Shows D

DEAR WORLD Music and Lyrics by Jerry Herman: Book by Jerome Lawrence & Robert E. Lee: Based on the play The Madwoman of Chaillot by Jean Giraudoux. Mark Hellinger Theatre, Broadway - February 6, 1969 (132 perfs) Charing Cross Theatre, London 13 February, 2013 - 30 March, 2013 (season) SYNOPSIS A modern-day clash of Good and Evil. STORY Act I The Devil is shown as the largest corporation in the world whose board of directors learn from a sleazy prospector that it can turn millions into billions by drilling for oil under the streets of Paris. All the Parisian bistros, boulevards and monuments are fair game - tear them all down and bring in the oil derricks and "By the Spring Of Next Year" the Establishment proclaim that money and pollution will reign over all. The only clue to the source of the oil, however, is the water from the Café Francis in the Chaillot district. The café, however, is not for sale but this does not stop our Board from arranging an accident. Julian, a nice young man who has had some legal problems is dispatched as a saboteur. As he has in the past been saved from his problems by the Chairman of the Board, Julian is in no position to turn down any job the Chairman decides he should do. Julian is ordered to plant a bomb to explode at noon. But the Café Francis is worth saving. Its personnel include Nina, a pretty waitress, a Deaf Mute who mimes and dances, a handsome waiter, a skilful juggler, an endearing prostitute … and, as a resident Good Witch, an ancient madwoman who calls herself the Countess Aurelia. Her mission in life is to feed the stray cats of Paris. This she does with scraps, bones and chicken parts collected daily from the Café. She is also in a neverending search of a missing nine-foot feather boa that was a gift from a vanished lover. CD Record sleeveNoon arrives and passes … with no explosion. The Deaf Mute enters with Julian whom he has prevented from jumping off a bridge. In trying this feat Julian has rendered himself unconscious. Nina ministers to him and brings him round. When Julian sees her he believes he is in Paradise: the Countess knows love when she sees it. At this point Julian tells them of his mission. He says he is doomed for his failure and decides that he really must try to end it all. The Countess intervenes. "Despair is the creature of darkness." Each new day should bring hope. Reassured, Julian decides to stay but is immediately caught by the corporation, only to be rescued by the Countess who runs the Chairman of the Board off the premises. He leaves but swears to destroy her and the café. The Countess's friends see the seriousness of the situation but, ever the optimist, the Countess doesn't see the evil in the world. But if what she is told is true, she doesn't want to know and retreats into the sewers of Paris leaving Julian to hide out in her tiny apartment under the café. Nina, meanwhile, confesses that although she has known many men, she has never been in love with any one. The Countess has, in the meantime, has found a Sewerman who poles a barge full of refuse through the underground canals. She wonders whether the world has indeed become an evil place. The Sewerman says the proof is right there on his boat.