Fanny

Fanny is a musical with a book by S. N. Behrman and Joshua Logan and music and lyrics by Harold Rome. A tale of love, secrets, and passion set in and around the old French port of Marseille, based on Marcel Pagnol’s trilogy of plays entitled Marius, Fanny and César.

The musical premiered on Broadway in 1954 and ran for 888 performances, and later was staged in the West End. The role of Acolyte was originated by (then) child actor Gary Wright who went on to become a successful musician and is best known for his highly popular 1976 hit single, Dream Weaver. While still in the show, Wright replaced Lloyd Reese in the role of Cesario (Fanny’s son).

Fanny is a young woman whose childhood love, Marius, leaves her to go to sea as a sailor for five years. His father Cesar, a tavern owner, disowns him. After his departure, Fanny discovers she is pregnant. Under pressure from her mother, she marries Panisse, an older man whose delight at having an heir prompts him to keep the boy’s illegitimacy a secret. Marius returns on his son’s first birthday to claim both him and Fanny, but he is turned away by Cesar, who is Panisse’s best friend. As the years pass the boy, now 13, longs to go to sea like his father, and runs away to join him. This is too much for the now-ill and aged Panisse. Marius brings the boy back to fulfill Panisse’s dying wish for Marius and Fanny to be together.

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