Don Sheppard portrays the international show-business legend in “live” performances Chevalier’s fans would have loved to see.
“Maurice” shares his personal account of how his career evolved and sings many songs he popularized through the years. He even sings some of his French hits in English -- for the very first time!
Act One takes place at the Henry Miller's theater in NYC in 1947, when he returns to the US after a twelve-year absence. He refers to his Hollywood career, tells us interesting facts about his life and loves, and pays a tribute to his movie partner, Jeanette MacDonald, with whom he made four hit movies.
Act Two takes place at Lincoln Center in Philharmonic Hall in 1967 when he is touring 80 special cities worldwide, giving his farewell performances to his many adoring fans. He talks about his first and second Hollywood careers, tells funny stories, and regales his audience with his hits, including those from his best-known movie, the highly-acclaimed, Academy Award winning "Gigi."
We also get the thrill of hearing his audience’s enthusiastic reactions to the beloved icon, who became as much of a symbol of France to the world as the Eiffel Tower.
Maurice Chevalier was arguably the greatest international entertainer of the 20th century. His story is a spicy "rags to riches" epic which starts in a very poor section of Paris called Menilmontant, but evolves into a long, history-making career of almost 70 years in which he is celebrated and revered the world over.
Don Sheppard as Maurice Chevalier, with Musical Director Khris Dodge conducting the Chevalier on Broadway "pit orchestra." All arrangements and orchestrations are by Khris Dodge. The Director is Glenda Morgan Brown. Book is by Don Sheppard and Glenda Morgan Brown. The Sound Engineer is Jim Brady. Recorded and mixed at Jim Brady Recording Studios in Tucson, Arizona.
We are very honored to have received a very warm and enthusiastic response from Maurice Chevalier's personal assistant and manager for the last 20 years of his long career, François Vals. François and his wife Madeleine toured with Maurice and his pianist throughout the world. François and Madeleine now live in the south of France, near Cannes.
With his permission, we are happy to quote François’ reaction to our CD tribute to Maurice Chevalier, translated from his letter written in French, on Aug. 20, 2006.
“Dear Don Sheppard,
… I will simply tell you that I felt goose bumps the first time that I heard our dear and great Maurice, the second time upon listening to the unique Judy Garland, and on Aug. 18, 2006 while relishing your recordings.
It’s really magnificent, moving, the way that you have brought back to life this great artist. You share with him, his spirit.
How have you been able to know Maurice so well. One gets the impression that you were close to him, knew him inside, in fact, that you have been his “homme de confiance” (trusted confidant) at the same time that you were a great performer.
Your English-French mixture is superb and the French lyrics are more than perfect.
I really liked “your Ménilmontant” and surprised also that you know that Charles (Trenet) wrote that song for Maurice.
“Chevalier on Broadway – an American tribute” what a wonderful response on the part of an American artist as talented as you, to our dear and great Maurice, who had written:
“ To all my American friends,
Having been liked for such a long time in America, is
the pride of my life.
7 – 4 – 70 ”
Cher Don Sheppard,
Merci pour tout (Thank you for everything)
et de tout mon coeur, (and with all my heart)
(signed) François Vals
BRAVO dear Don”
www.TalkinBroadway.com March 30, 2007
Rob Lester, CD reviewer
"...It's well honed and well researched. In this case, the performer sets out to truly impersonate the subject in all ways and mannerisms, and he succeeds quite well. The speaking voice's rhythms, singing voice, thick French accent, attitude, energy and flair are really there, cannily captured... Don does a very, very close Chevalier. The bonus tracks of him singing "Gigi" and "Isn't It Romantic" in his quite different, natural voice (smooth and unassumingly low-key) prove what a remarkable job he did. All the famous songs are here, a good retrospective."