PIAF ! THE SHOW
Montréal (Canada) - Théâtre Maisonneuve
12 January 2023
INFOS PROGRAMME THEATER
In association with Gil Marsalla & Directo Productions (France) present
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PIAF! THE SHOW
Starring by the internationally acclaimed NATHALIE LERMITTE
(Please respect this mention on all your marketing & advertising materials)
ABOUT THE SHOW
With a million tickets sold in more than 50 countries and acclaimed reviews worldwide PIAF! THE SHOW a musical celebration of the life and music of the legendary French chanteuse EDITH PIAF returns to North America as part of the extended world tour.
Conceived and directed by the Nice-based theatrical maverick Gil Marsalla and starring Nathalie Lermitte, a French performer hailed as “Edith Piaf’s legitimate musical heiress” PIAF! THE SHOW premiered in 2015 as a tribute to “The Swallow of Montmartre” on the centennial on her birthday and was inspired by the award-winning movie La Vie En Rose.
In two 45-minutes acts, the show narrates the rags-to-riches story of the Parisian singer’s career through her unforgettable songs, complemented by a visual tapestry of previously unreleased photographs and images of famous Parisian locations of the Edith Piaf era.
Edith Piaf, real name Edith Giovanna Gassion, was born in Paris on the 19 December 1915 and died in Grasse, France on October 11, 1963. She was a French cabaret singer songwriter. She is considered the archetype of French singers – a national treasure – and 50 years after her death, remains the most famous French performer both in France and throughout the world.
She became known as ‘’la Môme Piaf’’ (‘’The Little Sparrow) from an early age, due to her extreme stage fright and her small stature (she was only 4’8” tall) and performed songs which became great classics such as: La Vie en Rose, Non je ne regrette rien, Hymne à l’amour, Mon légionnaire, La foule, Milord, Mon Dieu, L’Accordéoniste. She inspired songwriters and mentored many young artists. She received international success over her lifetime, despite a difficult and tragic end to her career due to serious health problems.
Starring the internationally acclaimed
NATHALIE LERMITTE CRR
as Edith Piaf
Singing is certainly a true vocation for Nathalie Lermitte. Indeed, at the age of six, she started performing.
The day she turned eighteen was also the day she released her first album “Tu es tout ce que j’aime”, two singles of which sold over 400,000 copies. In 1995 she opened for Michel Leeb at the Olympia with Herbert Léonard.
At the same time, Nathalie Lermitte also recorded numerous theme songs for television series and cartoons. 1989 marked her first steps in musical comedy: she was hired to play the role of Cristal in “Starmania”, which she performed for three years at the Théâtre Marigny in Paris and then on a national tour, ending in Moscow and Saint Petersburg. This was followed by a succession of roles in musicals in which she often played the role of Edith Piaf.
At the same time, she was a music columnist in the programme “Chabada” every Sunday at 5pm on France 3 from 2009 to 2012.
Since February 2015, she has been playing the role of the Queen in the play ‘La petite fille aux allumettes’, nominated for a Molière award and directed by David Rozen.
In 2017, she joined Piaf! The show production and enjoyed worldwide success.
Producer and Director
Gil Marsalla has been studying music since the age of 14 and had a rewarding career as a musician, music director, conductor and artistic director. He has been successfully producing musical and theatrical shows and large-scale events for the past 20 years, most recently with his own production company Directo Productions, which he founded in 2001 with the goal of supporting and presenting emerging French artists. Since 2007, he has been touring his productions worldwide and successfully presented his shows to sold-out houses in North & South America, Europe, Japan, China, and many other international locations on four continents.
A worldwide French music post war success
There has been a distinctive French “cabaret” style since end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century, exemplified by such famous places as the Moulin Rouge, the Lido, etc. It’s an aspect of French culture which is world famous, but until recently, if you wanted to experience it fully, you had to come to Paris!
In 2009, while travelling a lot, Gil Marsalla sensed a real hunger from audiences all over the world to hear the classic French songs of the 20th Century, songs made famous by great artists like Edith Piaf, Charles Aznavour, Jacques Brel, Gilbert Becaud, Yves Montand… So, he decided to produce French cabaret shows and tour them internationally.
After several years of touring and producing more than 1 000 concerts worldwide, Gil is considered as the leading producer of this kind of work, that he has opened up a huge market for this beloved material.
It is an ever-expanding vogue, one which grew each year as he created first “Paris! The Show” (2014) then “Piaf! The Show” (2015), “Formidable Aznavour“(2017), “Piaf Symphonic” (2018), “Douce France” (2019), Brel ! The Show ( 2020 ), Roxane, The Musical ( 2021 ) , What Now My Love ( 2022 ) all these shows will tour worldwide actually
Gil Marsalla is very proud to continue and preserve his native country’s musical heritage, and to have spearheaded the renewal of French cabaret by bringing it to audiences all over the globe.
The first act offers a window into Edith Piaf’s life before she became famous. Imagine that you are on the terrace of a small Parisian café, or on a cobbled square in Montmartre. This is where Piaf spent her earliest years, singing in the streets and depending on the kindness of strangers to toss her their loose change.
A young Edith Piaf enters to the sound of a moody accordion. She sings of her childhood growing up poor, and how she longed to spread her wings and fly away Like a Sparrow. Despite her sad words, there’s a smile on her face, because she is no longer that little girl.
Edith continues to remember her youth, speaking of how she used to sing for the terraces Between Saint-Ouen and Clignancourt, amongst the gangs of street kids, and the scents of French fries and lilacs.
She speaks of her first lovers, and daydreams of those days of innocence. In You Could Find Her on the Street Pigalle, she relays the story of when cabaret owner Louis Leplee discovered her on the corner in the Pigalle area, in 1935, with her sad pale face. In I Couldn’t Care Less, Edith throws off the judgement of the upper class, reveling in the freedom of her Sundays walking on the banks of Seine, rejoicing in the glitter of the dance halls at night, and the tenderness of a lover touch. It is Paris she loves with the scent of the chestnut trees, the light in the morning, and the music of its streets. Her love of Paris shifts to love of men with It’s a Guy, a man who loved and left her in tatters and My Legionnaire, an affair with an American army boy that wasn’t meant to last. In full swing, The Party Continues with the crowds, music, and carousels. With Bravo for the Clown! Edith revels in the world of the circus, of clowns, musical delights, hidden vices, laughter, and The Sounds of the Dance Hall.
SET LIST ACT 1
(Marc Hely/Jean Lenoir) © Les Nouvelles Editions MERIDIAN
La Java de Cezigue
(René Paul Grotte/Jean Eblinger) © SEMI
Les Mômes de la Cloche
(Decaye/Scotto Vincent) © Edition Fortin
(Michel Emer) © SEMI
Entre St Ouen et Clignancourt
(Eugene Sablon/Maurice Thireau) © Editions Francis Salabert
Elle Fréquentait la Rue Pigalle
(R.Asso/L.Maitrier) © 1939 by Editions Beuscher Arpège
La Goualante du Pauvre Jean
(René Rouzaud/Marguerite Monnot) © Beuscher Arpège et Wolfsohn Jacques Editions
Les Amants d’un Jour
(Paroles : Claude Delécluse et Michelle Senlis. Musique Marguerite Monnot) © 1957 – Edition Beuscher Arpege
Je m’en Fous Pas Mal
(Michel Emer) © Masspacher André Georges
(André Bernhem) © 1949 – Editions Raoul Breton
C’est un Gars
(Pierre Roche/Charles Aznavour) © Editions Raoul Breton
(Raymond Asso/Marguerite Monnot) © SEMI
Mon Vieux Lucien
(Michel Rivgauche/Charles Dumont) © Les Nouvelles Editions Meridian
La Fête Continue
(Michel Emer) © 1949 by Editions Beuscher Arpège
Bravo Pour le Clown
(H.Contet/Louiguy) © 1953 Louiguy et Henti Contet © 1998 Editions Beuscher Arpège et Longfellow Music
Les Flons Flons du Bal
(Charles Dumont/Michel Vaucaire) © Editions Francis Salabert
~ INTERMISSION ~ (15 minutes maximum)
The second act recreates some of the legendary performances Piaf gave after she had become a renowned artist performing on the world’s most renowned stages. Imagine sitting in the famous Olympia Theater in Paris, or at Carnegie Hall in 1957, when she gave one of her last memorable concerts.
Edith Piaf’s tumultuous relationship with love continues with the uplifting energy of You’re My Carousel, the dark betrayal of Jezebel, the sad goodbye of Autumn Leaves. The memories of those lost love affairs haunt Edith, beating like a wooden heart, Padam…Padam.
Not a woman to dwell in sadness, Edith is caught up in the passion of The Crowd, engulfed, buoyed, and carried away by a love as powerful and crazed as a rollicking mob. In a different tone, her Hymn to Love bares her soul as she surrenders herself entirely to her passion, promising to give up everything – country, home, friends – as long as it would keep love at her side. In My God, she even begs the heavens to keep her love at her side, just for one more day. With the world in her thrall, Edith Piaf embarks on the delicate and beautiful sentiment of her beloved La Vie en Rose. “Hold me close and hold me fast, the magic spell you cast, this is la vie en rose.”
SET LIST ACT 1
Mon Manège à Moi
(Jean Constantin/Norbert Glanzberg) © Les Nouvelles Editions Meridian
(Shanklin Wayne/Adaptateur : Aznavour Charles et Raoul Breton) © Warner Chappel Music France, Catalogue Pigalle Intersong
Les Feuilles Mortes
(Jacques Prévert/Joseph Kosma)
(Norbert Glanzberg:Henri Contet) © Francis Salabert Editions
(Paroles originales de Enrique Dizeo. Paroles françaises de Michel Rivgauche. Musique de Angel Cabral © 1957 Editions Metropolitaines
Les Mot d’Amour
(Michel Vaucaire/Charles Dumont) © Les Nouvelles Editions Meridian
Mon Dieu (Michel Vaucaire/Charles Dumont) © Les Nouvelles Editions Meridian
Hymne à l’Amour (Edith Piaf/Marguerite Monnot) © 1949 Editions Raoul Breton
La Vie en Rose (Edith Piaf/Louiguy) © 1946 Edition Beuscher Arpège
Non, Je ne Regrette Rien (Michel Vaucaire/Charles Dumont
(Marguerite Monnot/Joseph Mustacchi) © Francis Salabert Editions
Nathalie Lermitte – Singer
Philippe Villa – Piano
Benoit Pierron – Percussions, xylophone
Frederic Viale , Accordeon
Giliard Lopez , Double bass
Gil Marsalla – Producer, Director
Thomas Richeux – Stage Manager
Thanks to the local crew
Press Quote to Use
« … Nathalie Lermitte’s soaring voice is used to devastating effect …! »
The Gardian, London
« …Mrs Lermitte can miraculously capture Piaf’s soul and timbre…! »
« …Dramatic, witty, warm, authentic and utterly fantastic …! »
CONTACT PRESS, PROMOTION
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