderson
Supreme Court Justice ... Mayne Lynton
Congressman Wilkins ... Sidney Keith
Henry Gibson ... David Storm
Kenneth Gibson ... Jeff Warren
Senator Gallagher ... Launce Maraschel
Secretary To Mrs. Adams ... Mary Dean
Butler ... Richard Courtney
Senator Brockbank ... Arthur Lowe
En savoir plus sur cette version

Version 5

Call Me Madam (1953-04-Film) (Film)
Durée :
Nombre :
Première Preview : Inconnu
Première : Inconnu
Dernière : Inconnu
Mise en scène : Walter Lang
Chorégraphie :
Avec :
En savoir plus sur cette version

Version 6

Call Me Madam (1983-05-Victoria Palace Theatre-Londres) (Revival)
Durée : 2 mois
Nombre :
Première Preview : Inconnu
Première : lundi 14 mars 1983
Dernière : samedi 14 mai 1983
Mise en scène : Roger Redfarn
Chorégraphie : Tudor Davies
Avec : Noele Gordon (Sally Adams), Basil Hoskins (Cosmo), William Relton (Ken Gibson), Veronica Page (Princess Maria), Christopher Marlowe, David Alder, Bruce Morrison
En savoir plus sur cette version

Version 7

Call Me Madam (1995-02-New York City Center-New York) Encores! Concert (Concert)
Durée :
Nombre : 5 représentations
Première Preview : Inconnu
Première : jeudi 16 février 1995
Dernière : samedi 18 février 1995
Mise en scène :
Chorégraphie : Kathleen Marshall
Avec : Mrs. Sally Adams ... Tyne Daly
Mr. Gibson ... John Leslie Wolfe
Congressman Wilkins ... Christopher Durang
Kenneth Gibson ... Lewis Cleale
Senator Brockbank ... MacIntyre Dixon
Senator Gallagher ... Ken Page
Cosmo Constantine ... Walter Charles
Pemberton Maxwell ... Peter Bartlett
Sebastian Sabastian ... Simon Jones
Princess Maria ... Melissa Errico
En savoir plus sur cette version

Version 8

Call Me Madam (1996-04-Paper Mill Playhouse-Milburn) (Revival)
Durée : 1 mois 3 semaines
Nombre :
Première Preview : Inconnu
Première : mercredi 03 avril 1996
Dernière : dimanche 26 mai 1996
Mise en scène : Charles Repole
Chorégraphie : Daniel Stewart
Avec : Mrs. Sally Adams ... Leslie Uggams
Senator Gallagher ... Michael James Leslie
Senator Brockbank ... Hal Robinson
Congressman Wilkins ... MichaelJohn McGann
Henry Gibson ... J.B. Adams
Kenneth Gibson ... Jonathan Hadley
Secretary ... Nancy Johnston
Cosmo Constantine ... Neal Benari
Pemberton Maxwell ... Mark Baker
Clerk ... Dan LoBuono
En savoir plus sur cette version

Version 9

Call Me Madam (2004-05-Goodspeed Opera House-East Haddam) ()
Durée : 1 mois 2 semaines
Nombre :
Première Preview : vendredi 16 avril 2004
Première : mercredi 19 mai 2004
Dernière : samedi 03 juillet 2004
Mise en scène : James Brennan
Chorégraphie : James Brennan
Avec : Mrs. Sally Adams … Kim Criswell
Princess Maria … Catherine Brunell
Kenneth Gibson … Zachary Halley
Cosmo Constantine … David Hess
Pemberton Maxwell … Stephen Temperley
En savoir plus sur cette version

Version 10

Call Me Madam (2009-07-Upstairs at the Gatehouse-London) (Revival)
Durée : 1 mois
Nombre :
Première Preview : samedi 11 juillet 2009
Première : mardi 14 juillet 2009
Dernière : dimanche 16 août 2009
Mise en scène : Thom Southerland
Chorégraphie : Drew McOnie
Avec : Beverley Klein (Sally Adams) , Gido Schimanski (Cosmo), Chris Love (Ken Gibson), Kate Nelson (Princess Maria ), Matthew Trevannion, Rob Wilshaw, Chris Neumann
En savoir plus sur cette version

Mais aussi, quelques versions régionales ou mineures, ... de Call Me Madam

 

Multimedia on-line

Vidéos on-line

 Pas encore de video disponible pour ce spectacle

 

Principaux CD du musical

1) 1950-10-Original Cast Members

2) 1950-10-Studio Cast

3) 1952-03-Original London Cast

4) 1953-04-Film Soundtrack




5) 1995-02-New York Concert Cast



Liste détaillée des principaux CD