Irma, the title character of the French musical Irma La Douce, is a young woman working the streets of Paris. Nestor le Fripé, a poor law student, falls for Irma and grows jealous of her clients. To remain Irma's only lover, Nestor assumes the disguise of a rich older man named Oscar, taking numerous jobs to support himself and Irma. Unable to sustain his exhausting life, Nestor ultimately “kills” Oscar. But the authorities, believing the murder actually took place, convict Nestor and send him to the Devil's Island penal colony. Nestor ultimately escapes and returns to Paris to prove his innocence and reunite with Irma.
Irma La Douce premiered in Paris at the Théâtre Gramont, November 12, 1956, where it ran for four years. It was then produced at London’s Lyric Theatre, opening July 17, 1958, and playing for 1,512 performances. The show opened on Broadway at the Plymouth Theatre on September 29, 1960, starring Keith Mitchell, Clive Revill, and Elizabeth Seal as the title character. The show later moved to the Alvin Theatre, playing a total of 524 performances.
Strong Role for Leading Man (Star Vehicle)
Strong Role for Leading Woman (Star Vehicle)
College Theatre / Student
Blackbox / Second Stage /Fringe Groups
Irma, one of Paris' most successful poules (prostitutes), falls in love with Nestor, a penniless law student. Nestor is jealous of Irma's customers, and decides he must become her only client. He disguises himself as Monsieur Oscar, a rich old fossil who asks only companionship, yet provides enough money to become Irma's exclusive patron.
Nestor soon becomes exhausted from his numerous jobs, studies, and lovemaking. Irma decides that Oscar is not getting his money's worth and seduces him more passionately than she ever has Nestor. This makes him more jealous than ever, and he decides that Oscar must die. Nestor stages the death of "Oscar," but is soon convicted of murder and sentenced to Devil's Island. When he learns Irma is expecting his child, he escapes on a raft and finally proves (by paying off the judge) that he and Oscar are one and the same. Oscar returns to Irma on Christmas Eve, just in time to witness the birth of their child.
(1 female; 9 male)
Irma La Douce – a Poule
Nestor Le Fripe – a law student
Bob Le Hotu – proprietor of the Bar des Inquiets
A Tax Inspector
- Polyte Le Mou
- Jojo Les Yeux Sales
- Roberto Les Diams
M. Bougne – a ballroom owner
Counsel for the Prosecution
Counsel for the Defense
An Honest Man
8 Bar Loungers
2 False Mecs
- Time Period
- Setting In Paris, on Devil's Island, and at sea. 1956.
More than 120 minutes (2 hours)