The new musical Amélie, is based on the French film of the same name by director Jean-Pierre Jeunet. Amélie has a few things going for it. First up; is it’s star Hamilton and Natasha, Pierre, & the Great Comet of 1812’s Phillipa Soo. Vocally she is perfect, trying innocently to bring us on this insiped journey. The problem is her journey is so banal, that we don’t really care. As her love interest Nino, Adam Chanler-Berat (Peter and the Starcatcher, Next to Normal ) has wonderful chemistry with Soo, so though the story-line is limited the relationship is believable. Their quirky romance does have some magic, especially towards the end with the charming “Stay.”
In a strange way this show is a little like Big Fish with a less interesting book by Craig Lucas, an a less musical score by Daniel Messe and Nathan Tysen. Tysen peaked with The Burnt Part Boys.
We are introduced to Amélie and her world with “Times Are Hard For Dreamers.“ Young Amélie (Savvy Crawford), has been saddled with neurotic, psychologically challenged parents (Manoel Felciano and Alison Cimmet) who homeschool her and don’t show their love. Amélie starts to live in her own imagination. When her mother is killed by a falling suicidal tourist, she is left isolated with her distant father who shows more love for a gnome. As she transitions to an adult (Soo), her younger self sees her off to Paris. She gets an apartment and a job as a waitress, but can not connect. Suzanne, the café’s owner and a former circus performer (Harriett D. Foy), Georgette, a hypochondriac waitress (Alyse Alan Louis) and Gina, Amélie’s other co-worker (Maria-Christina Oliveras), try to engage her, but she does not know how to socialize. Amélie‘s regular customers Gina’s obsessive jealous ex-boyfriend, Joseph (Paul Whitty), Hipolito, a poet (Randy Blair) and Philomene, an airline hostess (Cimmet) fill out the cafe. They are all misfits in need of some help.