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Irma La Douce
Music Marguerite Monnot
Lyrics Alexandre Breffort
Book Alexandre Breffort
Productions 1956 Paris
1958 West End
1960 Broadway

Irma La Douce is a musical with music by Marguerite Monnot and French lyrics and book by Alexandre Breffort. The English lyrics and book are by Julian More, David Heneker and Monty Norman.

The musical had productions in Paris in 1956 and on the West End at the Saville Theatre in 1958. In London, the show starred Keith Michell as Nestor, Elizabeth Seal as Irma, and Clive Revill.

Irma La Douce opened on Broadway at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre on September 29, 1960, moved to the Alvin Theatre on October 30, 1961, and closed on December 31, 1961 after 524 performances. The production was directed by Peter Brook with choreography by Onna White. Repeating their roles from the London production were Michell, Seal, and Revill. Stuart Damon and Fred Gwynne also were featured.

The story was made into a non-musical film in 1963 (Irma la Douce), starring Jack Lemmon and Shirley MacLaine.

San Francisco's 42nd Street Moon revived Irma La Douce in 2008. Alison Ewing starred as the title character with Kyle Payne portraying the dual role of Nestor-Le-Fripé/Oscar and Bill Fahrner played Bob-Le-Hotu, the narrator. Greg MacKellan directed, and Linda Posner choreographed.


Plot synopsis

Irma La Douce is a successful prostitute, living in Paris. A poor law student, Nestor le Fripé, falls in love with her. In order to keep her for himself, he assumes the disguise of a rich older man, Oscar, and takes many jobs. Finally no longer able to sustain his exhausting life, he "kills" Oscar, and is transported to the Devil's Island penal colony. He escapes and returns to Paris, where he and Irma reunite.


Act I
  • Valse Milieu --Bob-Le-Hotu
  • Sons of France --The Mecs, Polyte-Le-Mou and Police Inspector
  • The Bridge of Caulaincourt --Irma-La-Douce and Nestor-Le-Fripe
  • Our Language of Love --Irma-La-Douce and Nestor-Le-Fripe
  • She's Got The Lot --Police Inspector and Irma's Admirers
  • Our Language of Love (Reprise) --Irma-La-Douce
  • Dis-Donc --Irma-La-Douce
  • Le Grisbi is le Root of le Evil in Man --Bob-Le-Hotu, Nestor-Le-Fripe and the Mecs
  • Wreck of a Mec --Nestor-Le-Fripe
  • That's a Crime --Bob-Le-Hotu, Nestor-Le-Fripe and the Mecs
Act II
  • The Bridge of Caulaincourt (Reprise) --Irma-La-Douce and Nestor-Le-Fripe
  • From a Prison Cell --Nestor-Le-Fripe and the Mecs
  • Irma-la-Douce --Irma-La-Douce
  • There Is Only One Paris for That -- Nestor-Le-Fripe, the Mecs and Prisoners
  • The Freedom of the Seas --Nestor-Le-Fripe and the Mecs
  • There Is Only One Paris for That (Reprise) --Nestor-Le-Fripe and the Mecs
  • Our Language of Love (Reprise)--Irma-La-Douce
  • But -- Nestor-Le-Fripe, Police Inspector, A Tax Inspector, M. Bougne and Polyte-Le-Mou
  • Christmas Child --The Company

Awards and nominations

Tony Award

  • Best Musical
  • Best Actress in a Musical -- Elizabeth Seal (winner)
  • Best Featured Actor in a Musical Clive Revill (nominee)
  • Best Costume Design (Musical) (nominee)
  • Best Choreography (nominee)
  • Best Direction of a Musical (nominee)
  • Best Conductor and Musical Director Stanley Lebowsky (nominee)

External links



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