Music and Lyrics by Bob Merrill: Book by Michael Stewart. Based on the
story by Paul Gallico and the screenplay for Lili by Helen Deutsch
Original production directed and choreographed by Gower Champion; Produced on the Broadway stage by David Merrick (April, 1961)
Imperial Theatre 13 April, 1961 (719 perfs)
Lyric Theatre, London 8 February, 1963 (28 perfs)
Carnival opens on an uncurtained stage which is empty except for a few trees and the hint of an open meadow. A small figure in rather shabby clothes enters and starts to play a wheezy concertina. The stage beings to light up as roustabouts carry on poles and canvas and the carnival is erected before our eyes, and we are whisked off to a world of wonders. The hauntingly beautiful musical theme, "Love Makes the World Go Round", runs through the story, which captures the mood of carnival people perfectly. The effect is magical with appeal for matinee audiences as well as Saturday night sophistication.
The stage show is based on the film Lili. Although the entire film score has been discarded the essential story remains. 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 realises that her future is entwined with the lame, misanthropic puppeteer and love follows.
Cast: Male 12; Female 6 plus various extras
Original Cast (In order of appearance)
- Jacquot: PIERRE OLAF.
- Mr. Schlegel: HENRY LASCOE.
- Grobert: Will Lee.
- Roustabouts: George Marcy, Pony Gomez, John Nola, Buff Shurr.
- Cyclist: Bob Murray.
- Miguelito: George Marcy.
- Dog Trainer: Paul Sydell.
- Wardrobe Mistress: Carvel Carter.
- Harem Girls: Nicole Barth, Iva March, Beti Seay.
- Bear Girl: Jennifer Billingsley.
- Princess Olga: Luba Lisa.
- Band: C. B. Bernard, Peter Lombard.
- Stilt-Walker: Dean Crane.
- Jugglers: Martin Brothers.
- Clowns: Bob Dixon, Harry Lee Rogers.
- Strongman: Pat Tolson.
- Gladys Zuwicki: Mary Ann Niles.
- Gloria Zuwicki: Christine Bartel.
- Gypsy: Anita Gillette.
- Marco the Magnificent: JAMES MITCHELL.
- The Incomparable Rosalie: KAYE BALLARD.
- Greta Schlegel: June Meshonek.
- Lili: ANNA MARIA ALBERGHETTI.
- Paul Berthalet: JERRY ORBACH.
- Blue Birds: Nicole Barth, Jennifer Billingsley, Iva March, Beti Seay.
- Aerialist: Dean Crane.
- Dr. Glass: Igors Gavon.
Violin 1, 2 & 3; Cello; Bass & Tuba; harp; Accordion; Reed 1, 2, 3, 4 & 5; Horn; Trumpet 1 & 2; Trombone 1 & 2; Percussion 1 & 2; Guitar; Piano
- Direct from Vienna - The Incomparable Rosalie, Greta Schlegel, Carnival People
- A Very Nice Man - Lili
- Fairyland - Puppets
- I've Got to Find a Reason - Paul Berthalet
- Mira (Can You Imagine That?) - Lili
- Sword, Rose and Cape - Marco the Magnificent, Miguelito, Roustabouts
- Humming - The Incomparable Rosalie, Greta Schlegel
- Yes, My Heart - Lili
- Everybody Likes You - Paul Berthalet
- Magic, Magic - Marco the Magnificent, The Incomparable Rosalie, Lili
- Tanz Mit Mir (Dance With Me) - Harem Girls
- Carnival Ballet - Lili, Carnival People, Townspeople
- Mira (reprise) - Lili
- Theme from 'Carnival' (Love Makes the World Go Round) - Lili, Puppets
- Yum Ticky (Ticky Trim Turn) Lili, Puppets
- The Rich - Lili, Puppets
- Theme from 'Carnival' (reprise) - Lili, Puppets
- Beautiful Candy - Lili, Puppets, Vendors
- Her Face - Paul Berthalet
- Grand Imperial Cirque de Paris - Jacquot, Carnival People
- I Hate Him/Her Face (reprise) - Lili/Paul Berthalet
- Grand Imperial Cirque de Paris (reprise) - Carnival People
- Always, Always You - Marco the Magnificent, The Incomparable Rosalie
- She's My Love - Paul Berthalet
Scenes and Settings
Scene 1: The Carnival Area on the outskirts of a town in Southern Europe.
Scene 2: The Puppet Booth.
Scene 3: Inside Schlegel's Office.
Scene 4: The Carnival Area.
Scene 5: The Carnival Area.
Scene 6: Interior of Main lent.
Scene 7: Carnival Area at Night.
Scene 1: The Midway.
Scene 2: Trailer Camp.
Scene 3: Outside Main Tent.