Amélie

Amélie, based on the 2001 French film of the same name, began previews at the Walter Kerr Theatre on March 9. The musical maintains the whimsy and charm of the film.

Amélie tells of the story of Amélie (Phillipa Soo), a shy dreamer, who decides to do anonymous good deeds for other people in Paris. She comes across a book of photos that Nino (Adam Chanler Berat) left behind at the train station, and she gives him clues that lead him back to his treasured possession.

Soo brings the quirky Amélie to life with humor and charm. Her incredibly expressive face lets the audience in to how Amélie is feeling at any given moment. Chanler Berat is awkward and winning as Nino. The audience roots for him to find Amélie and to get to know her.

The show’s ensemble serves as a Greek Chorus for Amélie. The cast remains onstage for nearly the entirety of the show. They tell the audience what Amélie is thinking and often provide back up vocals.

The show’s aesthetic and design put the audience into Amélie’s creative imagination. Props include several rainbow umbrellas. An actor wears a plush fish on his head and scooters across the stage as Amélie’s pet. Another actor in a colorful costume brings the garden gnome that Amélie’s father loves to life.

The show’s score by Nathan Tysen and Daniel Messé is full of pretty but unmemorable music. Soo’s gorgeous voice makes the music a pleasure to listen to. (She even includes some of her signature riffs in one number.)

While Amélie isn’t groundbreaking theater, its sure to provide a fun and entertaining experience.

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