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Irma La Douce

Irma La Douce

by Marguerite Monnot, Alexandre Breffort, Julian More, David Heneker and Monty Norman

Mature Musical

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Irma La Douce

Irma La Douce

The story of a policeman who falls in love with a prostitute.


Irma, the title character of the French musical Irma La Douce, is a young woman working the streets of Paris. Nestor le Fripé, a poor law student, falls for Irma and grows jealous of her clients. To remain Irma's only lover, Nestor assumes the disguise of a rich older man named Oscar, taking numerous jobs to support himself and Irma. Unable to sustain his exhausting life, Nestor ultimately “kills” Oscar. But the authorities, believing the murder actually took place, convict Nestor and send him to the Devil's Island penal colony. Nestor ultimately escapes and returns to Paris to prove his innocence and reunite with Irma.

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Fun Fact

Irma La Douce premiered in Paris at the Théâtre Gramont, November 12, 1956, where it ran for four years. It was then produced at London’s Lyric Theatre, opening July 17, 1958, and playing for 1,512 performances.


Marguerite Monnot


Lyricist & Librettist
Alexandre Breffort


Lyricist & Librettist
Julian More


Lyricist & Librettist
David Heneker


Lyricist & Librettist
Monty Norman

Broadway Premiere

Plymouth Theatre and Alvin Theatre
Opening Night
Sep 29, 1960
Total Performances
Original Cast
Keith Michell, Elizabeth Seal, Stuart Damon, Fred Gwynne, George S. Irving, Aric Lavie, Zack Matalon, Clive Revill, Osborne Smith, George Del Monte, Michael Fesco, Rico Froehlich, Eddie Gasper, Elliott Gould, Byron Mitchell, Joe Rocco, Rudy Tronto
Peter Brook
Onna White
David Merrick
Musical Director
Stanley Lebowsky
Andre Popp
Scenic Design
Rolf Gérard
Costume Design
Rolf Gérard
Lighting Design
Joe Davis

1963 Film Version

Movie Name
Irma La Douce
Billy Wilder
Billy Wilder and I.A.L. Diamond
Jack Lemmon, Shirley MacLaine, Lou Jacobi

1961 Tony Award Nominations

Best Actress In A Musical - Elizabeth Seal
Best Musical
Best Featured Actor In A Musical - Clive Revill
Best Costume Design (Musical)
Best Choreography
Best Direction Of A Musical
Best Conductor And Musical Director

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