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Stage: theater, music, dance

May 20, 2004|By Lori Sears

`Jacques Brel' is still alive and well

Regarded as one of the 20th century's greatest French-language singer/songwriters, Jacques Brel cast a musical spell over Belgium, over France and over much of Europe throughout the '50s and '60s. America, however, for the most part, eluded him.

A virtual unknown to most audiences in our land, Brel came to prominence in the United States in the late '60s thanks in large part to two American admirers.

Mort Shuman and Eric Blau made it their mission to create a musical of Brel's songs, translating them for the first time into English.

The musical Jacques Brel Is Alive and Well and Living in Paris debuted in New York in 1968, receiving enthusiastic response and running for 1,847 performances.

The cabaret-style musical gets new life locally at Everyman Theatre, running tomorrow through June 20. Featuring more than 25 of Brel's thoughtful and compelling songs of love, despair, life and death, the musical revue stars actors/singers Christopher Bloch, Amanda Johnson, Dan Manning and Sally Martin, along with four musicians.

Theatergoers will see a transformed Everyman Theatre, with its French cabaret setting, tables-of-four seating and bottles of wine for sale. C'est magnifique!

"Jacques Brel Is Alive and Well and Living in Paris" runs tomorrow through June 20 at Everyman Theatre, 1727 N. Charles St. Show times are 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, 2:30 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. $16-$30. Call 410-752-2208.

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