AMÉLIE is the new Broadway musical based on the beloved five-time Oscar®-nominated film and starring Tony® nominee Phillipa Soo (Hamilton) in the title role.
Shy Amélie lives quietly in the world, but loudly in her mind… where life is filled with mischievous adventures, a garden gnome can be a world traveler, a goldfish can be her dearest friend and true love is as magical as she imagines. Longing to connect with others, Amélie covertly improvises small, but extraordinary acts of kindness that bring happiness to those around her. But everything changes when she becomes captivated by a mysterious young photographer. Gathering the courage to follow her heart, she embarks on her biggest adventure yet—a journey out of her imagination and into his arms.
But while she [Soo] inhabits the show’s fantasy-land vision of Paris with ease, gamely dressing as a nun, and even (egad!) impersonating Zorro at one point, Soo makes Amélie a conflicted, believably vulnerable young woman. At first safe in the stilled waters of her circumscribed life, Amélie eventually slips into the stream of the world, as her reserve dissolves when she sees others’ fortunes changed by a touch of her hand. Soo makes this transformation both honest and touching. We leave Amélie with her head still full of happy dreams, but her feet firmly planted on the ground
Soo, the original Natasha in “Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812” and the first Mrs. Alexander Hamilton, has an enchanting open face and a creamy voice with enviable breath control and, as Amelie, she dashes around Paris with her chin literally up. Since the book is by brinkmanship fantasist Craig Lucas (“Prelude to a Kiss”), she confidently tumbles down the rabbit hole, supported by designer David Zinn’s fetching, intimate Parisian stack of cabinets and wardrobes in birds-egg blue.
As for Soo, who now has her third leading role (after Hamilton and, before that, Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet Of 1812), this is the best showcase yet for a star who shimmers more than she dazzles: Her pipes can fill the house but more often the sound is of a polished pop warbler, and that’s perfect in this milieu. The authors, along with [director] MacKinnon and choreographer Sam Pinkleton, avoid gratuitous winking, trusting both Amélie and Amélie to work their charms. You’ll buy it, or you won’t. By the end, I was a bit in love, even if – as so often is the case with the real thing – it wasn’t at first sight.