- Aspects of Love
name= Aspects of Love
caption=Original West End Logo
Andrew Lloyd Webber
Andrew Lloyd Webber
basis="Aspects of Love" by
productions= 1989 West End
2007 UK Tour
"Aspects of Love" is a
chamber operawith a book and music by Andrew Lloyd Webberand lyrics by Don Blackand Charles Hart.
Based on the novella of the same name by
David Garnett, the piece focuses on the romantic entanglements of actress Rose Vibert, her admiring fan Alex Dillingham, his underage cousin Jenny, his uncle George, and George's mistress, sculptress Giulietta Trapani, over a period of 17 years. The "aspects" refers to love between couples, both as romantic infatuation and as married people; children and their parents; and there are even some hints of lesbianism (Giulietta and Rose).
Lloyd Webber was introduced to "Aspects of Love" in 1979, when he and
Tim Ricewere approached to write a few songs for a proposed film version. When nothing came of it, he suggested to Trevor Nunnthat they collaborate on a stage adaptation. In 1983, they presented a cabaret of numbers they had written, but it was not until five years later that they tackled the project in earnest [http://www.reallyuseful.com/rug/shows/aspectsoflove/show/inspiration.htm] .
The West End production, directed by
Trevor Nunnand choreographedby Gillian Lynne, opened on April 17 1989at the Prince of Wales Theatre, where it ran for 1,325 performances. The original cast included Ann Crumb, Michael Ball, Kevin Colson, and Kathleen Rowe McAllen. Sarah Brightman, Barrie Ingham, and Michael Praedwere among the replacements later in the run. Roger Moorewas due to star in the production but dropped out.
The Broadway production, with the same creative team and original
Londoncast, opened on April 8 1990at the Broadhurst Theatreand closed on March 2, 1991 after 377 performances and 22 previews. Brightman and John Cullumjoined the cast later in the run. The reviews were lackluster and "New York Times" critic Frank Richwrote in a negative review "Whether "Aspects of Love" is a musical for people is another matter." [http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9C0CE3DF1F3BF93AA35757C0A966958260&sec=&spon=&pagewanted=1 "New York Times" review, April 9, 1990] .
In 1991, a "chamber" version of the show with
Keith Michellwas mounted in Canada. It subsequently toured in America and a similar production was staged in Australia. "Aspects of Love" was produced in Japan, the Philippines, Hungary, Finland, and Denmarkas well.
A new UK tour is scheduled to begin on 31st August 2007, the first production in 15 years. Starring
David Essexas George Dillingham, the production is to be directed by Nikolai Foster, and musically directed by Andrew J.Smith, opening at the Theatre Royal, Newcastle, and touring for 36 weeks.
The two-disc original cast recording of the London production preserved the bulk of the score with some edits made for reasons of length. A 2005 remastered edition restored all the material cut from the original release.
When the musical first came out, the song "The First Man You Remember" was often performed on TV, the impression being that it was between a romantic couple of lovers. It was sung by Alex and Jenny in the CD single version. However, in the show itself, it is performed by George and Jenny, in a father and daughter duet.
At a train station in
Pau, Francein 1964, a man (who will later be identified as the 34-year-old Alex) reflects on his love life over the past 17 years. A woman (who will later be identified as Giulietta Trapani) replies to him that "it's all in the past."
The action then moves back in time to 1947, where 25-year-old starving actress, Rose Vibert, rants at her producer, Marcel, because their show is a flop and is closing for two weeks. Marcel defends himself, then tries to placate Rose by introducing her to an avid young fan, 17-year-old Alex. Alex convinces her to come with him to a villa at Pau belonging to his uncle, George, where they have a brief tryst. George, in Paris with his mistress, Giulietta Trapani, hears that Rose and Alex have broken into his villa and returns to Pau. Rose is attracted to George despite his age. George is briefly overcome when he sees Rose dressed in a gown belonging to his much-adored but long-deceased wife, Delia, who was also an actress. George remarks how much Rose resembles Delia. He advises Alex that all good things have to end, and that his interlude with Rose will one day be just a memory. Alex insists that his relationship with Rose is not a schoolboy crush, but real love. George amuses Rose with tidbits about his life while Alex listens grumpily. George leaves, and the next day, Rose leaves under mysterious circumstances to rejoin Marcel. Alex realizes that Rose had never taken him seriously.
Two years later, Alex, now a soldier, goes to visit his uncle in Paris. George is fixing up the villa in the country, and Alex is shocked to find that Rose is now George's mistress. He accuses her of chasing his uncle's money, but Rose protests that she really loves George. She admits that she did love Alex once, and the two, drawn to each other again, fall into bed. The next morning, an agitated Rose tells Alex to leave before George returns. Alex, enraged, pulls out his gun. Rose throws a candlestick at Alex, and the gun goes off, shooting Rose in the arm, and she faints. George arrives but is surprisingly calm. George and Alex each try to convince the other that he is the right man for Rose. George wins the debate, insisting that Alex should begin a new life with Rose, and Alex finally agrees. George then heads to Venice to see his former mistress, Giulietta. However, Rose orders Alex to leave, having chosen to stay with George. Alex leaves, and Rose and Marcel follow George to Venice. Rose intends to confront Giulietta and reclaim George.
In Venice, Rose has run up bills everywhere. George is exasperated but admits that he'd be lost without her. Later, Giulietta and Rose bond while discussing George's foibles. They both express surprise that the other woman is not at all what they'd imagined. George returns and says that he has lost most of his money (some productions have him catching Rose and Giulietta in bed together). Rose then asks George to marry her and he agrees. At the wedding, Giulietta shocks everyone by claiming her best man's rights and kissing Rose on the mouth. George, however, is delighted. At a military encampment in Malaya some months later, Alex hears of the wedding, and that George will be a father soon.
Thirteen years later at a theater in Paris, Rose has risen to stardom and has a young lover, Hugo. Marcel and the rest of the cast celebrate the latest hit, but Rose insists that she must return to the villa at Pau and to her husband George and their 12-year-old daughter, Jenny. Marcel praises her, calling her the perfect leading lady, before reintroducing her to the 32-year-old Alex. Rose is delighted and insists that he come with her to Pau. At the villa at Pau, Jenny is excited by the prospect of her mother's return. George says that he would trade all the other pleasures of the world for his little girl. George is happy to see Alex, returning with Rose, and Jenny, who has heard much about him, meets him for the first time. Rose and George insist that Alex should stay with them. Meanwhile, in Venice, George's former mistress, Giulietta, ponders the meaning of stable, long-lasting love versus romantic infatuation.
Two years later, Alex suggests that Jenny needs a Paris education, which upsets Rose, who suspects that her daughter has developed an unhealthy crush on Alex. That evening at dinner, Jenny appears wearing the gown of George's first wife, and George happily dances with his daughter. Jenny tries to draw Alex into the dance, but Alex politely refuses. Later, Jenny and Alex are left alone, and Jenny finally convinces Alex to give her the last dance. Rose catches Jenny clasping Alex in a very adult fashion, and Alex leaves. Jenny tells her mother that Alex is the first to make her feel like a woman. Rose confronts Alex, who admits to having feelings for Jenny, but insists that he would never harm her. Later, Jenny tells Alex that she loves him. She begs him to be honest, then kisses him on the mouth.
George plans his wake, insisting that there should be dancing and fun. Rose tells him that he's bound to outlive them all. At a circus in Paris, George, Rose, Alex, and Jenny are celebrating Jenny's fifteenth birthday. George becomes agitated as he watches Jenny talking with Alex. Later, Alex puts Jenny to bed. Jenny tries to convince him that she's really in love with him, but Alex insists that they're just cousins. Jenny falls asleep, and Alex reflects that he knows he must not love her, but cannot help loving her. George overhears Alex and is enraged, suspecting the worst. However, he collapses before he can burst in on them, and Alex comes out of Jenny's room to find him dead on the floor.
At George's wake, Giulietta gives a eulogy celebrating George's unconventionality and his belief in living life to the fullest. Giulietta and Alex join in the dancing. The two are immediately attracted to each other as they wander away from the party. Jenny spies on them, while Marcel tries to comfort the grieving Rose. Giulietta and Alex awaken in a hayloft, and Alex wonders how to end his relationship kindly with Jenny. Later, Alex tries to explain to Jenny that their relationship was unnatural. She reminds him that he was only seventeen when he met Rose, and that she is no younger than
Shakespeare's Juliet. Rose bids Alex farewell, but then she breaks down and begs Alex not to leave her. Alex, unsure of how to reply, leaves.
At the train station at Pau, as Alex and Giulietta wait for the train, Giulietta wonders what will happen in a few years, when Jenny becomes a woman. Alex, unable to reply, reflects once more on how love changes everything.
*Love Changes Everything (Alex)
*Parlez-vous Français? (Crooner, Alex, Rose, Marcel, Waiter and Actors)
*Seeing is Believing (Alex and Rose)
*A Memory of a Happy Moment (Giulietta and George)
*Chanson d'Enfance (Rose and Alex)
*Everybody Loves A Hero (Harkers and Ensemble)
*She'd Be Far Better Off with You (Alex and George)
*Stop. Wait. Please. (George and Giulietta)
*Leading Lady (Marcel)
*Other Pleasures (George)
*There is More to Love (Giulietta)
*Mermaid Song (Jenny, Alex and George)
*The First Man You Remember (George and Jenny)
*Journey of a Lifetime (Chanteuse and Ensemble)
*Falling (Alex, Jenny, Rose and George)
*Hand Me the Wine and the Dice (Giulietta, Alex, Jenny and Ensemble)
*Anything But Lonely (Rose)
Awards and nominations
Tony Awardfor Best Musical (nominee)
*Tony Award for Best Book of a Musical (nominee)
*Tony Award for Best Original Score (nominee)
*Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Musical (Colson, nominee)
*Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical (McAllen, nominee)
*Tony Award for Best Direction of a Musical (nominee)
Drama Desk Awardfor Outstanding Musical (nominee)
*Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical (Danielle Du Clos, nominee)
*Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Orchestration (nominee)
*Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Music (nominee)
*Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Lighting Design (nominee)
Theatre World Award(McAllen, winner)
* [http://www.reallyuseful.com/rug/shows/aspectsoflove/show/inspiration.htm Official website]
* [http://www.andrewlloydwebber.com The Official Andrew Lloyd Webber Site]
* [http://www.theatre-musical.com/aspects.html Anything But Lonely - Aspects of Love]
* [http://www.ibdb.com/production.asp?ID=4559 Internet Broadway Database listing]
before = "
Cuts Both Ways" by Gloria Estefan
title = UK number one album
September 16, 1989– September 22, 1989
after = "
We Too Are One" by Eurythmics
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