Can-Can

A TAMS-WITMARK TITLE

Full Length Musical, Comedy  /  2f, 3m

Music and Lyrics by Cole Porter / Book by Abe Burrows / Produced for the Broadway Stage by Feuer and Martin

C'est Magnifique! Lively, funny, and thoroughly entertaining, Can-Can captures the energy and spirit of Bohemian Paris in the late nineteenth century.

Photo: Matthew Murphy

Can-Can
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OVERVIEW

  • Cast Size
    Cast Size
    2f, 3m
  • Duration
    Duration
    More than 120 minutes (2 hours)
  • SubGenre
    Subgenre
    Period, Romantic Comedy
  • Audience
    Target Audience
    • Appropriate for all audiences
Accolades
Accolades
  • WINNER! Two 1954 Tony Awards, for Best Featured Actress and Choreography
    WINNER! 1954 Theatre World Award for Outstanding Stage Performance (Gwen Verdon)
    NOMINEE: Three 1981 Tony Awards, including Best Choreography
Description
In 1893 Paris, La Môme Pistache, the proud owner of a Montmartre dance hall, battles with Aristide Forestiere, a self-righteous judge determined to close all establishments featuring the scandalous can-can. Eventually, the two fall in love, and the judge concedes that “obscenity is in the eye of the beholder.”
History
Can-Can opened on Broadway at the Shubert Theatre on May 7, 1953, starring Lilo, Hans Conried, Peter Cookson, Erik Rhodes and Gwen Verdon. The production played for 892 performances.
In Paris, 1893, Aristide Forestier, a young, newly-appointed and over-zealous magistrate, decides to undertake a reform movement. Aristide’s first case involves some young women whose dance, the “can-can,” violates the Parisian morals code. When the chief judge dismisses the case (apparently, all the witnesses had cinders in their eyes when the crime was committed) Aristide goes to Montmartre to investigate the matter personally.

Aristide gets his evidence but, in the process, falls in love with La Môme Pistache, the café proprietress. In the Montmartre, he meets: Claudine, the principal dancer of the can-can palaces; Boris Adzinidzinadze, the temperamental artist whom she supports; and Hilaire Jussac, the art critic with whom Boris fights an uproariously funny duel. Aristide ends up in a police scandal which gets him disbarred. He confesses his love for Pistache, leaves the law to the courts, and joins her in teaching others how to do the can-can.

Cole Porter’s celebrated score features the famous “Garden Of Eden Ballet,” along with several entrancing Cole Porter standards, including “C’est Magnifique,” “I Love Paris,” “It’s All Right With Me,” and the title number.

Considerations

Performing Groups
  • High School/Secondary
  • College Theatre / Student
  • Community Theatre
  • Professional Theatre
  • Outdoor
  • Large Stage
  • Youth/Camp Programs
Cautions
  • Mild Adult Themes

Licence details

  • Licensing fees and rental materials quoted upon application.

Specifics

Details

  • Time Period: 19th Century
  • Duration: More than 120 minutes (2 hours)
  • Setting:
    Paris, 1893.
  • Features / Contains: Period Costumes

Casting

2f, 3m
Cast Attributes
  • Expandable casting
  • Strong Role for Leading Woman (Star Vehicle)
Principals
(2 female; 3 male)

La Môme Pistache
Claudine

Judge Aristide Forestier
Boris Adzinidzinadze
Hilaire Jussac

Supporting

Gabrielle
Marie
Celestine
Hercule
Theophile
Etienne

Others

Bailiff
Registrar
Policeman
Judge Paul Barriere
Court President, Henri Marceaux
Waiter
Second Waiter
Café Waiter
Café Customer
Jailer
Model
Mimi
Customers
Doctor
Second Prosecutor

Music

  • Musical Style: Classic Broadway
  • Dance Requirements: Moderate
  • Vocal Demands: Difficult
  • Orchestra Size: Large
  • Chorus Size: Large

Act I

1. Judges’ Entrance – Orchestra
2. “Maidens Typical of France” – Female Chorus
3. “Maidens Typical of France” (Reprise) – Female Chorus
4. Change of Scene – Orchestra
5. Change of Scene – Orchestra
6. “Never Give Anything Away” – Pistache & Girls
7. Dance Band and Scene Link – Orchestra
8. “C’est Magnifique” – Pistache and Aristide
9. Dance: Quadrille – Orchestra
9a. Change of Scene – Orchestra
10. “Come Along With Me” – Hilaire
11. “Come Along With Me” (Reprise) – Boris and Hilaire
12. Change of Scene – Orchestra
13. “Live And Let Live” – Pistache
14. “I Am In Love” – Aristide
15. Change of Scene - Orchestra
16 & 17. “If You Loved Me Truly” – Claudine, Boris, Theophile, Hercule, Etienne, Gabrielle, Celestine, Marie & Model
18. Change of Scene – Orchestra
19. “Monmartre” – Ensemble
19a. “Monmartre” – Melos
20. Garden of Eden Ballet – Orchestra
21. Eve’s Dance – Orchestra
22. “Monmartre” (Reprise) – Ensemble
23. “Allez-vous-en” – Pistache

Act II

24. Entr’acte – Orchestra
25. Opening Act II – Orchestra
26. “Never, Never Be An Artist” – Boris, Hercule, Etienne, Theophile & Model
27. Change of Scene – Orchestra
28. “It’s All Right With Me” – Aristide
29. “Every Man Is A Stupid Man” – Pistache
30. Apache Dance – Orchestra
31. Change of Scene – Orchestra
32. Change of Scene - Orchestra
33. “I Love Paris” – Pistache and Chorus
34. “C’est Magnifique” (Reprise) – Aristide and Pistache
34a. “I Love Paris” (Reprise) – Accordion Solo
35. Change of Scene – Orchestra
36. Change of Scene – Orchestra
37. “Can-Can” – Pistache and Chorus
38. Finale: “Monmartre” – Company
39. Exit Music

Full Orchestration

Violin AC (doubles Accordion)
Violin BD
Viola
Cello
Bass

Reed 1: Flute, Piccolo & Clarinet
Reed 2: Oboe & English Horn
Reed 3: Eb Clarinet, Bb Clarinet, Bass Clarinet & Alto Saxophone
Reed 4: Flute & Clarinet
Reed 5: Clarinet & Bassoon

Horn 1 & 2
Horn 3
Trumpet 1 & 2
Trombone (and optional Euphonium)

Percussion:

Timpani (2 Drums)
Snare Drum
Bass Drum
Tom Toms (2)
Suspended Cymbal
Hi-Hat Cymbals
Tam Tam
Bell Plate
Temple Blocks (3)
Triangles (Large & Small)
Wood Block
Cowbell
Slide Whistle
Bird Whistle
Dog Bark Sound
Glockenspiel
Xylophone
Bottle Crash Sound

Guitar

Materials

Scripts

Rehearsal Resources

Music Material Rental Packages Glyphs / UI / Tooltip

Full Package:
1 Piano/Conductor Score
33 Libretto/Vocal Books
1 Reed 1
1 Reed 2
1 Reed 3
1 Reed 4
1 Reed 5
2 Horn 1&2
1 Horn 3
2 Trumpet 1&2
1 Trombone
1 Percussion
1 Guitar
2 Violin AC
1 Violin BD
1 Viola
1 Cello
1 Bass

Piano Only:
1 Piano/Conductor
33 Libretto/Vocal book

Additional Resources And Services Available

Media

Photos

  • Can-Can

    Credit: Matthew Murphy

More

Authors

Abe Burrows

Born December 18, 1910 in NYC, Burrows graduated New Utrecht High School in Brooklyn and later attended both City College and NYU. His career in radio and television writing began with This is New York (1938), followed by the Rudy Vallee Program (1940), Duffy’s Town (1940-1945), and the Abe Burrow’s Show ...

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Cole Porter

Cole Porter was born in Peru, Indiana in 1891 and died in Hollywood 73 years later. In between, he wrote some of the most memorable songs ever heard on stage or screen, among them “Night and Day,” “Begin the Beguine,” “You’re The Top,” “I Get a Kick Out of You,” “Love For Sale,” and “Just One of Tho ...

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