Shows M

THE MERRY WIDOW Music by Franz Lehár: Book and lyrics by Victor Léon and Leo Stein from L'Attaché d'Ambassade by Henri Meilhac. : Theater an der Wein, Vienna - 30 December, 1905; Daly's Theatre, London - 8 June, 1907 (Book and lyrics adapted by Basil Hood and Adrian Ross); New AmsterdamTheatre, New York - 21 October 1907 (416 perfs) Professional Versions: 1) English by Christopher Hassall, - Sadler's Wells. 20 January, 1958 2) English book by Edmund Tracey, lyrics by Christopher Hassall, 3) English by Sheldon Harnick, 4) English by Nigel Douglas 5) English adaptation for amateur performance by Phil Park and Ronald Hanmer 6) Australian adaptation by Frank Hatherlery as The Merry Widow From Bluegum Creek Often called 'The Queen of Operettas', this is certainly the most celebrated and successful show of its kind ever written. The melodies and songs - Vilja", "The Merry Widow Waltz", "You'll Find Me At Maxim's" to name but a few - are lovingly played and sung the whole world over, making it one of the surest box-office attractions of all time. STORY ACT I The action of The Merry Widow takes place in Paris. In Act I we find ourselves in the ballroom of the Pontivedrian Embassy. The Ambassador, Baron Zeta, has a problem on his, mind. He must find a way to save his country from bankruptcy. One solution is to prevent the rich and beautiful heiress Hanna Glavari from marrying a foreigner. He has decided that Count Danilo, an embassy attaché would be the ideal bridegroom, and the purpose of the party we are witnessing is to bring the two together. But all is not going to plan. Danilo, irresponsible and light-hearted, has not yet arrived at the party and can be found nowhere. Immersed in matchmaking, Baron Zeta has failed to observe that his wife Valencienne is engaged in a passionate flirtation with a French officer Camille, the Count de Rosillon. At last Anna arrives escorted by a crowd of hopeful suitors and the party adjourns for supper. Meanwhile Danilo arrives. He has been traced to his favourite resort "Chez Maxims". Exhausted by the round of party going, he falls asleep in the deserted ballroom. Valencienne and Camille return perturbed. Valencienne has forbidden Camille to declare his love, so he has written the words, "I Love You" on her fan and now the fan cannot be found anywhere. Anna reappears and Danilo awakens to greet her. They discover that they are old acquaintances, parted long since by Danilo's rich uncle. Anna reminds Danilo of their past affair but he declares that he will never marry her now because of her fortune. Further complications arise over the lost fan. Anna chooses Danilo for her partner in "Ladies,' Choice" and as she does so realises that her attraction for him is still alive in her heart. ACT II The scene is yet another party, this time in the garden of Anna's house. All the Pontivedrians are in national dress and Anna obliges with a national folksong, the famous "VILIA" which is of course one of Lehár's greatest successes Baron Zeta confides to Danilo the story of the fan. Danilo immediately recognises the writing as that of Camille, and is all agog as to whom the lady can be. Anna is still annoyed at Danilo for continuing to avoid her. She is now completely in love with him as he is with her. It is only her millions and his pride that keep them apart. Danilo continues his unsuccessful search for the owner of the fan. The In now comes into Anna's possession and she is convinced that the inscription on it is Danilo's declaration to her. Meanwhile Valencienne and Camille appear and the pair retire to the summer house. Now horrors! Baron