Can-Can is a Broadway musical that takes place in Paris during the turn of the century, specifically in a dark little corner of town known as Montmart. Based on the book by Abe Burrows and with lyrics and music by Cole Porter, it premiered on May 7, 1953 at the Shubert Theatre in New York City.

The basic plot is that newly-ordained judge Aristide Forestier is on a quest to close down the Bal du Paris, owned by La Mome Pistache, and its infamous Cancan dancers. The two fall in love despite the legal sparring, and there are various subplots involving the artists as well as Hilaire Jussac, who wants to make Montmart famous.

Original Cast (1953)

The Music
Act 1

  1. Introduction & Maidens Typical of France
  2. Never Give Anything Away
  3. Quadrille
  4. C'est Magnifique
  5. Come Along With Me
  6. Live And Let Live
  7. I Am In Love
  8. If You Loved Me Truly
  9. Montmart'
  10. Allez-Vous En, Go Away

  11. Act 2
  12. Never, Never Be An Artist
  13. It's All Right With Me
  14. Every Man Is A Stupid Man
  15. I Love Paris
  16. Can-Can

I have fond memories of this musical, as I played several parts (policeman, waiter, etc) in my school's production of Can-Can. Though the musical itself is fun, it also brings up many issues about the government and censorship. When you're watching semi-nude pop princesses on MTV, think of how far we've come since the days of banning suggestive dancing.

Sources used:, and my copy of the Original Broadway Cast Recording.