Show Photographs

31st Festival Season - 2009

Mlle. Modiste

Music by: Victor Herbert
Book & Lyrics by: Henry Blossom

Salesgirls at Madame Cécile’s Parisian hat shop have no luck in interesting the American, Mrs. Hiram Bent, in any of the latest millinery creations of their boss. Madame Cécile is furious at their lack of salesmanship and laments the absence of her prize employee Fifi, who certainly could have secured a sale. So valuable is the young girl to the shop’s success, and so fearful is Cécile that some rival shop might steal her, that she has decided that Fifi should marry her milksop son Gaston. Needing to keep on good terms with his mother, who provides him with money to support his high life, Gaston agrees to the union. Fifi, however, is being courted by the dashing Captain Étienne, whose sister and guardian uncle are scandalized by the thought that their kinsman even contemplate such a social mismatch. Back in the shop, Fifi chats with a customer, Hiram Bent, expressing her longing to leave her job and pursue a stage career, a move that Hiram encourages. Hiram, with more money than he knows what to do with, slips 5000 francs into an envelope that he knows Fifi will soon discover. Wanting neither to work to support a man nor have a man support her, Fifi rejects marriage proposals – first from Gaston and then from Étienne, whose love she returns, but who must wait until she is no longer just a shop girl. Fifi announces to Madame Cécile that she will not marry Gaston and, in fact, is quitting her job to pursue her dream. As she leaves, she discovers the envelope and knows that fate is smiling on her.

A year later, at a charity bazaar at the home of Étienne’s uncle, guest Hiram Bent relates how Fifi has become a major singing star, paid him back for the cash advance and, in fact, will be performing this very day for the assembled guests. When Fifi arrives, the uncle forbids her from singing and from ever marrying his nephew. The strong-willed Fifi swears to him that she will only marry Étienne when the day comes that the uncle begs her to do so. When Étienne arrives, Fifi changes places with the hired fortune teller and learns that Étienne’s feelings for her are as strong as ever. Through a bit of cunning with a mirror, she wins Étienne’s uncle to her side–he indeed begs her to marry Étienne.

Production Team
ConductorMichael Borowitz
Stage DirectorSteven Daigle
ChoreographyCarol Hageman
Costume DesignCharlene Gross
Scenic DesignKimberly Cox
Lighting DesignerDave Stoughton
Assistant ConductorSelim Giray*
Assistant DirectorAnthony Buck
Henri De Bouvray, Count of St. MarBoyd Mackus
Captain Étienne De Bouvray, His NephewTodd Strange
Hiram Bent, American MillionaireDennis Jesse
Gaston, An Artist and Mme. Cécile’s SonJacob Allen
General Le Marquis de VillefrancheMatthew Kuehnl
Lieut. Rene La Motte, Engaged to Marie LouiseCory Clines
François, Porter of Mme. CécileJon Gerhard
Mme. Cécile, Proprietress of a Parisian Hat ShopJulie Wright
Fanchette, Her DaughterAshly Evans
Nanette, Her DaughterCecily Ellis
Marie Louise, Étienne’s SisterAllison Toth
Bebe, Dancer at Folies BergereJacqueline Komos
Mrs. Hiram Bent, Wife of Hiram BentJessie Wright Martin
Fifi, Shop Girl/Stage StarSara Ann Mitchell
Girl solo, Act IIEve Hehn
1st FootmanOwen Reyolds
2nd FootmanPhilip McLeod
* July 10, August 1
Ensemble: Chelsea Basler, Nate Brian, Erin Daigle, Stephen Faulk, Jon Gerhard, Sahara Glasener–Boles, Samantha Grenell–Zaidman, Eve Hehn, Paul Hopper, Dennis Jesse, Kyle Knapp, Jacqueline Komos, Matthew Kuehnl, Janelle Lentz, Tania Mandzy, Philip McLeod, Owen Reynolds, Raina Thorne, Allison Toth, Logan Walsh, Jessie Wright Martin