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New Musical Play by Alain Boublil Is Off-Broadway Bound

By Jon Sobel j.sobel@classicalite.com on May 13, 2014 09:50 AM EDT

As a Broadway revival of Les Misérables enjoys its three Tony nominations and the West End prepares for a 25th anniversary production of Miss Saigon, Alain Boublil, the lyricist for those mega-successful musicals, isn't resting on his statuettes. According to a casting call posted yesterday, a new musical play by Boublil called Manhattan Parisienne will open in December at the Off-Broadway 59E59 Theaters.

Manhattan Parisienne is described as "a musical play about the random meeting of a man and a woman from completely different worlds. During an afternoon together through music and their French / American connection they discover that they are very much the same person, battling similar fears, hopes and dreams."

Before Sunrise with music? The notice goes on: "Mr. Boublil is using some of his favorite songs from American and French songbooks to carry or be part of the action of the play as they reflect the different worlds where the two characters come from and later are immersed in." Does that mean he's writing a script with no original songs and thus no new lyrics? Will this be a kind of jukebox musical? Ask again later, as the Magic Eight Ball would say.

The lead roles of "Adam" and "Eve" have already been cast, according to the listing. The director is Argentinian dancer-choreographer Graciela Daniele, who has worked in New York both on and off Broadway as well as on three Woody Allen films including 1994's Bullets Over Broadway, whose musical adaptation may still be playing across town when Manhattan Parisienne makes its bow at 59E59.

What's certain is that the scale will be very small in comparison to Boublil's Broadway and West End behemoths. The producers are raising money through the nonprofit Fractured Atlas, and 59E59's biggest space seats just 196.

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TagsOff-Broadway, Alain Boublil, Les Miserables, Miss Saigon