The teen-age love of Marius and Fanny has matured under the rueful guidance and encouragement of Cesar, Marius' arrogant yet appealing tavern-keeper father. Fanny loves Marius with all her heart, but he cannot fully accept her devotion. He is continually torn between his yearning for Fanny, his duty as an only son, and adventure calling him to sea. Marius gives in to the mystery of the sea and signs for a five-year voyage. His father disowns him, but Fanny bravely gives in to her rival. In the passion of their goodbye Marius almost changes his mind. However, Fanny sends him on his way, knowing it is the only way to save their love. Soon thereafter Fanny discovers she is to bear a child.
Panisse, an older man and wealthy sail maker, has made previous marriage proposals to Fanny. In desperation she turns to him, and they are married. Having suspected the situation all along, Panisse is delighted at the prospect of the child's arrival. Convinced it will be a boy, Panisse digs out letters to make his shop-front sign read "& Son."
Cesar and Panisse, dedicated old-world (often fiery) friends, band together to see to the boy's upbringing. On Cesario's first birthday, Marius returns and attempts to claim both Fanny and his son. Fanny finds it difficult to spurn her lover once more, but Cesar discovers them and drives him off.
It is twelve years later. Like his true father before him, Cesario yearns for the sea and runs away to join Marius. This proves to be a final blow to an ageing and ill Panisse. Marius returns the boy to the Panisse home. The final moments are happy, and Panisse's dying wish is that Fanny and Marius be reunited.
1 Fanny est une adaption à la scène d'une oeuvre littéraire</b>: "Fanny" de Parcel Pagnol.
The Broadway production opened at the Majestic Theatre on November 4, 1954, transferred to the Belasco Theatre on December 4, 1954 and closed on December 16, 1956 after a total run of 888 performances. Directed by Logan and choreographed by Helen Tamiris, the original cast included Florence Henderson as Fanny, Ezio Pinza as Cesar, William Tabbert as Marius, and Walter Slezak as Panisse. Scenic and lighting design were by Jo Mielziner. Slezak won the Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical.
The West End production opened at the Drury Lane Theatre in 1956. The cast included Robert Morley, Kevin Kevin Scott, and Janet Pavek.
The Goodspeed Opera House in East Haddam, Connecticut produced the musical in 1986 with Chester Ludgin as Cesar, David Hurst as Panisse, and Karen Culliver as Fanny.
The Paper Mill Playhouse in Milburn, New Jersey produced Fanny in 1990. Directed by Robert Johanson, the cast featured George S. Irving as Panisse, José Ferrer as Cesar, and Teri Bibb as Fanny.
42nd Street Moon in San Francisco, California presented a concert version of "Fanny" in September 1997, as the fourth show in its Lost Musical Series 1997 "Composer-Lyricist Festival," celebrating five great Broadway composers who also wrote their own lyrics. The cast featured Caroline Altman as Fanny, Kelly Houston as Cesar, Pierce Peter Brandt as Marius, Darren Criss as Fanny's son (in his first professional acting role), Cesario and Lucinda Hitchcock-Cone as Honorine, Fanny's mother.
The "Lost Musicals" Series presented Fanny at the Lilian Baylis Theatre, Sadler's Wells, London in 2005.
Encores! presented a staged concert at City Center from February 4, 2010 to February 7. The director was Mark Bruni, choreography by Lorin Latarro, with a cast that featured Elena Shaddow (Fanny), Fred Applegate (Panisse), George Hearn (Cesar), David Patrick Kelly (The Admiral), Priscilla Lopez (Honorine), Michael McCormick (Escartifique), James Snyder (Marius) and Ted Sutherland (Cesario). The production received mixed reviews.
"Never Too Late for Love" – Panisse and Ensemble
"Cold Cream Jar Song" – Panisse
"Octopus Song" – The Admiral
"Restless Heart" – Marius and Male Ensemble
"Why Be Afraid to Dance?" – Cesar, Marius, Fanny and Ensemble
"Never Too Late for Love" (Reprise) – Cesar, Panisse and Honorine
"Shika, Shika" – Arab Dancing Girl, Rug Seller and Ensemble
"Welcome Home" – Cesar
"I Like You" – Marius and Cesar
"I Have to Tell You" – Fanny
"Fanny" – Marius
"The Lovers" – Fanny, Marius, Cesar and Ensemble
"The Sailing" – Fanny, Marius, Cesar and Ensemble
"Oysters, Cockles and Mussels" – Ensemble
"Panisse and Son" – Panisse
"Wedding Dance" – Charles and Ensemble
"Birthday Song" – Fanny, Honorine and Ensemble
"To My Wife" – Panisse
"The Thought of You" – Marius and Fanny
"Love is a Very Light Thing" – Cesar
"Other Hands, Other Hearts" – Fanny, Cesar and Marius
"Fanny" (Reprise) – Cesar, Fanny and Marius
"Be Kind to Your Parents" – Fanny and Cesario
"Welcome Home" (Reprise) – Cesar and Panisse
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