It’s rare to love a remake more than the original. Give me a book, a TV show, a movie, a musical, and invariable I love what was first most. Victor/Victoria, the 1995 stage production, is one of my few exceptions to that.
Really it has to do with Michael Nouri.
By the way, he doesn’t know Victor’s a woman at this point.
I really adore Michael Nouri for this song. He’s perfect in so many ways. And later when he just goes ‘fuck it’ and behaves like a queen, you want to hug him. He evokes the conflict way more for me than James Garner. He was just too … smug for me. Smarmy. But Michael grabs that internal “Oh holy god, am I gay?” so well that when he utters that famous line “I don’t care if you are a man.” you really believe him.
In only two ways do I prefer the movie to the musical.
- Shady Dame From Seville (the ‘you bitches’ line is missing)
- Robert Preston
It does make me sad to hear Julie Andrews trying to sing Le Jazz Hot in this musical though, as she has to take a ‘break’ in the middle to jump up that octave (I think? I’d ask my girlfriend, but she’s asleep). If you want to hear a mind-blowing version of that song, get the one Chris Colfer sings in Glee. He slides up exactly the way you’re supposed to, sounding as awesome as Julie did the first time I heard her sing it. I wish she still could. If someone has a link to the video of that, share!
The only real tragedy about the musical is Gregory Jbara, who plays Squash, only gets one singing line, and the man can belt! He actually gets an evocative ‘coming out’ moment, and we get to see him tell Toddy he’s gay, deal with the fall out with King, and fix it all back up.
“It’s not a crime to love each other.”
He sings, too.