The story of Amelie has always been a slippery, convoluted one. She is but one small woman (4’10” in this version, we’re told) in Paris, colliding with strangers and trying to tease out answers on the whispered complications of the world around her.
In Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s 2001 film, Audrey Tautou played the title character with cautious timidity – one of the first offbeat, untraditional heroines of the century. Yann Tiersen composed the film’s score, a swirling, romantic soundtrack led by piano loops and a vibrating accordion. The film captures a very pointed feeling of hazy specificity, of loneliness without a trace of self-pity. To thrust it onto the stage seemed like a misguided idea.
But in practice, Amélie the musical is an unquestionable delight. At once exuberant and precise, the production breathes with kind-hearted optimism.
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