Carnival

Carnival is a 1961 musical with book by Michael Stewart and music and lyrics by Bob Merrill, starring Anna Maria Alberghetti, James Mitchell, Kaye Ballard, Pierre Olaf, and Jerry Orbach (making his Broadway debut). Gower Champion both directed and choreographed with orchestrations by Philip J. Lang.

The stage show is based on the film Lili (1953). Lili, an orphan, appears at a small European carnival seeking a friend of her dead father and, she hopes, an offer of a home. She is looked after by the carnival folk. She becomes somewhat besotted with the show’s magician, Marco the Magnificent but soon realizes that her future is entwined with the lame, misanthropic puppeteer, Paul Berthalet, and love follows.

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Carnival premiered on April 12, 1961 at the Imperial Theatre, where it played until
December 15, 1962, when it moved to the Winter Garden Theatre. The musical closed on January 5, 1963 after 719 performances. A production was briefly mounted in London’s West End in 1963, with Champion’s staging recreated by Lucia Victor and Doria Avila; it featured Michael Maurel, Shirley Sands, Sally Logan, Bob Harris, Francis de Wolff, and one actor from the original Broadway production, James Mitchell.

The stage show is based on the film Lili (1953). Lili, an orphan, appears at a small European carnival seeking a friend of her dead father and, she hopes, an offer of a home. She is looked after by the carnival folk. She becomes somewhat besotted with the show’s magician, Marco the Magnificent but soon realizes that her future is entwined with the lame, misanthropic puppeteer, Paul Berthalet, and love follows.

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