Dear World

From Academic Kids

Dear World is a Broadway musical, set in Paris, produced in 1969, with book by Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee, and music and lyrics by Jerry Herman. It is based on Jean Giraudoux's play The Madwoman of Chaillot.

It ran at the Mark Hellinger Theatre for 132 performances, and starred Angela Lansbury (as Countess Aurelia), who won a Tony Award in the role. The show was not a commercial success, but has become a "cult musical".

Dear World is the story of three "Madwomen" who deviously scheme to stop businessmen who plan to drill for oil in the neighborhood of Chaillot in Paris.

The show had a notably troubled preview period, with many changes. After the Broadway closing, the authors rewrote the show, restoring cut songs and intimacy that they felt had been undermined on Broadway.

Also in the original Broadway version were Jane Connell, Carmen Mathews, and Milo O'Shea. The play starts off in a café, as a demanding prospector enters and it is revealed that Paris is floating on a pool of oil. This makes an American president of an oil company, a lawyer, and a prospecter very eager to blow up the café. They call for Julian to blow up the café, while people are still in it! Well, he whimps out, and throws the bomb in the Seine. He later reveals the bad news. But Countess Aurelia won't believe it. So she goes to the flea market, and calls upon Constance (a lady who hears voices in waterbottles) and Gabrielle (a lady who is pure and innocent, but has an imaginary dog named Dicky). From there they call up the Sewerman, who convinces the Countess that the world has changed. She then formulates a plan with the help of the Sewerman, to send the evil people to the sewers, from which no man can escape. She scratches the numbers off a watch (made of uranium at the time) and put it in a gass of water. Julian shows the prospector, who goes into an orgasmic spasm of happiness. While they search for Julian, the show goes into a climax, as they sing the song "Dear World". From there, there is a huge fight/chase scene for the bottle of uranium, but in the end a deaf mute grabs it and gives it to the countess. The evil people track down the countess in the sewer. She then leads them to the dark, neverending stairs to the sewers. Just before she opens the door, she warns them of the danger, but they state "My dear, nothing could stop us now!" And so they go to the pit, never to be seen again.


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