Category Archives: musical

Joining the ‘Beautiful Room’ Family

“This is a show about family,” explained Artistic Director Gordon Edelstein as he kicked off the meet and greet for The Most Beautiful Room in New York. Of course, he was referencing the story in the new musical, but if you didn’t know that you’d think he was talking about the dozens of people surrounding… Continue reading →

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DRAMA NOTES: An Interview with Adam Gopnik

Adam Gopnik, the writer of book and lyrics for The Most Beautiful Room in New York, is perhaps best known as a staff writer for The New Yorker, where he’s contributed fiction, non-fiction, criticism, satire, and memoir since 1986. He’s written numerous books during his tenure there, including Paris to the Moon, inspired by the… Continue reading →

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The Most Beautiful Room In New York | A Note On The New Title

LEARN ABOUT THE SHOW Titles are magical things made by mundane means. Authors work hard at titles, compiling lists and sharing them anxiously with friends, but when a title works it just works – though whether it works because the title brought grace to the project or because the project gave the title a grace… Continue reading →

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Cha-U-Kao, May Milton, and Valentin the Boneless | My Paris

Cha-U-Kao In our production of My Paris, Tiffany Mann plays clown Cha-U-Kao. Cha-U-Kao was the name of a French entertainer who performed at the Moulin Rouge and the Nouveau Cirque in the 1890s. Her stage name came from the “chahut-chaos”, a dance derived from the cancan. She was depicted in a series of paintings by… Continue reading →

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René Grenier and Henri Rachou | My Paris

René Grenier In the musical My Paris, John Riddle portrays René Grenier. Albert (René) Grenier (1858–1925) and Toulouse-Lautrec were fellow students in the Paris atelier of academic history painter Fernand Cormon during the 1880s and became fast friends: Toulouse-Lautrec even lived briefly with Grenier and his mistress, Lili, an actress and model, and made several portrayals… Continue reading →

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Who Was La Goulue? | My Paris

Louise Weber  1866 – 1929) was a French can-can dancer who performed under the stage name of La Goulue (“the glutton”). She also was referred to as the Queen of Montmartre. In our production of My Paris La Goulue is portrayed by Nikka Graff Lazarone. Very little is known about her early childhood, but it is… Continue reading →

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Who Was Yvette Guilbert? | My Paris

Portrayed in My Paris by Kate Marilley, Yvette Guilbert (1865– 1944) was a French cabaret singer and actress of the Belle Époque. Born into a poor family as Emma Laure Esther Guilbert, Guilbert began singing as a child but at age sixteen worked as a model at the Printemps department store in Paris. She was… Continue reading →

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Who Was Chocolat? | My Paris

Rafael Padilla, more commonly known by his stage name Chocolat, was a clown who entertained Parisians in the early years of the 20th century, but whose work was forgotten until the late 20th and early 21st centuries when he was rediscovered. This star of French stage during the Belle Époque is played by Darius Barnes in… Continue reading →

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Who Was Aristide Bruant? | My Paris

Also portrayed in My Paris by Jamie Jackson, Aristide Bruant (1851 –1925) was a French cabaret singer, comedian, and nightclub owner. He is best known as the man in the red scarf and black cape featured on certain famous posters by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. Born Louis Armand Aristide Bruand in the village of Courtenay, Loiret… Continue reading →

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Who Was Jane Avril? | My Paris

Portrayed by Erica Sweany in the musical My Paris, Jane Avril (1868 – 1943) was a real French can-can dancer made famous by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec through his paintings. Extremely thin, ‘given to jerky movements and sudden contortions’, she was nicknamed La Mélinite, after an explosive. She was born Jeanne Beaudon in Belleville, on June 9,… Continue reading →

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