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Ben Franklin in Paris

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Title: Ben Franklin in Paris  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Benjamin Franklin in popular culture, Benjamin Franklin, Lunt-Fontanne Theatre, Bagatelles and Satires, Associators
Collection: 1964 Musicals, Broadway Musicals
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Ben Franklin in Paris

Ben Franklin in Paris
Original Cast Recording
Music Mark Sandrich, Jr.
Jerry Herman
Lyrics Sidney Michaels
Book Sidney Michaels
Productions 1964 Broadway
2008 San Francisco

Ben Franklin in Paris is a musical with a book and lyrics by Sidney Michaels, and music by Mark Sandrich, Jr. with two songs contributed by Jerry Herman.[1]

The story is a somewhat fictionalized account of Benjamin Franklin's adventures in the French capital. Seeking support for the Colonies' war against England, he arrives in Paris, where he enlists the aid of an old friend, Madame La Comtesse Diane de Vobrillac, a confidante to King Louis XVI. Franklin's hopes of winning the king's support seem dashed when British forces capture Philadelphia but rally when the Colonists are victorious at Saratoga. At home, his son William, the governor of New Jersey, sides with the enemy, and the traitorous act upsets the elder Franklin's plans. To regain the upper hand, he offers to marry Diane, but she rejects him. Knowing he faces death by hanging, Franklin nevertheless decides to go to England, hoping his act of martyrdom will win him posthumous support. Diane learns of the plan and intercedes with the King, who eventually welcomes Franklin in his new position of the Ambassador of the United States of America to France.

After 13 previews, the Broadway production, directed and choreographed by Michael Kidd, opened on October 27, 1964 at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre, where it ran for 215 performances. The crew consisted of set design Oliver Smith, costume design Motley, lighting design John Brown, musical director/vocal arrangements Donald Pippin, orchestrations Philip J. Lang, and dance music Roger Adams.

The cast included Rita Gardner soon after opening night. Michaels was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Author of a Musical.

An original cast recording was released by Capitol Records.

San Francisco's 42nd Street Moon theater company revived this musical in November/December 2008.

Song list


  1. ^ a b c Herman, Jerry; Kenneth Bloom (2003), "Chapter 11: Miscellaneous", Jerry Herman: The Lyrics: A Celebration, New York, New York: Routledge, pp. 259–260,  

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