is based on the greatest of all farces, A Flea in Her Ear
, by French master farceur Georges Feydeau.
Victor Emmanuel Chandebise is a successful, straight-laced insurance salesman in 1912 Paris. When his wife, Raymonde, receives a package with Victor's suspenders sent back from the notorious Hotel d'Amour, a well-known meeting place for trysting lovers, she naturally (and wrongly) assumes he is having an affair.
Raymonde, encouraged by her bombshell best friend, Lucienne, sets our to trap Victor by writing him a love letter from a 'secret admirer' and inviting him to meet her at Hotel d'Amour. This triggers a series of complications that climaxes in hilarious second-act pandemonium, as everyone in the Chandebise household, plus a few assorted friends and business acquaintances, becomes entangled in a mad chase at the hotel.
Thrown into the potpourri are a lascivious doctor, a sexpot housemaid, a degenerate bellhop, a gun-toting jealous husband, an incurable Don Juan, and a hotel-managing husband and wife who have seen and done it all, and are not afraid to charge a little extra for it.
Replete with sidesplitting dialogue, a wonderful double role for the actor playing both the insurance salesman, Victor Chandebise, and the decadent bellhop, Poche, and rousing songs like the title Can-Can number and Raymonde's touching, wry ballad "He Sells Insurance
," Hotel d'Amour
is a mad romp through 1912 Paris.
Conceived and originally directed by noted Chicago director Gary Griffin, Hotel d'Amour continues to delight audiences who love toe-tapping tunes, loveable characters, and riotous dialogue.
"Hotel d'Amour is relentlessly funny... a frantic maze of sex, revenge, debauchery pushes the play above the level of successful comedy into the world of superb farce." Hinsdale Doings
"Opelka and Helbig have done a thoughtful job. The songs are clever, lively, winning and free of the cliche and false sincerity of so many new musicals." Chicago Sun-Times
"The play is funny, fast-moving and clever. Every song of the playful score had the audience smiling... Audiences are destined to have a love affair with this Hotel of Love." Pioneer Press (Chicago)
"Gregg Opelka and Jack Helbig had the inspired idea to adapt Georges Faydeau's classic French farce to the musical stage. And inspired it is. Opelka's music and lyrics have the stamp of a wonderfully original stylist and Helbig's book is a sprightly, very funny update of the 1907 play that is careful to preserve all its good-old-fashioned madcap qualities." New City (Chicago)