UPDATE: May 7, 2013—Producer Jonathan Burrows has announced that Drama Desk Award nominees Megan Hilty (Smash, 9 to 5) and Aaron Lazar (A Little Night Music) will star in a staged reading of the Broadway-bound revival of Cole Porter's Can-Can. Hilty will play Pistache to Lazar's Aristide in the invitation-only presentation. It will take place on July 15, 16 and 17.
March 27, 2013: Can-Can is coming back to Broadway, but first there will be a staged reading of Joel Fields and David Lee's revised book, based on the Abe Burrows original. According to an Equity casting call, the reading will take place in New York City between July 1 and 17, with exact dates to be announced. The Lee and Fields Can-Can was previously presented at the Pasadena Playhouse in the summer of 2007. A full production is planned for Broadway in the spring of 2014.
Set in the 1890s, Can-Can is about the showgirls of Paris' Montmartre district, home of the famous Moulin Rouge cabaret. La Mome Pistache is one of the few café owners daring enough to feature the licentious yet increasingly popular can-can dance at her club, Bal du Paradis. She faces ruin when a pious judge, Aristide Forestier, decides to lead a crusade against Pistache and her den of sin. However, Pistache proves to be a harder nut to crack than the judge anticipated when his unexpected love for her gets in the way.
Indeed, the casting notice uses the following language to describe Pistache: "A country girl who has come to the big city, overcome incredible obstacles, and established herself as a strong businesswoman. Has a vulnerable side just below the surface." So she's kind of like Cher in Burlesque, right?
Can-Can was a huge hit when it was first presented on Broadway in 1953, running for an incredible 892 performances. It offered 28- year-old Gwen Verdon (the original Roxie in Chicago) her first breakout performance as Claudine, a dancer at the club, a role for which she won a Tony Award. The musical went on to become a 1960 movie starring Frank Sinatra, Shirley MacLaine, and Maurice Chevalier.
The Cole Porter score features the songs "I Love Paris," "C'est Magnifique," and "It's All Right With Me." Lee and Fields have updated the book, keeping all of Burrows' original characters while adding a few more to better capture the feel of fin-de-siècle gay Paris. Lee also directs. Patti Colombo will provide choreography.
So dig up your garter belts and start studying the below video, ladies.
- Megan Hilty
- Abe Burrows
- Cole Porter
- David Lee
- Joel Fields
- Gwen Verdon
- Aaron Lazar