Billboard on Broadway Podcast: 'Amelie' Stars & Songwriters on Bringing French Film's Charm to the Stage

Billboard on Broadway podcast: Amelie
Joan Marcus

Billboard on Broadway podcast: Amelie

It’s been sixteen years since a gamine young French woman named Amélie, immortalized by actress Audrey Tautou, came to screens across the world, and thanks to the new musical Amélie, her story is getting a refreshing new interpretation on Broadway now, as the show’s cast and writers discuss on this week’s Billboard on Broadway podcast.

Daniel Messé, a co-founder of the Brooklyn folk band Hem, wrote the music and lyrics with Nathan Tysen (Tuck Everlasting).  He jumped at the opportunity to transform the film into a musical when it was first presented to him. “When it came out, post-9/11, the film definitely was a really nice antidote to a really miserable time,” Messé says. “It was so delightful and positive, even though it was about serious things. I just left it feeling full again.”  Tysen was particularly attracted to how the story showcased “people who have wild imaginations.”

The process of creating a new musical was an invigorating one for both the creative team and cast members Phillipa Soo (Amélie) and Adam Chanler-Berat (Nino). “Someone like me who comes from the album cycle…to have five, six years on a project, these people became like muses to me,” Messé says. “When I write now, I write for Pippa and Adam; those are the voices I have in my head.”

“It’s the most exciting thing,” Chanler-Berat adds of acting in a show as it’s being created. “It’s happening in real-time….it’s sort of what you live for, an adrenaline rush.” “I think we have a very special wavelength we ride on,” Soo says. “There’s a vocabulary you find with people, and for us it just came so easily.”

Tysen and Messé go on to discuss the birth of their collaboration, while the crew chats about their current playlists, embarrassing musical pasts (Chanler-Berat played in a band called Socially Unacceptable Sweaters) and love of pop music with host Rebecca Milzoff.

Broadway

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