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Mardi Gras

Cover to Original London Cast Recording

A musical in 2 acts. Libretto by Melvin Bragg. Lyrics and Music by Alan Blaikley and Ken Howard.

Prince of Wales Theatre, London. 18 March, 1976. (212 perfs)


Aspiring musician, Lorne, becomes deeply involved with a top hooker, Celandine, in an atmosphere of hot hearts and hot music among the fleshpots and jazz clubs of New Orleans - all of which leads to a tragic finale. (Shades of Bizet's Carmen)


Would-be jazz musician, Lorne, arrives in New Orleans at the time of Mardi Gras, and gets caught up in the atmosphere of hot hearts and hot music among the fleshpots and jazz clubs where all proprieties are thrown aside and anything goes at the time of this wild carnival of New Orleans. This is a world where the singer Concepcion works a Spanish tart act and the nun Sister Anne sings with religious fervour while stripping down to her red bloomers. Lorne meets and is obsessively attracted to Celandine, New Orleans’s top hooker, and, very much in the tradition of Carmen and Don Jose, it all leads to a tragic finale.


(in order of appearance)


Musical Numbers:

    1. Prologue: Storyville Rag - Studs
    2. Mardi Gras (Breeze From the River) - Lorne, Celandine & Prince
    3. Everything About You - Lorne & Celandine
    4. From Now On (Immortal, Invisible) - Celandine, Sister Anne & Chorus
    5. Isn't It a Nice Sensation? - Chorus
    6. I Call the Tune - M. le Grand
    7. That's That - Concepcion & Chorus
    8. The Second Line - Cleo
    9. Love Keeps No Season - Celandine
    10. New Orleans - Lorne & Celandine & Company
    11. Everybody's Moving - Concepcion, Eddie & Company
    12. I Can See It All - Prince
    13. Make Jazz - Concepcion & Company
    14. Celandine's Blues - Celandine
    15. When I Feel the Spirit Move Me - Sister Anne, Concepcion & Company
    16. The Calinda - Voodoo Woman & Company
    17. Love's Foot - Lorne & Celandine

Orchestra Conducted by Ray Cook. Vocal Arr. by Fred Tomlinson. Produced by Ken Howard & Alan Blaikley


Original London Cast Recording - EMI - EMC 3123