A Musical Comedy in Two Acts, 16 Scenes. Book by Blake Edwards.
(Based on the musical film of the same name, screenplay by
Blake Edwards, which
Marquis Theatre, New York: Opened 25 October 1995; closed 27 July 1997 (738 perfs)
Carroll Todd ("Toddy" to his friends) is tenuously employed
as the resident performer at Henri Labisse's Left Bank gay club,
"Chez Lui." Toddy and Les Boys entertain the small but
appreciative audience. Toddy insults a group of customers which
includes his ex-boyfriend Richard. Labisse threatens to fire him
Richard, the ex-boyfriend, arrives at Toddy's unexpectedly to collect his things. Victoria is by now wearing his hat and pyjamas. Richard mistakenly thinks she is Toddy's new boy-friend and insults Toddy. Victoria punches Richard and kicks him out. Toddy is impressed. Richard actually thought Victoria was a man! And at that moment The Inspired Idea strikes Toddy right between the eyes. Why not? Victoria could indeed be a man - Europe's greatest female impersonator! Victoria says he's crazy. Toddy pursues his argument, and dreams up Count Victor Grazinsky - a gay Polish aristocrat and Toddy's new lover.
"It will work," he assures Victoria.
"It will not!" says Victoria. They'll never accept a woman pretending to be a man pretending to be a woman! - "They'll know he's a phoney!"
"Exactly," says Toddy. "They'll know he's a phoney! "
Toddy drags the reluctant Victoria to meet Andre Cassell, Paris's
leading impresario, who is dubious about "Count Victor Grazinsky"
until he hears "him" hit a glass-shattering high G-flat.
"Victor" is in business.
Victor's tango is a sensation. Norma is thrilled King is thwarted,
and starts to doubt himself. He finds Victor attractive as a woman
.. but what if he's a man?
Victor continues to take Paris audiences by storm. Norma complains to Victor and Toddy that King is shipping her back to Chicago because he fancies Victor - a man! King confronts his doubts about himself and Victor. Is it possible that he, King, is falling for a man? He invites Victor and Toddy to dinner to try and find out. After dinner they visit "Chez Lui," where Labisse also has his suspicions that Victor is a woman. He invites her/him to sing. Victor and Toddy oblige. Richard's group arrives noisily in mid-song. Victor trips Richard and starts a major brawl in the club. The police arrive to break it up. Outside the club, King says he doesn't care if Victor is a man, and kisses him. Victoria admits she's not a man. King says he still doesn't care, and kisses her again.
Back in the hotel, Squash barges into King 's bedroom and finds King and Victor in bed together. He apologises profusely:
"Sorry, guys!" King tries to explain.
Squash admires King for coming out of the closet, and stuns his boss by revealing that he, too, is gay!
Victoria and King examine their potential problems if they are perceived publicly as two men. It won't work.
Back in Chicago, Norma is performing in a night club. She informs King 's gangster partner, Sal Andretti, that King has dumped her for another man - and is living with 'a gay Polish fairy." Sal is aghast, and says they're all going to Europe.
Two weeks later, Toddy and Squash have become happy partners. Not so for King and Victoria, unable to be seen together in public. Victoria tells Toddy she doesn't want to be a man anymore. Toddy understands, neither does he!
Sal and the spurned Norma arrive in Paris. King admits he loves
"Victor," keeping the secret. Sal, disgusted, ends their
business relationship. Victoria reveals herself to Norma as a woman.
Norma is horrified. Labisse witnesses this moment of naked truth.
Victoria is horrified. Toddy tells her not to worry. "Trust
rne!" Dissolve to Victor's farewell appearance. Labisse tries
to expose him/her as a fraud. Toddy, thrilled to be back in drag,
replaces Victoria to thwart Labisse and leave the way clear for
a happy ending for our two loving couples - King and Victoria, and
Toddy and Squash.
(in order of appearance):
Scenes and Settings: