Original Broadway Production

Can-Can [poster]

A Musical Comedy in Two Acts
Music and Lyrics by Cole Porter
Book by Abe Burrows

Tryouts began March 23, 1953 at the Shubert Theatre, Philadelphia

Opened May 7, 1953 at the Shubert Theatre, NYC
Ran for 892 performances
Produced by Cy Feuer and Ernest Martin
Directed by Abe Burrows
Dances and musical numbers staged by Michael Kidd
Settings and Lightings by Jo Mielziner
Costumes by Motley
Musical Direction by Milton Rosenstock
Orchestrations by Philip J. Lang
Dance music arrangements by Genevieve Pitot


In turn-of-the-century Paris, La Mome Pistache, proud owner of the infamous Bal du Paradis, spars with Aristide Forestier, a self-righteous judge determined to close all Parisian dance halls.  Eventually, the pair fall in love, and Aristide concedes that "obscenity is in the eye of the beholder."  Other principals include Claudine, a dancer and her cowardly boyfriend, Boris.

Can-Can [playbill]


Lilo (La Mome Pistache)
Peter Cookson (Judge Aristide Forestier)
Hans Conried (Boris Adzinidzinadze)
Gwen Verdon (Claudine)
Erik Rhodes (Hilaire Jussac)

Sheila Arnold (Customer), Ralph Beaumont (Policeman), Socrates Birsky (Policeman), Michael Cavvallero (Doctor), Mary Anne Cohan (Gabrielle), David Collyer (Bailiff), Joe Cusanelli (Policeman, Cafe Customer), Michael De Marco (Policeman), Ferdinand Hilt (Second Waiter, Customer, Prosecutor), Clarence Hoffman (Waiter), Jean Kraemer (Celestine), Dania Krupska (Mimi), Phil Leeds (Theophile), Robert Penn (Hercule), Beverly Pervin (Marie), Richard Purdy (Etienne), Arthur Rubin (Policeman), Jon Silo (Policeman, Cafe Waiter), David Thomas (Court President, Customer), Pat Turner (Model), and Deedee Wood (Jailer)

Musical Numbers

    Act One

  • Overture - Orchestra
  • "Maidens Typical of France" - Company
  • "Never Give Anything Away" - La Mome Pistache
  • Quadrille [instrumental] - Orchestra
  • "C'est Magnifique" - Pistache and Judge Aristide Forestier
  • "Come Along With Me" - Hilaire Jussac and Boris Adzinidzinadze
  • "Live and Let Live"- Pistache
  • "I Am In Love" - Forestier
  • "If You Loved Me Truly" - Claudine and Forestier
  • "Montmart" - Company
  • The Garden of Eden Ballet [instrumental; includes Eve's Dance] - Orchestra
  • "Allez-Vous-En" - Pistache
  • Act Two

  • Entr'acte - Orchestra
  • "Never, Never Be an Artist" - Adzinidzinadze and Company
  • "It's All Right With Me" - Forestier
  • "Ev'ry Man is a Stupid Man" - Pistache
  • Apaches Dance [instrumental] - Orchestra
  • "I Love Paris" - Pistache and Company
  • "Can-Can" - Pistache and Women's Chorus

Cut Songs

  • "The Law" [dropped during the Philadelphia tryout]
  • "I Shall Positively Pay You Nest Monday" [dropped during the Philadelphia tryout]
  • "A Man Must His Honor Defend" [dropped during the Philadelphia tryout]
  • "Nothing to Do But Work" [unused]
  • "Laundry Scene" [unused; intended as the Opening Scene]
  • "Her Heart Was in Her Work" [unused]
  • "Who Said Gay Paree?" [unused]
  • "What a Fair Thing is a Woman" [unused]
  • "Am I in Love?" [unused]
  • "To Think That This Could Happen to Me" [unused]
  • "I Do" [unused; music used for "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?" in High Society]
  • "When Love Comes to Call" [unused]
  • "I Like the Ladies" [unused]
  • "If Only You Could Love Me" [unused]

Can-Can [45 RPM boxed cast recording]

Original Cast Recording

Recorded on May 17, 1953

  • LP, 1953 [Capitol S-452 / DW-452]
  • Compact Disc (remastered), 1992 [Broadway Angel ZDM 7 64664 2]

Go to the Can-Can Recordings page for more releases and further information.

Contemporaneous Recordings

"Allez-Vous-En" - Gordon Jenkins

  • 45 RPM, 1953 [Decca 9-28746]

"Allez-Vous-En" - Kay Starr

  • 45 RPM, 1953 [Capitol MA-1-1584]

"C'est Magnifique" - Gordon MacRae with Axel Stordahl's Orchestra

  • 45 RPM, 1953 [Capitol 2465] Charted June 6, 1953; peaked at #29

"I Am in Love" - Nat King Cole

  • 45 RPM, 1953 [Capitol 2549]

"I Am in Love" - The Five Jets

  • 45 RPM, 1953 [Deluxe 45-6018]

"I Love Paris" - Les Baxter and His Orchestra

  • 45 RPM, 1953 [Capitol 2479] Charted July 18, 1953; peaked at #13

"It's All Right With Me" - Bob Manning

  • 45 RPM, 1953 [Capitol 2493]

Go to Recordings of Can-Can
Go to the 1954 London Production of Can-Can
Go to the 1959 Theatre-in-the-Park Production of Can-Can
Go to the Film Version of Can-Can
Go to the 1981 Broadway Revival of Can-Can
Go to the 2004 Encores! Concert Production of Can-Can

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