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FEATURED WORK: MUSICALS

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MONET



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SYNOPSIS

Revolution, romance, mystery and one painting that changed everything…
 
The musical Monet brings to the stage a new story, never told before, about Claude Monet, long before “Water Lilies” and Giverny, a story of immense change in the world of art where one man’s passion for his art leads to consequences he could never have foreseen.
 
Imagine Paris, 1863, a pivotal moment in history when the Impressionists are the “new kids on the block.” Claude Monet and his friends Renoir and Degas are locked in a battle against the classical Beaux-Arts Salon and its director, the Marquis who is threatened by their new art – art that depicts everyday people and everyday things, with bold use of color, broad brush strokes, and a love affair with light.
 
But what price revolution? Monet is the chief target of the Marquis, and he must overcome public condemnation from a plot hatched by the Marquis with Louis Leroy, Paris’ chief art critic. However, the turmoil that results has a deep and lasting effect on Monet’s personal relationship with Camille, his lover, muse and eventual wife, and even on his fellow artists. Monet becomes more and more obsessed with his art and leaves Paris and paints his series of haystacks, poplars, and the Cliffs of Étretat, leaving behind Degas and Renoir, who are courted by the young, ambitious art dealer, Durand-Ruel, to the exclusion of Monet. As time passes, the art world changes, and the Impressionists finally make their mark, but the losses in Monet’s life are irretrievable. Only when he comes to grips with his own shortcomings is his life truly illuminated like his paintings that are infused with light.
 
To enter the world of the Impressionists a mystery serves as the conceit of the musical. At the top of the show,  Monet appears before a French magistrate in 1901 to claim a painting, “Morning at Le Havre,” recently discovered in the basement of The Beaux Arts – a painting attributed to him but one he denounced as a fraud some thirty-seven years before. Who painted it and why does Monet want it back? To bolster his case, Monet tells his story of his struggles as an artist beginning back in Paris when he and his friends were young and unafraid. At the end of the show, Monet is back in court with the mystery solved and a ruling by the judge as to the disposition of the painting.
 
The show is performed with ten in cast for a possible regional or Off-Broadway production. With less doubling of small roles and the addition of townspeople for a larger chorus, the cast is infinitely expandable to a Broadway scale. The show has a traditional musical theatre score, shaped by the period, yet fresh and vibrant.

  
 
 
        PRODUCTION HISTORY
 
Year-long developmental Writers Residency at CAP21 under the guidance of Eliza Ventura, Artistic Director, CAP21 
and supported by a grant from The Florence Gould Foundation (2015-2016).  Writers Residency culminated in an industry-only reading, March 2016.
                    Directed by: Nick Corley
                    Musical Direction by: Eugene Gwozdz
                    Principal Actors: Greg Mills (Monet), Scarlett Strallen (Camille), John Hillner (Marquis)
                 
Staged Reading (two presentations), York Theatre Company (NYC), April, 2014.
                   Directed by: Pamela Hunt
                   Musical Direction by: Eugene Gwozdz
                   Principal Actors: Greg Mills (Monet), Kelly McCormick (Camille), George Dvorsky (Marquis)

SYNOPSIS AND PRODUCTION HISTORY

MONET

A New Musical


Music and Lyrics by Carmel Owen

Book by Joan Ross Sorkin

Poster Design: Claude Monet