“Irma La Douce” was first performed in 1956 not on Broadway or in the West End but in Paris where the “little” French show about a prostitute and her jealous lover met with such enormous success that an English adaptation was inevitable.
Londoners first saw “Irma” in the summer of 1958 with Elizabeth Seal playing the title role and Keith Michell her lover. That it was different and daring with a melodic score made the British public fall in love with “Irma” and the show achieved a run of 1512 performances. Along the way Elizabeth Seal won numerous awards for her portrayal of Irma. Although unknown to American audiences Elizabeth was chosen to reprise her role when the show opened on Broadway where she won the coveted “Tony” award for best Actress in a Musical.
15 tracks were recorded for the London cast LP including Elizabeth Seal’s solo reprise of hit song “Our Language of Love” which was not recorded for the Broadway cast LP. This CD release contains all 15 tracks and for bonus tracks features two other Irmas – the original Parisian Irma Colette Renard and international star Zizi Jeanmaire performing songs from the musical in French!
The 16 page booklet includes an interview with Elizabeth Seal and photographs from the London production supplied by Elizabeth and Michael Ward who took them.
The total of 26 tracks must make this one of the most “complete” “Irma la Douce” releases.
1. VALSE MILIEU Clive Revill, Elizabeth Seal
2. TRES TRES SNOB Company
3. THE BRIDGE OF CAULAINCOURT Elizabeth Seal, Keith Michell
4. OUR LANGUAGE OF LOVE Elizabeth Seal, Keith Michell
5. SHE’S GOT THE LOT Company
6. DIS-DONC, DIS-DONC Elizabeth Seal
7. LE GRISBI IS LE ROOT OF LE EVIL IN MAN Clive Revill, Keith Michell
8. THE WRECK OF A MEC Keith Michell
9. THAT’S A CRIME Company
10. FROM A PRISON CELL Keith Michell
11. IRMA-LA-DOUCE Elizabeth Seal
12. THERE IS ONLY ONE PARIS FOR THAT (introducing THE FREEDOM OF THE SEAS and FEVER DANCE) Keith Michell and Company
13. OUR LANGUAGE OF LOVE (Reprise) Elizabeth Seal
14. BUT Company
15. CHRISTMAS CHILD Company
16. C’EST POLYTE LE MOU Les Quartre Barbus
17. ME V’LA, TE V’LA Zizi Jeanmaire, Roland Petit
18. AVEC LES ANGES Colette Renard
19. ELLE A DU CHIEN Les Quartre Barbus
20. AH! DIS DONC Colette Renard
21. TO BE OR NOT TO BE Les Quartre Barbus
22. LE CAVE A IRMA Roland Petit
23. L’AVENTURE EST MORTE Luc Davis
24. IRMA LA DOUCE Colette Renard
25. Y’A QU’PARIS POUR A Colette Renard
26. IL EST NE Zizi Jeanmaire, Roland Petit and Les Quartre Barbus