Neil Simon Theatre, (4/08/2015 - 6/21/2015)

First Preview: Mar 19, 2015
Opening Date: Apr 08, 2015
Closing Date: Jun 21, 2015
Total Previews: 20
Total Performances: 86

Category: Musical, Comedy, Revival, Broadway
Setting: Paris (mostly) at the turn of the century.

Opening Night Production Staff

Theatre Owned / Operated by The Nederlander Organization (James M. Nederlander: Chairman; James L. Nederlander: President)

Produced by Jenna Segal, Segal NYC Productions, Ilya Mikhailovic Productions, Eion and Mia Hu, Darren P. DeVerna/Jeremiah J. Harris, Merrie L. Davis, Martin Markinson, Lawrence S. Toppall/Riki Kane Larimer/Pat Flicker Addiss and Marsi and Eric Gardiner/Maggie Gold Seelig and Jonathan Seelig

Book by Alan Jay Lerner; Music by Frederick Loewe; Lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner; Adaptation by Heidi Thomas; Based on the novel by Colette; Musical Director: Greg Jarrett; Orchestrations by August Eriksmoen; Vocal and incidental music arrangements by Matt Aument; Dance music arrangements by Sam Davis

Directed by Eric Schaeffer; Choreographed by Joshua Bergasse; Associate Director: Joe Barros; Associate Choreographer: Alison Solomon

Scenic Design by Derek McLane; Costume Design by Catherine Zuber; Lighting Design by Natasha Katz; Sound Design by Kai Harada; Wig and Hair Design by David Brian Brown; Make-Up Design by Jon Carter; Associate Scenic Design: Erica Hemminger; Associate Lighting Design: Craig Stelzenmuller; Associate Costume Design: Ryan Park; Associate Sound Design: Catherine Mardis; Moving Light Programmer: Sean Beach

General Manager: Foresight Theatrical, Allan Williams and Lane Marsh; Company Manager: Katrina Elliott

Production Manager: Juniper Street Productions; Production Stage Manager: Bonnie Panson; Stage Manager: Johnny Milani

Musical Supervisor: James Moore; Musical Coordinator: John Miller; Conducted by Greg Jarrett; Associate Conductor: Matt Aument; Woodwinds: Dave Noland, Matt Lepek and Daniel Sullivan; Trumpet/Flugelhorn/Piccolo Trumpet: Dave Trigg; Trumpet/Flugel: Colin Brigstocke; French Horn: Eric Davis; Trombone: Dave Nelson; Violin/Concert Master: Suzy Perelman; Cello: Amy Ralske; Bass: Dave Romano; Drums/Percussion: Eric Halvorson; Music Preparation: Zach Redler and Ryan Driscoll; Synthesizer Programmer: Gabriel Mangiante

Casting: Tara Rubin Casting, CSA; Press Representative: Boneau / Bryan-Brown; Advertising: SPOTCo, Inc.; Marketing Director: Type A Marketing; Digital Marketing/Website: Arthouse; Voice and Dialect Coach: Ben Furey; Dance Captain: Alison Jantzie

[See More]

Opening Night Cast

Vanessa Hudgens
Broadway debut
Gigi
Victoria ClarkMamita
Corey CottGaston Lachaille
Dee HotyAunt Alicia
Steffanie LeighLiane d'Exelmans
Howard McGillinHonoré Lachaille
Cameron AdamsParisian
Max ClaytonMartel
Parisian
Madeleine DohertyParisian
Ashley Blair FitzgeraldParisian
Hannah FlorenceParisian
Brian OgilvieParisian
James PattersonDufresne
Parisian
Justin PrescottCharles
Mamita's butler
Parisian
Manny StarkBonfils
Parisian
Tanairi Sade VazquezParisian
Amos WolffSandomir
Parisian
Ashley YeaterMarie-Louise
Parisian

Swings: Kathryn Boswell, Alison Jantzie, Jeffrey C. Sousa and Richard White

Understudies: Cameron Adams (Liane d'Exelmans), Kathryn Boswell (Gigi, Liane d'Exelmans), Max Clayton (Gaston), Madeleine Doherty (Aunt Alicia, Mamita), Hannah Florence (Gigi), James Patterson (Honoré Lachaille), Richard White (Honoré Lachaille) and Amos Wolff (Gaston)

Awards and Nominations

Tony Award®

 2015 Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical [nominee] 

Victoria Clark

Drama Desk Award

winner 2015 Outstanding Costume Design [winner] 

Catherine Zuber

Songs

music by Frederick Loewe; lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner

ACT 1 Sung By
OpeningHonoré, Liane, Gigi and Parisians
It's a BoreHonoré and Gaston
The ParisiansGigi
A ToujoursLiane
The Parisians (Reprise) Gigi
The GossipsParisians
She Is Not Thinking of MeGaston
Thank Heaven for Little GirlsMamita and Aunt Alicia
Paris Is Paris Again Gaston, Honoré, Liane and Parisians
I Remember It WellMamita and Honoré
The Night They Invented ChampagneGigi, Mamita, Gaston and Parisians
ACT 2 Sung By
I Never Want to Go Home Again Gigi
Thank Heaven for Little Girls (Reprise) Aunt Alicia
GigiGaston
The ContractAunt Alicia, Mamita, Dufresne, Bonfils, Martel and Lawyers
I'm Glad I'm Not Young AnymoreMamita and Honoré
The LetterGigi
Say a PrayerMamita
The Gossips (Reprise) Parisians
In This Wide,Wide WorldGigi and Gaston

Reviews


AP: "Vanessa Hudgens does well but can't save 'Gigi'"

Whoever decides to revive "Gigi" these days gets a great score by the songwriters behind "My Fair Lady" and an immediate problem. It's a little girl problem.

The Alan Jay Lerner-Frederick Loewe 1973 stage adaptation of their beloved, Oscar-winning movie musical of 1958 features an aging bon vivant and noted seducer named Honore singing "Thank Heaven for Little Girls."

Not in 2015 he's not.

So in order to save the score, the creators of a new "Gigi" that opened Wednesday at the Neil Simon Theatre have done a gut renovation on the book by Colette. They've taken out the creepy factor, but they've taken out the zing, too.

"High School Musical" star Vanessa Hudgens does pretty well in her Broadway debut, handling her singing duties admirably while maturing from girlish brat to Audrey Hepburn-ish stunner during intermission. She's game for a cartwheel or sprinting across the stage, but she might want to lose the strange accent since no one else is doing it.

She's surrounded by good actors, too, including a head-turning performance by Corey Cott, who proves a terrific actor and singer in a frothy show, as well as the always-wonderful Victoria Clark and a gloriously catty Dee Hoty.

Direction by Eric Schaeffer is crisp — a scene with five exasperated lawyers is a treat — and choreography by Joshua Bergasse is excellent, especially in a nifty dance transition from sunny seaside to rainy city. Derek McLane's set of sweeping, iron-lattice stairs and lots of parasols is beautiful, and Catherine Zuber's gowns and foppish suits are very becoming.

All the parts are good. They just, maddeningly, don't add for a stunning show. Both acts end rather unremarkably, like a fallen soufflé, (especially the messy "The Night They Invented Champagne," which disappoints like an eggless soufflé) and the passion between the two lovers at the story's center never seems to really boil. Gigi doesn't have time to fall in love.

Set in Paris in 1900, "Gigi" centers on a teenage girl being groomed to serve as a mistress to wealthy men. Her mother (Clark) dislikes the idea, but her aunt (Hoty) wants young Gigi encased in jewels. Gigi seems to want to go along for the ride.

Cott plays a family friend — the bored, wealthy playboy, Gaston — who realizes halfway through that he's fallen in love with Gigi. Gaston has usually been played by an older man, but Cott and Hudgens are closer in age and make it work. The song "Gigi," in which Gaston realizes he's smitten, is a triumph.

Meanwhile, Gigi's mother has rekindled a long romance with Honore (Howard McGillin) who irritatingly and unnecessarily frames the show ("And there you have it," he says, helpfully. "No one ever really knows what happens in the heart." Actually, no one really knows what you're doing here.)

But that creepy playboy — played by Maurice Chevalier in the film — has been stripped of "Thank Heaven for Little Girls" by playwright Heidi Thomas, who wrote the PBS/BBC show "Call the Midwife" and has birthed many new ideas here.

He and Gigi's mother do share the delightful duets "I Remember It Well" but they also sing "I'm Glad I'm Not Young Anymore," which used to be his alone, another sign he's been demoted.

Thomas seems to want to focus on the glorious, ooh-la-la Paris, not the unseemly, bed-hopping, adultery-awash Paris with real consequences. Strange, since this is, after all, a tale of high-end grooming and prostitution.

Thomas has tasked Gigi's mom and aunt to sing "Thank Heaven for Little Girls," and, to be honest, they seem a little stunned by the assignment, though they're up to the task. Clark also is given "Say a Prayer for Me Tonight," which was sung by Gigi herself in the film with Leslie Caron. The reason Gigi's mom sings it now is not entirely clear.

Thomas has tweaked the story to add nods that Gigi and Gaston — the next generation of affluent Parisians — hope for progress, but it's not enough, not like the recent Clark-led musical "Cinderella," which was overhauled effectively for a modern audience.

Here, it's all about the bubbly Champagne. Everyone keeps singing about it but when it arrives, it's lukewarm and flat. Thank heaven for other choices.


AP
04/08/2015

New York Daily News: "'Gigi' review: Vanessa Hudgens debuts on Broadway in Lerner and Loewe revival"

The Eiffel Tower looms in the distance in “Gigi,” a reminder that we’re in Paris. It’s easy to forget that because Vanessa Hudgens plays the title role of a 1900 French could-be courtesan like an all-American Gidget.

The perky but ooh-la-la-less Broadway debut by Hudgens, a sufficient singer and actress known for “High School Musical,” is par for the course in a shrill revival directed by Eric Schaeffer. Factor in Joshua Bergasse’s overcaffeinated choreography and the show is like a hyperactive French poodle. Sit! Stay! Charm! S’il vous plait! No such luck.

One wonders why anyone would even bother to dust off this less-than-classic 1973 work by Lerner and Loewe, which often echoes their earlier 1956 masterpiece, “My Fair Lady.” No compelling answer emerges, but tuneful songs can still tickle the ears, including “The Night They Invented Champagne,” showcased in a rowdy production number; “I Remember It Well,” which speaks sweetly to the elasticity of love and memory; and, of course, “Thank Heaven for Little Girls,” here sung by Gigi’s female guardians, not Honore, an elderly man about town. It’s less lech-y that way. Raising Gigi’s age from 16 to 18 also serves that purpose.

Under Schaeffer’s guidance, performances are all over the place. As the rich “sugar prince” Gaston, who falls for Gigi, Corey Cott makes the most of the title song. But he’s boyish and saccharine when he should be debonair and sexy. Howard McGillin’s take on Honore is broader than the Champs-Elysees. Tony winner Victoria Clark adds grace notes as Gigi’s compassionate Mamita. Dee Hoty is saucy and steely Aunt Alicia, who instructs Gigi to accept only the most special and sparkly jewels from men.

Despite this subpar production, “Gigi” has a noble lineage: Colette introduced the character of a girl being schooled in the art of being kept by men in her 1944 novella. Audrey Hepburn played the character in a 1951 drama. Leslie Caron shot to ever brighter stardom in the Oscar-winning 1958 film which featured Maurice Chevalier as Honore and spawned the short-lived ’70s Broadway musical.

This reworked revival features a revised script by “Call the Midwife” writer Heidi Thomas.

As musical gems go, “Gigi” is not Tiffany — it’s Jared.


New York Daily News
04/08/2015

Replacement/Transfer Info


The following people are credited as replacements or additions if they were not credited on opening night.


Neil Simon Theatre

(4/8/2015 - 6/21/2015)

Cast

Karla Puno Garcia
Parisian (Apr 28, 2015 - ?)
Emily Pynenburg
Marie-Louise
Parisian


View full site