Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Around the World in 80 Musicals: Part II: France, Spain and Portugal

Today we continue our world tour by crossing the English Channel into France. There, we'll get passport stamps for 12 musicals that cover everything from the Atlantic coast to the Riviera, the provinces to the great city of Paris. From France, we hit the Iberian peninsula with a great musical that takes place in Spain, and an operetta with a Portuguese setting that you probably never heard of - but its theater's history is remarkable! All told, this week, we'll be covering 16 shows with settings that span several centuries. Amusez-vous bien!

The data comes from The Playbill Vault and Internet Broadway Database, and details the original Broadway production. Many of the shows take place in multiple countries, but (for the most part) we include them under their primary setting. In limiting it to 80 shows, obviously some favorites are going to be left out. We'd love to hear from you with your favorites that we missed.

Around the World in 80 Musicals
Stop Two: Europe: France, Spain and Portugal


A Tale of Two Cities: The Musical

1. A Tale of Two Cities: The Musical - Setting: England and France, Late 18th Century (2008, Al Hirschfeld Theatre, 60 performances)

2. The Scarlet Pimpernel - Setting: England and France, 1794 (1997, Minskoff Theater, 772 performances)


An American in Paris

3. Amelie - Setting: Paris, 1975-1997
(2017, Walter Kerr Theatre, 56 performances)

4. An American in Paris - Setting: Paris, 1945 (2015, Palace Theatre, 623 performances)

5. Aspects of Love - Setting: Paris, 1947-1962 (1990, Broadhurst Theatre, 377 performances)

6. Beauty and the Beast - Setting: Provincial France (1994, Palace Theatre, 5,461 performances)

7. Dirty Rotten Scoundrels - Setting: The French Riviera (2005, Imperial Theatre, 627 performances)

8. Gigi - Setting: Paris (1973, Uris Theatre, 103 performances)

La Cage aux Folles

9. The Grand Tour - Setting: Paris and the Atlantic Coast of France, June 1940 (1979, Palace Theatre, 61 performances)

10. Irma La Douce - Setting: Paris (1960, Plymouth Theatre, 524 performances)

11. La Cage aux Folles - Setting: St. Tropez (1983, Palace Theatre, 1,761 performances)

The Phantom of the Opera

12. Les Miserables - Setting: Digne: 1815, Montreuil-Sur-Mer: 1823, Montfermeil: 1823, Paris: 1832 (1987, Broadway Theatre, 6,680 performances)

13. The Phantom of the Opera - Setting: Paris Opera House, 1881-1911 (1988, Majestic Theatre, 12,801 performances*)

14. Sunday in the Park with George - Setting: an island in the Seine, 1884 (1984, Booth Theatre, 604 performances)


Man of La Mancha

15. Man of La Mancha - Seville at the end of the 16th Century (1965, ANTA Washington Square Theatre, 2,328 performances)


The Casino Theatre

Broadway and 39th Street Today

16. The Queen's Lace Handkerchief - Portugal (1882, ANTA Washington Square Theatre, 8 performances) - The Casino Theatre opened with this production. It was the first Broadway theater to be run entirely on electricity. It was also the first to have a rooftop garden and a resident chorus line, called the Floradora Girls. Both the garden and the girls figure into the musical Ragtime. Evelyn Nesbit was a Floradora Girl, and carried on her affair on the rooftop garden, leading to a "Crime of the Century."

* - as of 10/31/18; production still running.

Check out Part One of this series HERE.


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