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Full Length Musical, Dramatic Comedy  /  4f, 4m

Music by Michel Legrand / Libretto by Didier van Cauwelaert / Adapted from Le Passe-Muraille by Marcel Aymé (Les Éditions Gallimard) / English adaptation by Jeremy Sams / Amour was originally produced on Broadway by The Shubert Organization, Jean Doumanian Productions, Inc. and USA Ostar Theatricals.

In postwar Paris, an unassuming clerk - who secretly pines for his unhappily married neighbor - inexplicably develops the ability to walk through walls. Michel Legrand's gorgeous melodies lend an authentically French flavor to this quirky and charming romance.
Amour
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OVERVIEW

  • Cast Size
    Cast Size
    4f, 4m
  • Duration
    Duration
    120 minutes (2 hours)
  • SubGenre
    Subgenre
    Adaptations (Stage & Screen)
  • Audience
    Target Audience
    • Adult
    • Senior
    • Teen (Age 14 - 18)
Accolades
Accolades
  • NOMINEE: Five 2003 Tony Awards, including Best Musical
    NOMINEE: Eight 2003 Drama Desk Awards, including Outstanding Musical, Book, Music and Lyrics
    WINNER! Under its original French title, Le Passe-Muraille, the show was awarded the Prix Molière for Best Musical.
Description

Set in Paris shortly after World War II, Amour concerns the meek and unassuming Dusoleil, a beleaguered clerk who secretly pines for the lovely but unhappily married Isabelle. When Dusoleil inexplicably develops the ability to walk through walls, he becomes a Parisian Robin Hood, stealing from the rich and giving to the poor. Word of the infamous thief spreads, intriguing Isabelle in particular, and shy Dusoleil faces a moral dilemma—will he continue his righteous campaign, or come clean and rescue Isabelle from her unhappiness?

Amour was adapted from the 1943 short story Le Passe-Muraille by Marcel Aymé. The story is memorialized by a statue in Montmartre in Paris. The show is through-composed and contains no dialogue between musical numbers.

History
Amour opened on Broadway at the Music Box Theatre on October 20, 2002, starring Malcolm Gets as Dusoleil and Melissa Errico as Isabelle.
Keywords
We are in Paris, in Montmartre, shortly after the second world war. It is morning. Our hero, whom we'll call Monsieur Dusoleil, is on his way to work ("Opening"). He is an ordinary civil servant, but very committed to his humdrum job, much more so than his rather grumpy colleagues ("Office Life"). Dusoleil's unexciting life, however, is periodically irradiated by his beautiful neighbor, Isabelle. He lives for a glimpse of her. As he returns from work, we see her cross the square ("Dusoleil Leaves The Office"). Unbeknownst to him, and despite her respectable marriage to a court official, her life is as banal and lonely as Dusoleil's own. She is addicted to novels and magazines, and dreams of romance and intrigue ("Other People’s Stories"). As evening falls we meet the other habitués of the square: a painter; a whore; a news vendor; and the Prosecutor, Isabelle's husband, with two policemen in his pay ("Street Vendors’ Waltz").

On his way up the stairs Dusoleil curses at yet another power outage, a symptom of postwar austerity. When the lights come back on, he, to his astonishment, is not outside his flat, but in it ("Dusoleil Walks Through The Wall"). Where has he acquired this mysterious gift of being able to pass through solid walls? He solicits medical attention ("The Doctor’s Song"). Clutching the pills the Doctor has prescribed, he returns home, choosing to ignore his newfound powers. His life may not be spectacular, but at least it's familiar ("An Ordinary Guy"). The next day, however, he is grossly insulted by his new boss and uses his gifts to wreak glorious vengeance ("Dusoleil Insulted/Revenge").

Meanwhile, Isabelle is sad and lonely ("Somebody"). Her plight is ignored by an uncaring husband who has his own private pleasures ("Prosecutor’s Song"). Dusoleil now decides to use his powers to do good. Under the nom de crime of Passepartout, he begins his Robin Hood campaign by making a gift of diamonds to a rather dejected whore who is failing to attract the business she did during the war ("The Whore’s Lament/Monsieur Passepartout"). Dusoleil may be able to walk through walls, but he still lacks the courage to declare himself to Isabelle. She, however, has turned her fantasies towards this Passepartout, her new hero ("Isabelle’s Song"). The Painter notices his secret passion and warns him against acting on it. Nevertheless, Dusoleil hatches a plan. He will break into the deepest vault of the Banque de Paris and set off the alarm, causing himself to caught in flagrante. How will Isabelle be able to resist? ("Act One Finale/Java Of The Latest News").

In jail Dusoleil waits for Isabelle to visit him. The attention he actually attracts—from two of his female work mates—is much less welcome ("Dusoleil In Jail"). Disgruntled, he walks through the wall and out of prison. Back in the square, he reveals himself to Isabelle ("Street Painter’s Song/Isabelle On Her Balcony"). When she says she cannot leave her husband, Dusoleil decides to face up to his destiny and to stand trial for his crimes.

We are now in court ("Transformation"). Dusoleil is represented by a nervous young lawyer, his only protection against the wrath of Isabelle's husband, the Public Prosecutor ("The Lawyer’s Plea/Summing Up"). The somewhat bizarre proceedings are interrupted by the appearance of Isabelle. She has an astonishing revelation: her husband was a Nazi collaborator in the war. He should be on trial, not Dusoleil. Dusoleil explains that everything he did, he did for love ("Duet For Dusoleil & Isabelle"). And, this being France, he is pardoned. However, just as he is about to follow Isabelle home, he loses his nerve. The entreaties of the company, nonetheless, prevail, and our two lovers spend a night of passion together ("Whistling Ballet/Amour").

The next morning Dusoleil is awakened by the world press, all keen for him to display his powers for the cameras. He has a hangover—from love, from champagne, from everything. Looking for some aspirin, he finds the pills the doctor gave him ("Love’s Hangover"). They provide the cure—not for his headache, but for his ability to walk through walls. As the pills take effect, Dusoleil is caught mid-leap and becomes stuck fast in a wall. One by one his friends arrive, and, led by Isabelle, the company laments what might have been ("Serenade").

Nevertheless, far from being an ordinary man, Dusoleil is remembered in song and fable. And to this day there is a statue in Montmartre of Le Passe-Muraille, the man who could walk through walls.

And that is the only part of this story which is true ...

—Jeremy Sams       

Considerations

Performing Groups
  • High School/Secondary
  • College Theatre / Student
  • Community Theatre
  • Dinner Theatre
  • Professional Theatre
  • Blackbox / Second Stage /Fringe Groups
Cautions
  • Mild Adult Themes

Licence details

  • Licensing fees and rental materials quoted upon application.

Specifics

Details

  • Time Period: 1940s / WWII
  • Duration: 120 minutes (2 hours)
  • Setting: Paris, shortly after World War II.
  • Features / Contains: Period Costumes

Casting

4f, 4m
Cast Attributes
  • Reduced casting (Doubling Possible)
  • Strong Role for Leading Man (Star Vehicle)
Dusoleil - A self-proclaimed “ordinary guy” who discovers he can walk through walls
Isabelle - An unhappily married woman and the object of Dusoleil's affections
Whore, Painter, News Vendor - Three street workers who support Dusoleil
Prosecutor - Isabelle's husband, a man with more than a few skeletons in his closet
Boss - Dusoleil’s nasty boss
Doctor Roquefort - Dusoleil's doctor, who gives him the eventual cure to his intangibility
Madeleine, Claire, Charles, Bertrand - Dusoleil’s co-workers. The women reveal feelings for Dusoleil when they discover he is the elusive “Monsieur Passepartout”
Policemen - Two “henchmen” hired by the Prosecutor to keep the people of Montmartre in check
Monsieur le President - President of the tribunal that tries Dusoleil
Lawyer - Dusoleil’s lawyer, who appears on behalf of Dusoleil on his very first day in court
Prison Director - Optional character; warden of the prison
Prison Guards - Two optional characters guarding Dusoleil
Casting Notes

The Broadway production of Amour had a cast of 9 (3 women and 6 men). The following doubling was employed:

1st Policeman/Doctor/President (/Guard 1)
Bertrand/News Vendor/Advocate (/Prison Director)
Claire/Whore
2nd Policeman/Boss (/Guard 2)

Music

  • Musical Style: Classic Broadway, Operetta
  • Dance Requirements: Easy
  • Vocal Demands: Difficult
  • Orchestra Size: Small/Combo
  • Chorus Size: Small

Act I

1. Opening – Dusoleil, Men, Isabelle, & Women
2. “Office Life” – Chorus, Bertrand, Madeleine, Claire, Charles, Dusoleil
2a. Office Life Playoff – Chorus
3. Dusoleil Leaves The Office – Dusoleil
4. “Other People’s Stories” – Dusoleil & Isabelle
5. Street Vendors’ Waltz – Dusoleil, Painter, News Vendor, & Whore
6. Taking rent/ Combo – Policemen, Prosecutor, Isabelle, Dusoleil, Street Vendors, & Whore
6a. Rent Playoff – Orchestra
7. Dusoleil Walks Through The Wall – Dusoleil
8. Dusoeil Is Puzzled – Dusoleil
9. The Doctor’s Song – Doctor
10. The Doctor’s Diagnosis – Doctor & Dusoleil
11. “An Ordinary Guy” – Doctor & Dusoleil
12. “Extra, Extra!” – News Vendor
13. The New Boss Arrives – Madeline, Charles, Claire, & Betrand
14. “Your Brand New Boss” – Boss, Madeline, Charles, Claire, & Betrand
15. Dusoleil Insulted – Boss & Dusoleil
16. Revenge – Dusoleil, Boss, & Ensemble
17. Bread Song – Dusoleil, Isabelle, & Prosecutor
18. The Two Policemen – Policemen
19. “Somebody” – Isabelle
20. Prosecutor’s Song – Prosecutor
21. The Whore’s Lament – Whore
22. Reprise: “Extra, Extra!” – Whore, News Vendor, & Dusoleil
23. “Monsieur Passepartout” – Dusoleil, News Vendor, Madeline, Charles, Painter, Policemen, & Whore
24. Quartet – Madeline, Whore, News Vendor, & Painter
25. Isabelle’s Song – Isabelle
26. Dusoleil In Love – Dusoleil & Isabelle
27. Act One Finale: “Forget It” – Painter, Dusoleil, Policemen, News Vendor, & Bystanders

Act II

28. “Java Of The Latest News” – News Vendor, Whore, & Communist
28a. Prison Director’s Song – Prison Governor
28b. The Two Prison Guards –Prison Guards
29. Dusoleil In Jail – Dusoleil
30. Madeline And Claire In Love – Madeline & Claire
31. News Vendor On The Radio – News Vendor
32. Dusoleil On The Run – Dusoleil
33. Dusoleil Talks To The Painter – Dusoleil & Painter
34. Street Painter’s Song – Painter
35. Isabelle On Her Balcony – Isabelle & Prosecutor
36. Transformation – Madeline, Claire, & Men
37. The Lawyer’s Plea – President & Lawyer
38. Trio For Witnesses – President, Nun, Whore, Communist, & Prosecutor
39. “Summing Up” – Prosecutor, President, Chorus, Dusoleil, Isabelle, & Chorus
40. Dusoleil Fights Back – Dusoleil, Isabelle, President, Whore, Prosecutor
41. Duet For Dusoleil & Isabelle – Dusoleil, Isabelle, & Chorus
42. Whistling Ballet – Dusoleil, Lawyer, President, Whore, Communist, & Nun
43. “Amour” – Isabelle & Dusoleil
44. “Love’s Hangover” – Dusoleil, News Vendor, & Doctor
45. Serenade – Dusoleil & Isabelle
46. Dusoleil’s Postlude – Dusoleil, Isabelle, & Chorus

Full Orchestration

Reed 1: Flute, Piccolo & Alto Flute
Reed 2: Clarinet & Bass Clarinet
Reed 3: Soprano Saxophone, Alto Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone & Clarinet

Percussion:
Drum Set, Vibraphone, Marimba, Glockenspiel, Xylophone, Chimes, Triangle, Slide Whistle,
Crotales, Ratchet, Cowbells (2), Woodblock, Mark Tree, Caxixi & Typewriter

Piano
Bass (with C extension)

Materials

Scripts

Rehearsal Resources

Music Material Rental Packages Glyphs / UI / Tooltip

Full Package:
1 Piano/Vocal Score
18 Chorus Vocal Books
1 Reed 1
1 Reed 2
1 Reed 3
1 Percussion
1 Piano
1 Bass


Piano Only:
1 Piano/Vocal Score
18 Chorus Vocal Books

Media

Music Samples

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Authors

Michel Legrand

Since 1965, when he received three Academy Award nominations for his score, adaptation and the song "I Will Wait For You" from THE UMBRELLAS OF CHERBOURG, Michel Legrand has become one of the most important names in contemporary music. He has won three Oscars from a total of sixteen nominations, three Gram ...

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Didier van Cauwelaert

Didier van Cauwelaert is a French novelist, playwright, lyricist, screenwriter and film director. He has published some 40 works and sold more than 5 million copies. His works have been translated into more than 30 languages. He has written seven film scripts and directed two comedies.Van Ca ...

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Marcel Aymé

Born in Joigny in 1902, Marcel Aymé was raised by his grandparents on his mother’s side, in Jura. Not being very interested by school, he preferred taking walks and reading. Despite this, he passed his baccalauréat at the age of seventeen and toyed with the idea of becoming an engineer, but a ser ...

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Jeremy Sams

JEREMY SAMS Writer: Amour (Broadway), Ghetto (National Theatre and Broadway), Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (West End and Broadway), The Wizard of Oz (West End and tour); translation of Indiscretions (Broadway), The Miser and Mary Stuart (RNT), The Rehearsal, Don Giovanni, Figaro’s Wedding, La Bohème, The Mag ...

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