Can Megan Hilty and Aaron Lazar Can-Can? Find out on July 15, 16 and 17, when the stars will lead a new staged reading of the 1953 Cole Porter and Abe Burrows musical in New York City. Featuring a revised book by David Lee and Joel Fields and directed by Lee, the event is invitation only. No additional casting has been announced.
Set in Paris in 1893, the original version of Can-Can tells the story of La Mome Pistache, Bal du Paradis (Hilty), the owner of a dance hall in Montmartre that is at risk of being shut down by sanctimonious judge Aristide Forestier (Lazar). The musical features classic Porter tunes “I Love Paris,” “C’est Magnifique,” “It’s All Right With Me” and more. "The new book is about 80% percent new, but almost all of Abe's original characters remain,” Lee said in a statement. “Rather than a 'rewriting' of the show, Joel and I like to think of this version as a 're-setting'—as you might a piece of jewelry, polishing up the gems Porter and Burrows left us."
Can-Can originally opened on Broadway in 1953, starring Lilo as Pistache, Peter Cookson as Aristide Forestier and Gwen Verdon as Claudine. The production won Tony Awards for Best Featured Actress in a Musical (Verdon) and Best Choreography. The production played 892 performances before closing in 1955. A short-lived 1981 revival starring Ron Husmann as Aristide Forestier and Zizi Jeanmaire as Pistache shuttered after five performances.
Hilty currently stars as Ivy Lynn on TV’s Smash. Her Broadway credits include Wicked and 9 to 5. She has appeared in the Encores! production of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. Hilty recently released her debut solo album, It Happens All the Time. Lazar currently plays Sam Carmichael in Mamma Mia! on Broadway. His additional credits include A Little Night Music, The Light in the Piazza, Oklahoma!, The Phantom of the Opera, A Tale of Two Cities, Les Miserables and Impressionism.
Presented by Jonathan Burrows, Can-Can features choreography by Patti Colombo and music supervision, arrangements and orchestrations by Steve Orich.