Chevalier made only one more American film before returning to France where he continued making film and stage appearances through the World War II. In 1937, an article in American Magazine noted the irony of the respective MacDonald-Chevalier careers. In 1929, Chevalier had been an international star, MacDonald an unknown. Now, eight years later, she was one of the ten top box-office stars of the year, while Chevalier was "through." (Anyone not appearing in a Hollywood film, no matter what their other activities, ceases to exist for American movie goers!) In 1957 he played Audrey Hepburn's father in Billy Wilder's Love in the Afternoon and in 1958 his star status was solidly reclaimed with the musical Gigi. With Jeanette more or less retired, their career positions had reversed yet again.
While studio heads tried to figure out what direction the musical might be taking, Jeanette was rushed into another quickie film, one that would change her life forever: Naughty Marietta
Génèse du musical
The operetta was first performed at the Theater an der Wien in Vienna on 30 December 1905 with Mizzi Günther as Hanna, Louis Treumann as Danilo, Siegmund Natzler as Baron Zeta and Annie Wünsch as Valencienne. It was Lehár's first major success, becoming internationally the best-known operetta of its era. Lehár subsequently made changes for productions in London in 1907 (two new numbers), and Berlin in the 1920s, but the definitive version is basically that of the original production.
The operetta toured Austria and in 1906 enjoyed productions in Hamburg's Neues Operetten-Theater, Berlin's Berliner Theater (starring Gustav Matzner as Danilo and Marie Ottmann as Hanna, who made the first complete recording in 1907), and Budapest's Magyar Szinhaz. Its English adaptation by Basil Hood, with lyrics by Adrian Ross, became a sensation in London in 1907 and ran for an extraordinary 778 performances, followed by extensive British tours. The first performance in Paris was at the Théâtre Apollo on 28 April 1909. Many international productions, as well as revivals followed, as did sequels, spoofs and film versions.
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Versions majeures de Merry Widow (The)
Mais aussi, quelques versions régionales ou mineures, ... de Merry Widow (The)
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