In 1893 Paris, La Môme Pistache, the proud owner of a Montmartre dance hall, battles with Aristide Forestiere, a self-righteous judge determined to close all establishments featuring the scandalous can-can. Eventually, the two fall in love, and the judge concedes that “obscenity is in the eye of the beholder.”

Music samples provided courtesy of Universal Music and Sony/ATV
Photos by Matthew Murphy, courtesy of Paper Mill Playhouse, Millburn, NJ

  • Synopsis
  • Credits
  • Orchestration
  • Materials
  • Cast
  • History
  • Musical Numbers
  • Upcoming
  • In Paris, 1893, Aristide Forestier, a young, newly-appointed and over-zealous magistrate, decides to undertake a reform movement. Aristide’s first case involves some young women whose dance, the “can-can,” violates the Parisian morals code. When the chief judge dismisses the case (apparently, all the witnesses had cinders in their eyes when the crime was committed) Aristide goes to Montmartre to investigate the matter personally.

    Aristide gets his evidence but, in the process, falls in love with La Môme Pistache, the café proprietress. In the Montmartre, he meets: Claudine, the principal dancer of the can-can palaces; Boris Adzinidzinadze, the temperamental artist whom she supports; and Hilaire Jussac, the art critic with whom Boris fights an uproariously funny duel. Aristide ends up in a police scandal which gets him disbarred. He confesses his love for Pistache, leaves the law to the courts, and joins her in teaching others how to do the can-can.

    Cole Porter’s celebrated score features the famous “Garden Of Eden Ballet,” along with several entrancing Cole Porter standards, including “C’est Magnifique,” “I Love Paris,” “It’s All Right With Me,” and the title number.

    Music and Lyrics by Cole Porter
    Book by Abe Burrows
    Produced for the Broadway Stage by
    Feuer and Martin

    Such credits to the authors for all purposes shall be in type size equal to or greater than that of any other credits except for that of the star(s) above the title. In the programs, the credits shall appear on the title page thereof.

    The title page of the program shall contain the following announcement in type size at least one-half the size of the authors’ credits:

    is presented by arrangement with
    Tams-Witmark, A Concord Theatricals Company

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  • Full Orchestration:

    2 Violin AC (doubles Accordion)
    1 Violin BD
    1 Viola
    1 Cello
    1 Bass

    1 Reed I: Flute, Piccolo & Clarinet
    1 Reed II: Oboe & English Horn
    1 Reed III: Eb Clarinet, Bb Clarinet, Bass Clarinet & Alto Saxophone
    1 Reed IV: Flute & Clarinet
    1 Reed V: Clarinet & Bassoon

    2 Horn I & II
    1 Horn III
    2 Trumpet I & II
    1 Trombone (and optional Euphonium)

    1 Percussion:

    Timpani (2 Drums)
    Snare Drum
    Bass Drum
    Tom Toms (2)
    Suspended Cymbal
    Hi-Hat Cymbals
    Tam Tam
    Bell Plate
    Temple Blocks (3)
    Triangles (Large & Small)
    Wood Block
    Slide Whistle
    Bird Whistle
    Dog Bark Sound
    Bottle Crash Sound

    1 Guitar
    Piano-Celeste (Piano-Conductor’s Score sent with rehearsal material)

  • Rehearsal Materials

    2       Piano/Conductor Scores
    20     Libretto/Vocal Books

    Optional Additional Materials

    1       Operations Guide

  • (In order of appearance)
    Judge Paul Barriere
    Court President, Henri Marceaux
    Judge Aristide Forestier
    Hilaire Jussac
    Boris Adzinidzinadze
    La Mome Pistache
    Second Waiter
    Café Waiter
    Café Customer

  • CAN-CAN played for 892 performances on Broadway at the Shubert Theatre starring Lilo, Hans Conried, Peter Cookson, Erik Rhodes and Gwen Verdon.

    Awards (1954)

    2 Tony Awards for Best Featured Actress and Choreography
    The Theatre World Award for outstanding stage performance by Gwen Verdon

  • Act I

    1. Judges’ Entrance – Orchestra
    2. “Maidens Typical of France” – Female Chorus
    3. “Maidens Typical of France” (Reprise) – Female Chorus
    4. Change of Scene – Orchestra
    5. Change of Scene – Orchestra
    6. “Never Give Anything Away” – Pistache & Girls
    7. Dance Band and Scene Link – Orchestra
    8. “C’est Magnifique” – Pistache and Aristide
    9. Dance: Quadrille – Orchestra
    9a. Change of Scene – Orchestra
    10. “Come Along With Me” – Hilaire
    11. “Come Along With Me” (Reprise) – Boris and Hilaire
    12. Change of Scene – Orchestra
    13. “Live And Let Live” – Pistache
    14. “I Am In Love” – Aristide
    15. Change of Scene – Orchestra
    16 & 17. “If You Loved Me Truly” – Claudine, Boris, Theophile, Hercule, Etienne, Gabrielle, Celestine, Marie & Model
    18. Change of Scene – Orchestra
    19. “Monmartre” – Ensemble
    19a. “Monmartre” – Melos
    20. Garden of Eden Ballet – Orchestra
    21. Eve’s Dance – Orchestra
    22. “Monmartre” (Reprise) – Ensemble
    23. “Allez-vous-en” – Pistache

    Act II

    24. Entr’acte – Orchestra
    25. Opening Act II – Orchestra
    26. “Never, Never Be An Artist” – Boris, Hercule, Etienne, Theophile & Model
    27. Change of Scene – Orchestra
    28. “It’s All Right With Me” – Aristide
    29. “Every Man Is A Stupid Man” – Pistache
    30. Apache Dance – Orchestra
    31. Change of Scene – Orchestra
    32. Change of Scene – Orchestra
    33. “I Love Paris” – Pistache and Chorus
    34. “C’est Magnifique” (Reprise) – Aristide and Pistache
    34a. “I Love Paris” (Reprise) – Accordion Solo
    35. Change of Scene – Orchestra
    36. Change of Scene – Orchestra
    37. “Can-Can” – Pistache and Chorus
    38. Finale: “Monmartre” – Company
    39. Exit Music

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