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Book and lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner : Music by Frederick Loewe : based on a novel by Colette and the MGM film.

As produced by Edwin Lester for the Los Angeles and San Francisco Civic Light Opera Associations and by Saint Subber for Broadway.

Uris Theatre, Broadway - November 13, 1973 (103 perfs)


Gigi is a story of La Belle Epoque, Paris at the turn of the century: a world of beauty and luxury and sophisticates like Honoré and his handsome nephew Gaston. In this world love is a work of art and also a business arrangement. Little Gigi is being trained by her Aunt Alicia; she must learn how to allure, how to recognise the blue flame at the heart of an emerald, how to choose a cigar - but Gigi doesn't want just to be someone's mistress, even Gaston's. To his surprise Gaston discovers that Gigi is the only girl who doesn't bore him.

Gigi is a show that bubbles like champagne that flows through its vivid scenes. There is a tang of salty French wit, too, and a lacing of all-time hits; "Gigi", "The Night They Invented Champagne", "I Remember It Well", and "Thank Heaven For Little Girls".


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

As the show opens, Honoré Lachaille explains that in turn-of-the-century Paris, marriage is not the only option. Gaston Lachaille Honoré's nephew, is a rich bon vivant much like his uncle. But Gaston is bored with the high life and his series of mistresses. The one thing he truly enjoys is spending time with one of his uncle's old friends, Madame Alvarez, whom he calls Mamita, and especially her granddaughter, the precocious, carefree Gilberte or "Gigi".

Madame Alvarez sends Gigi to her Aunt Alicia's to be groomed as a famous courtesan in their family's tradition, and learn etiquette and charm. Gigi is initially a very poor student, as she does not understand the reasons behind her education and finds Parisians' obsession with making love inexplicable. She does, however, enjoy spending time with Gaston, whom she regards as an elder brother.

When Alicia discovers that Gaston took Gigi and Madame Alvarez on holiday, she is incensed that her sister could do such a thing without consulting her, and insists that Gigi's education must increase dramatically if she is to catch a prize such as Gaston. Mamita is shocked, but sees the advantages it could bring Gigi and so goes along with the plan - though neither tell Gigi of their scheming. Gigi is miserable in her lessons, but puts up with them as a necessary evil, though she still seems awkward and bumbling to her perfectionist aunt.

A short time later, Gaston visits and is shocked to see Gigi in a rather alluring white gown. He tells her she looks ridiculous and storms out, but returns later and apologizes, wishing to make it up by taking her to dinner. Mamita refuses, telling Gaston that with his reputation, a young girl seen in his company might be labelled in such a way as could damage her future. Gaston is enraged yet again, storms out, and wanders the streets of Paris in a fury.

It is during this rant that Gaston realises that he has fallen in love with Gigi. He returns to Mamita and strikes a business arrangement to take Gigi as his mistress, promising to provide the girl with luxury and kindness. He visits Gigi later, but she tells him she does not wish to become someone's mistress; she wants more for herself than to be passed between men, only desired until they grow tired of her and she moves on to another. Gaston is horrified at this portrayal of the life he wishes to give her, and leaves stunned. Later, however, Gigi contacts him; when Gaston returns, Gigi says she would "rather be miserable with [him] than without [him]."

Later that night, Gigi emerges from her room prepared to accept her fate and take up her role as Gaston's mistress. For the first time, she appears as a woman, not a young girl. Gaston is enchanted when he picks Gigi up and takes her to dinner at one of Paris' most patronized restaurants, Maxim's. Gigi's awkwardness is gone and she seems perfectly at ease. Nevertheless, patrons' stares make Gaston extremely uncomfortable as he realises Gigi's interpretation of things may have been accurate after all, and discovers his love for her makes the idea of her as his mistress, an unbearable one. Angered by Honoré's comments, Gaston leaves the party with Gigi in tow, taking her home without explanation. A weeping Gigi begs to know what she has done to offend him, but Gaston does not answer until he arrives at Mamita's and humbly asks for Gigi's hand in marriage.

The closing scene shows a happily married Gaston and Gigi strolling in the park together, as Honoré looks on approvingly.


Male - 18: Female - 5: plus chorus and dancers.

Honoré Lachailles
Gaston Lachailles
Liane d'Exelmans
Inez Alvarez (Mamita)
Aunt Alicia
Charles - her butler
Mâitre du Fresne
Mâitre Duclos

Waiters, Artist, Count, Dancing Teacher, Manuel, Law Clerks, ensemble.

Musical Numbers:

  1. Overture
  2. Thank Heaven for Little Girls
  3. It's a Bore
    a. Change of Scene
  4. The Earth and Other Minor Things
    a. Change of Scene
  5. Paris Is Paris Again
  6. She Is Not Thinking of Me
    a. Change of Scene
  7. It's a Bore-Reprise No. I
    a. - Reprise No. 2
  8. The Night They Invented Champagne -Dance
    a. -Encore
    b. Trouville Lobby-Part 1
    - Part II
    - Part III
    - Part IV
  9. I Remember It Well
  10. Finale - Act I: I Never Want to Go Home Again. 
  11. Entr'acte
  12. Opening - Act II: The Telephone
    a. The New Dress
  13. Gigi
    a. End of Scene
  14. The Contract
    a. Change of Scene
    b. Change of Scene
  15. I'm Glad I'm Not Young Anymore
    a. - Encore
    b. Change of Scene
  16. In This Wide, Wide World
    a. End of Scene
  17. At Maxim's-Can-Can
    a. - Waltz Underscore
    b. - Can-Can & Change of Scene
  18. Finale-Act II: Thank Heaven for Little Girls
    Curtain Calls
    Exit Music  

Scenes and settings:

Act I

Scene 1: A park, then a restaurant in the Bois de Boulogne
Scene 2: Mamita's apartment immediately following
Scene 3: Aunt Alicia's apartment a short time later
Scene 4:

  1. Transition to the restaurant of the Eiffel Tower
  2. Restaurant of the Eiffel Tower evening

Scene 5:

  • Stage L - Aunt Alicia's apartment
  • Stage. R - Honoré's dressing room early afternoon, the following day

Scene 6: Mamita's apartment three weeks later, in late afternoon

  1. En route to Trouville immediately following

Scene 7:

  1. Lobby of the Grand Hotel, Trouville
  2. The beach at Trouville the following afternoon

Act II

Scene 1: Mamita's apartment four weeks later, in mid-afternoon
Scene 2: The street outside Mamita's apartment immediately following
Scene 3: Legal office of Mâitre Dufresne a day or two later
Scene 4: Mamita's apartment the following day
Scene 5: A street cafe an hour later
Scene 6: Mamita's apartment later that day
Scene 7: Maxim's that night
Scene 8: Mamita's apartment immediately following


Violin 1 & 2; Viola; Cello; Bass; Reed 1, 2, 3, 4 & 5; Horn 1 & 2; Trumpet 1, 2 & 3; Trombone 1 & 2; Percussion; Piano-celeste; Harp


Original Cast Recordings Available - Broadway and London