Amour Libretto

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The new Musical comedy that is highly under-rated

Text of Amour Libretto

  • AmourMusic: Michel LegrandLyrics: Didier van Cauwelaert, Jeremy SamsBook: Didier van Cauwelaert, Jeremy SamsPremiere: Sunday, October 20, 2002--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    1. OVERTURE

    Paris, Montmartre.Just after the second world war.

    2. OFFICE LIFE

    The Ministry of Post. DUSOLEIL, a minor civil servant, types while his four colleagues sing of the joys of their existence.

    EMPLOYEESOh, life is thoroughly delightful,Stuck in the office all day long.

    BERTRAND/CHARLESYou might expect it to be frightful,

    CLAIRE/MADELEINEBut on the whole you would be wrong.

    EMPLOYEESOh, what a lovely sense of freedom

    BERTRANDHundreds of letters flooding in.

    BERTRAND/CHARLESNobody ever gets to read emThey go directly in the bin,

    EMPLOYEES

  • Yes, in the bin.So life is marvelously simply.No intervention from the boss.

    CLAIREAm I developing a pimple?

    BERTRAND (looks at his newspaper)Im stuck on 25 across.

    EMPLOYEESThats what we do and who can blame us?Thats how we make it through the day.Still someone manages to shame us.Whos always scribbling away?Its Dusoleil.

    CLAIRE/MADELEINEWhile were relaxing, what does he do?

    BERTRAND/CHARLESWorks through his lunch break and his tea.

    CLAIRE/BERTRANDHes doing twice as much as we do.

    EMPLOYEESBoy, hes a busy little bee.

    BERTRAND/CHARLESOh, it is clear

    EMPLOYEESThat we dislike him.Strangely he never says a word.

    CLAIRE/MADELEINEDifficult not to want to strike him.

    BRETRAND/CHARLES

  • Well, what the hell, hes just a nerd

    EMPLOYEESThe office nerd.

    DUSOLEIL (typing)Dear Mama, its been ages since I dropped a line to you.I wrote you on Wednesday and I know today is FridayBut the office has been crazy, with a thousand things to do.So everythings been busy and my head is going dizzy,Im as jumpy as a monkey in a zooBut though its nearly 5 oclock and I have found the time to write to you,Its really yours sincerely whos been doing all the work.As usual the others have been driving me berserkBy shirking, not working.Their dedications minimal, theyre criminally slowAnd counting off the minutes till its time for them to go.

    BERTRANDIts two minutes to five!

    DUSOLEIL The reason its so busy here is simple to relate:You know Monsieur Lacrosse, the man whos always been the boss,Well, he is leaving here today as he is over 68.Hes like a mad professor and Im hoping his successor is a little more severe and less sedate.And apropos the other questions that you asked about my life:Yes, my cat is doing fine, and no, I havent found a wife.You ask me if Im seeing someone, in a sense I amIm gazing in wonderAt someone unattainable whom I dont even know.Ive seen her in the square but never dare to say hello.With filial devotion, your son Marcel Dusoleil.Dated 1950 on the 25th of May.

  • The clock strikes five. The EMPLOYEES rush off.

    3. GOING HOME ALONE

    DUSOLEILWhen you go home alone,Theres no-one there to phone,No need for, Darling, Im afraidThat I might be delayed.So if you miss your trainOr get caught in the rain,Theres no one there whod dare complain.And its not that Ive not got things to do:Ill read a book or two,Ill feed my cat or make a stewAnd as the lights dim over Sacre Coeur,Ill search for her, the lovely Isabelle.I always know shes thereBecause theres magic in the air.

    DUSOLEIL spots ISABELLE, but retreats, too timid to approach her. She sits, leafing through a movie magazine.

    4. OTHER PEOPLES STORIES

    ISABELLEOther peoples stories,Other peoples lives,Socialites and film stars,Cheating on their wives.Debutants in ball gowns,Young and fancy free,People on adventures.Not meOther peoples intrigue,Other peoples sin.Why does David NivenLive with Errol Flynn?Other peoples secrets

  • Bursting to be told,Hotbeds of excitement.Mines cold.

    Jean Cocteau and Jean MaraisHave fallen out with Charles Trenet.Frank Sinatras in MontmartreIn a silver Chevrolet...And where is Greta Garbo?And who is Howard Hughes?Its other peoples storiesAnd other peoples news.You wont find my storyIn a magazine.A young girl from a conventAll of seventeen.Then she had a suitor.His beard was turning gray.Imagine her reaction dismay.

    Mother said Be grateful.Youre not to make a fuss.Love will happen later,Thats how it was for us.Mother said, Hes wealthy,Be gad of what you get.Love will happen later?Not yet

    Other peoples secrets,Bursting to be known.My mysterious husbandHas secrets of his own.Me, I have my daydreamsUntil they all come trueOther peoples stories will do.

    DUSOLEIL watches her go.

    5. THE STREET VENDORS WALTZ

  • PAINTER, NEWSVENDOR & WHOREOh, if you go to the Rue St. VincentIn the 18th Arrondissement,We are the people youre likely to meet.We like to work the street.

    PAINTERIll paint you beautiful views,Garish concoctions of yellows and blues.

    NEWSVENDORI sell the news.

    WHOREIve particular favors to sell,My clienteleAll know me wellAnd I can boast Im the toast of Montmartre.Ive been with Jean Paul Sartre!

    ALL THREESo if you go to the Rue St. VincentIn the 18th Arrondissement,We are the people youre likely to meet.We like to work the street.

    This is the chorus were forced to repeatAll about life here on the street.

    WHOREIts tough on the back

    PAINTERAnd the brush

    NEWSVENDORAnd the feet.

    ALL THREE

  • But everyone has to eat.

    Two POLICEMEN take rent from the vendors and hand it to the PROSECUTOR.

    POLICEMAN 1Evry day from ten oclock till luncheonI swing my truncheon,I sorta swagger past the citizensAnd offer them continuing protection

    POLICEMAN 2Which on reflection they are all delighted to accept from us.

    BOTHThen we can save them the time by collecting all their rent

    PROSECUTOR and 25 percent goes to me and my Well, I wouldnt like to call them henchmen,Theyre honest FrenchmenWho know their duty and the fact that Im the prosecutor genral and bailiff,Youll die in jail if you dare to dare to disagree.

    DUSOLEIL observes ISABELLE watering flowers on her balcony.

    ISABELLEI wonder whyI keep killing all my flowersThough I water them for hours,Still they somehow seem to languish and die.And my pastries always burn.All my enterprises turn into disaster.I try my best, but its always my worst.I fed our goldfish so often they burst.Try as I may, all my tulips seem to droopAnd this pool of yellow gloop

  • Is the remnants of a lemon souffl.While Im trying to be a wife,I can feel my life is drizzling away.

    Each person repeats their own refrain.

    ALLSo if you go to the Rue St. VincentIn the 18th Arrondissement,We are the people youre likely to meetOn the Rue St. Vincent forever.

    6. DUSOLEIL WALKS THROUGH THE WALL

    DUSOLEILThis journey home aloneIs all Ive ever known,Another evening on my-

    As he reaches his landing, the lights go out.

    The powers gone out.Oh, what a bore.Just when Im standing here by my door.How can I cook, read a book, take a showerWhen the powers-that-beKeep on cutting the power?Ive dropped my key.Ah, wish I could see.Stuck on the landing dying to pee.Saving on light,Fine, but not every nightThis peculiar tingling,I dont feel quite right

    The light comes back on.

    Now theyre back on,Typical that.Now where have my keys got to?

  • He notices he is inside his apartment.

    Im in my flat.Wasnt I just outside my door?How can I trust my senses

    The light goes off again.

    I cant see any more.I need a match.I need a light.

    He notices hes outside again.

    Is that right?How about that?This is my mat,The one on my floorOutside my door.

    The light comes on again. DUSOLEILs leg is not visible.

    The door is still shutAnd Im out in the hall.Oh my god, wheres my leg?Its gone right through the wall!

    Its home for tea just before me.If theres no wall here,Then whats this that I see?

    He steps completely out of the wall

    Is it my brain?Am I insane?This is a wall but not a wall at all.

    God, what is this neurosis?Some terrible psychosis?

  • I need a diagnosis,Gotta find out what the doctor thinks.Yes, Ill go make an appointment.He might give me an ointmentOr put me on some pillsWhichll cure my oh,Its all my imagination,All total aberration,No need for medication.Still its better to be sure.Ill go and see the doctor now,Maybe he can help somehow.Hes around the cornerSo Ill ring the bell and walk straight through the doorThings are getting serious!Im totally delirious!Id definitely better get my head examined now!

    We are now in the shabby office of a local DOCTOR.

    7. THE DOCTOR

    DOCTORI am Dr. Roquefort,Doing my best to earn my keep.Thanks to dubious dealings during the war,Im illegal, and thats whyIm cheap.

    DUSOLEIL enters the DOCTORs office through the wall.

    DOCTORGod! A patient!

    DUSOLEILYoure surprised seeing a patient walk through a wall?

    DOCTORNo, the surprise is seeing a patient at all!

  • DUSOLEILWhat is happening to me?What is happening to me?

    DOCTORGo and stand over there.Raise your arm in the air.God, its trembling like mine.Mind you, mines due to wine.Stand up straight.Count to four.

    DUSOLEIL1, 2, 3

    DOCTORThats great, now lie down on the floor.Thats surprising, cause youShould be falling right throughAnd its odd that youre not,But its clear what youve gotSo Ill briefly tell you whats what.

    Youve got Proto-para-psycho-neuro-glandular-depressive-schizoform-espresso-semi-dormant-pathological-repressed-transmural syndrome.And I know what to do.(handing him a bottle of pills)Take a couple of these.They should cure your disease.They should harden your blood and your sinew,But if you continue to suffer, then come and