I stopped by my parent’s house a couple weekends ago, which my mom, of course, sees as the perfect excuse for a family trip to the theater. Then the stars aligned when a production of Irma La Douce was showing for a limited run during the visit.
Pardon me as I use my pointer finger to push my glasses up the bridge of my nose, but for those unfamiliar: Irma La Douce is a musical that premiered in Paris in 1956, then went to London in 1958 and Broadway in 1960 (thanks Wikipedia). It’s about a Parisian prostitute who meets a man she wants to be faithful to, but alas, shenanigans ensue. It’s kind of like Pretty Woman but in the ghetto of Paris, and Richard Gere doesn’t have any money, so he comes up with schemes to keep Julia from selling herself. Plus a lot of other weird plot twists.
My family has been listening to the original Broadway soundtrack from the 1960 production since forever, and have been aggressively campaigning for a new revival on Broadway (in our living room). So the fam assembled at Rue 57, one of our go-to pre-theater restaurants, and then we finally saw Irma in person.
I will say two things about this production.
1. The orchestra was fantastic. The xylophone was unbelievable.
2. The rest of it left something to be desired.
Most of all, I just wish they had put on full-on French accents for the whole production. The actors often spoke in American accents then sang in French accents, it was inconsistent. I really think they need to watch Gigi and just do a French accent for the whole show like Gaston in Gigi. To be honest, I think most things would benefit from being a little more like Gigi.
At the end of the day, it just lacked the full “je ne said quoi” that a french musical should have. Dis-donc?