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Marie


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MARIE – The New Musical of the Dancer Who Inspired a Masterpiece

Broadway visionaries meet ballet royalty. Five-time Tony Award-winning director and choreographer Susan Stroman (The Producers, Contact), Tony Award-winning authors Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty (Ragtime, Once On This Island), and acclaimed New York City Ballet principal dancer Tiler Peck invite you backstage into 19th-century Paris, where glittering opulence hobnobbed with underworld dangers.

In this era of groundbreaking artistry, a girl named Marie dreams of being the next star of the ballet. Despite the odds of her hard-scrabble life, she scrimps, saves and steals in pursuit of her ambitions. But when fate leads her to the studio of Impressionist Edgar Degas, she unknowingly steps into immortality—becoming the inspiration for his most famous sculpture ever: Little Dancer.

MARIE is the gorgeous new musical poised to conquer the stage—and your heart.

MARIE will have its West Coast premiere at Seattle’s 5th Avenue Theatre from March 22 – April 9, 2019.

SUSAN STROMAN

Susan Stroman is one of Broadway’s most acclaimed and prolific choreographer/directors. Stroman’s first big break came when director Scott Ellis hired her to choreograph the Off-Broadway revival of Kander and Ebb’s Flora, the Red Menace, in 1987. Director Harold Prince saw her work and engaged her to provide the dances for his New York City Opera production of Don Giovanni. In 1992,she collaborated with director (and future husband) Mike Ockrent on Crazy for You, winning her first Tony for Choreography. In 1994, she provided the Tony-winning choreography for the revival of Showboat, directed by Prince. As choreographer of a revival of Oklahoma!, in London, she replaced Agnes de Mille’s historic choreography at the close of Act I with her own ballet. Michael Coveny of The Daily Mail called her choreography “perhaps the biggest star of the night.” In the spring of 2000, she received four Tony awards for directing and choreographing the three-part dance play Contact and a revival of The Music Man. In the midst of creating these two shows, her husband died of leukemia, taking much of the joy from her success. Stepping in for her late husband, Stroman assumed the reins of the stage musical adaptation of The Producers. The show proved to be a triumph on Broadway, earning a record 12 Tony Awards, including those for direction and choreography.

Lynn Ahrens & Stephen Flaherty
In 1988, they burst onto the New York theater scene with the comic musical Lucky Stiff, and their partnership in words and music has flourished ever since. Ahrens and Flaherty have received theater, film and music’s highest honors – the Tony Award, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, Olivier Award and Gold Record; as well as nominations for two Academy Awards, two Golden Globes and three Grammys. In 2014 they received the Oscar Hammerstein Award for Lifetime Achievement and in 2015 they were inducted into the Theater Hall of Fame.

The Fact and Fiction of “MARIE”
Many people are familiar with Edgar Degas’s ground-breaking sculpture, La Petite Danseuse de Quatorze Ans. There’s the original wax figure at Washington’s National Gallery, as well as a number of finely-wrought bronze castings at other art institutions around the world. This unique masterpiece has been copied, analyzed, critiqued, and even X-rayed.
But few know the real girl who posed for it. What was her name? How did this little upstart inspire a great artist? To this day, her enigmatic figure inspires ballerinas, intrigues researchers and scholars of art and invites the creators of novels, ballets and musical theater to imagine their own versions of her story.
Despite speculation, no one knows for sure what ever became of Marie van Goethem, the girl who posed for the sculpture. She vanished into the mists of history. But although we’ve compressed time and imagined the plot, you will find much of her known family background woven into MARIE.
A lot has been written about Edgar Degas and his vast body of work. Our focus is the period when he created the sculpture and exhibited it in the Sixth Impressionist Exposition of 1881. He was witty, but also argumentative and acerbic, and some of his actual quotes are used within the dialogue of our show.
In 1881, the Paris Opera Ballet was a world run by and created for men. These wealthy subscribers, known as abonnes, bought subscriptions to the season, and their silhouettes can be seen skulking in the corners of some of Degas’s paintings of dancers.
Degas chose to portray Marie van Goethem in three dimensions, not a pretty portrait, but an uncompromising representation of a young dancer’s difficult existence. He seems to have captured the simple truth of who she was— her poverty, stubborn spirit and aspiration–and also a universal truth about women trying to survive in a world of men.
We think Marie must have changed him just a little, to have inspired such a moving work.

Reviews

“Unquestionably marks a return to confident form for all three of its principal creators.”
– The New York Times

“This new musical is well worth seeing, for ballet fans and theater lovers alike.”
– Critical Dance

“Charming, winsome melodies you can’t get out of your head, stirring performances, and a book that will intrigue and move you.”
– Huffington Post





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