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Charlie and Algernon (1979)

Compositeur: Charles Strouse

Parolier: David Rodgers


Généralités: Histoire, thèmes et particularités


The main characters are Charlie, a mentally retarded man, and a laboratory mouse. Charlie volunteers to participate in an experimental intelligence-enhancing treatment, which has already proved successful with earlier experiments on Algernon. Charlie makes rapid progress, but soon the mouse's enhanced intelligence begins to fade, and Charlie realises he, too, is fated to revert to his original mental state.

Synopsis complet


Historique du musical



Liste des chansons

West End song list
• His Name is Charlie Gordon
• I Got a Friend
• Some Bright Morning
• Our Boy Charlie
• Hey Look at Me!
• Reading
• No Surprises
• Midnight Riding
• Dream Safe With Me
• I Can't Tell You
• Now
• Charlie and Algernon
• The Maze
• Whatever Time There Is
• Charlie
• I Really Loved You

Broadway song list
• Have I the Right
• I Got a Friend
• Some Bright Morning
• Jelly Donuts and Chocolate Cake
• Hey Look at Me
• Reading
• No Surprises
• Midnight Riding
• Dream Safe with Me
• Not Another Day Like This
• Somebody New
• I Can't Tell You
• Now
• Charlie and Algernon
• The Maze
• Whatever Time There Is
• Everything Was Perfect
• Charlie
• I Really Loved You
• Whatever Time There Is (Reprise)

Textes disponibles on-line

Aucun livret ou texte de chanson disponibles pour le moment

Pour en savoir plus

Aucun dossier informatif complémentaire concernant Charlie and Algernon.

Quelques remarques

This sensitive treatment of the classic book is an extremely moving theatrical experience in the hands of a talented company and director. It is not expensive to produce if the sets and props are kept to a minimum. In fact the show works better if the sets do not overpower the actors. It is a perfect community and regional theatre show for it can only benefit from a smaller production geared toward avid theatre patrons. The show did not last long on Broadway, but this in no way reflects the quality of the piece. Broadway audiences traditionally support lighter fare with more emphasis on spectacle. This is a strong, emotional, theatrical experience, worthy of smaller productions. The major problem that confronts anyone considering the production is the portrayal of Algernon. The acting version of the script contains a detailed explanation of training and working with a pet mouse. Many people are frightened of this and companies may want to consider a shadow puppet or medium sized marionette to depict Algernon. Most professional puppeteers are able to successfully create and operate a puppet in a manner conducive to the mood of the play. It is not difficult for an audience to accept the convention of the puppet/mouse and it makes the show much easier to produce.

On June 14, 1979, the musical opened as Flowers for Algernon at Queen's Theatre in London's West End with Michael Crawford as Charlie. In the London staging, Michael Crawford performed one number in a spotlight while the trained white mouse ran from one of his hands to the other, by way of Crawford's shoulders and neck. The audience reaction to this was so positive that Crawford repeated it with another live mouse (while playing an entirely different character) in 2003 while starring in the West End musical The Woman in White.


Versions du musical

Versions majeures de Charlie and Algernon

Version 1

Charlie and Algernon (1979-06-Queen's Theatre-London) (Original)
Durée :
Nombre : 29 représentations
Première Preview : Inconnu
Première : jeudi 14 juin 1979
Dernière : Inconnu
Mise en scène : Peter Coe
Chorégraphie : Rhoda Levine
Avec : Michael Crawford (Charlie Gordon) , Betty Benfield, Aubrey Woods, Ralph Nossek, Jason Ash, Jeanna L’Esty,
Commentaires :
Based on the novel by Daniel Keyes. The musical was first produced in Canada in December 1978 before its London premiere. A much talked-of scene had Michael Crawford singing one number in a spotlight while a trained white mouse ran from one of his hands to the other, by way of Crawford's shoulders and neck. (This was a trick he would repeat 24 years later in a completely different musical, “The Woman in White”). Despite the enormous popularity of Michael Crawford, the show was disliked by critics and public alike, and came off after 29 performances. A Broadway production, re-named “Charlie and Algernon”, opened in September 1980 and ran for just 17 performances, though it did receive a Tony nomination for Best Score.
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Version 2

Charlie and Algernon (1980-09-Helen Hayes Theatre-London) (Original Broadway)
Durée : 2 semaines
Nombre : 12 previews - 17 représentations
Première Preview : jeudi 04 septembre 1980
Première : dimanche 14 septembre 1980
Dernière : dimanche 28 septembre 1980
Mise en scène : Louis W. Scheeder
Chorégraphie : Virginia Freeman
Avec : P. J. Benjamin (Charlie), Matthew Duda (Little Charlie), Edward Earle (Dr. Strauss), Sandy Faison (Alice Kinnian), Nancy Franklin (Mrs. Donner), Patrick Jude (Frank), Julienne Marie (Charlie's Mother), Loida Santos (Lita), Robert Sevra (Dr. Nemur), Michael Vita (Charlie's Father)
En savoir plus sur cette version

Mais aussi, quelques versions régionales ou mineures, ... de Charlie and Algernon


Multimedia on-line

Vidéos on-line

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Principaux CD du musical

Liste détaillée des principaux CD