Tacoma Musical Playhouse Presents
Book by ARTHUR KOPIT Music and Lyrics by MAURY YESTON Based on Federico Fellini’s semi-autobiographical film “8 1/2” Adapted from the Italian by Mario Fratti Broadway Production Directed by Tommy Tune “[Yeston’s] score is a literate mixture of show biz and operatic musical genres that contains some of the season's most novel and beautiful songs.” - New York Times “Maury Yeston's musical portrait of the mind of a movie director…ravishingly inventive” - Time
PARENTAL GUIDANCE INFORMATION NOTE: Tacoma Musical Playhouse firmly believes that it is a parent’s right, and responsibility, to fully educate themselves in order to determine the suitability of all materials presented to their own children. In an effort to assist parents in educating themselves, TMP is providing this objective information regarding the upcoming production of NINE. Although TMP will not refuse the purchase of a child’s ticket to this production, we strongly urge parents to consider the appropriateness of bringing children to this show and the effect it may have on the experience of other adult patrons. TMP does not recommend this show for patrons under age 14. This production contains adult subject matter and situations regarding infidelity, sexual themes and language. Additional information, including complete show lyrics, can be found all over the internet. Nine, The Musical is based on Federico Fellini's semi-autobiographical film 8½. It focuses on the story of celebrated Italian film director Guido Contini, who has turned 40 and faces a double crises: he has to shoot a film for which he cannot write the script, and his wife of 20 years, the film star Luisa del Forno, may be about to leave him if he cannot pay more attention to the marriage. As it turns out, it is the same crisis that is blocking his creative impulses and entangling him in a web of romantic difficulties in early-1960s Venice. The original Broadway production opened in 1982 and ran for 729 performances, starring Raul Julia. The musical won five Tony Awards, including Best Musical and Best Original Score. A hit revival starring Antonio Banderas opened on Broadway and won an additional two Tony Awards in 2003. The 2009 film of the same name featured a star-studded cast and a story on loosely based on the original. If you haven’t seen the stage version, however, you likely have not seen this story.
Synopsis of NINE, The Musical ACT ONE. Guido Contini, famous Italian film director, has turned forty and faces a double crises: he has to shoot a film for which he cannot write the script, and his wife of twenty years, the film star Luisa del Forno, may be about to leave him if he can't pay more attention to the marriage. As it turns out, it is the same crisis. Luisa's efforts to talk to him seem to be drowned out by voices in his head: voices of women in his life, speaking through the walls of his memory: insistent, flirtatious, irresistible, potent. Women speaking beyond words (Overture delle Donne). And these are the women Guido has loved, and from whom he has derived the entire vitality of a creative life, now as stalled as his marriage. In an attempt to find some peace and save the marriage, Guido and Luisa decide to go to a spa near Venice (Spa Music), where they are immediately hunted down by the press with intrusive questions about their marriage
(Continued) and—something Guido had not told Luisa about—his imminent film project (Not Since Chaplin). As Guido struggles to resolve issues with Luisa and at the same time find a story for his film, he becomes increasingly preoccupied—his interior world sometimes becoming indistinguishable from the objective world (Guido's Song). In another part of the spa, Mama Maddalena, the head chambermaid, gathers her forces to prepare the spa for the annual arrival of the German guests (The Germans at the Spa). His producer Liliane La Fleur, former vedette of the Folies Bergères, also arrives at this time in search for Guido who she highly suspects is not prepared to fulfill their contract and has come to the spa in an effort to avoid her. Luisa, the resilience of her love being consumed by an increasing dismay for their lives together, is confronted by reporters and immediately put into the all-to-familiar position of having to defend her husband and his actions (My Husband Makes Movies). His mistress Carla arrives in Venice, placing a sensuous phone call to him from her lonely hotel room (A Call from the Vatican). Guido convinces Luisa that the call is from the Vatican with questions about his film and quickly changes the subject. Luisa tries to help Guido remember what was intended to be the subject of his film, encouraging him to relax and let the ideas come on their own (Only With You). Guido meets with La Fleur who insists that he had agreed to make a musical, an idea which itself veers off into a fantasy of extraordinary vividness (The Script / Folies Bergères). La Fleur introduces the playwright Stephanie Necrophorus, whom she has hired as her associate producer to assist Guido with completing his script. He is obviously not thrilled. Guido's fugitive imagination, clutching at women like straws, eventually plunges through the floor of the present and into his own past where he encounters his mother and a nine year old boy—the young Guido himself (Nine). The vision leads him to re-encounter a glorious moment on a beach with Sarraghina, the prostitute and outcast to whom he went as a curious child, stealing away from his nearby Catholic school, St. Sebastian, to ask her to tell him about love. Her answer, be yourself (Ti Voglio Bene / Be Italian). ACT TWO. The dance Sarraghina taught him on that sandy beach resonates to the forty-year old Guido as a terrible reminder of the consequences of that day—punishment by the nuns and rejection by his appalled mother. This memory reveals the origins of many of Guido’s conflicts regarding love and faith and art, and identifies some of the causes of his perilous lifestyle and fugitive heart (The Bells of St. Sebastian). Back into the present, Guido visits the beach once more. This time with Claudia Nardi, a film star and muse of his greatest successes, who has flown in from Paris. But she doesn't want the role. He cannot fathom the rejection. He fails to understand that Claudia loves him too, but wants him to love her as the woman that she is— not the woman he has created in his mind and in his films (A Man Like You / Unusual Way). As she leaves, she refers to him as "My charming Casanova!" - giving Guido the very inspiration he needs for his movie, a “spectacular in the vernacular,” set on The Grand Canal and cast with every woman in his life (The Grand Canal Sequence). The improvised movie rehearses as a collision between his real life and his creative one, during which Carla races onto the set to announce her divorce only to be brutally rejected by Guido. The scene climaxes with Luisa, appalled and moved by his use of their intimacy—and even her words—as a source for the film, finally detonating with sadness and rage. The film is dead. They all leave—the cast, Carla revealing a broken heart (Simple), Claudia finding solace and strength in her life in Paris, and Luisa in a shattering exit from a marriage that she refers to as being “all of me” (Be On Your Own). For the first time, Guido is left alone. I Can't Make This Movie ascends into a contemplation of suicide, but in a final life-saving vision, both his mother and his nine year old self point out that it is time to grow up and move on (Getting Tall). As the women return in a reprise of the Overture, but this time to let him go, only one is absent. Luisa. Guido feels the aching void left by the only woman he will ever love. Young Guido leads the women off into his own future to the strains of Be Italian, and Guido, ready to listen and likely for the first time in his life, seeks forgiveness and one real love.