In 1969, Katharine Hepburn starred as Coco Chanel in Coco a musical comedy on Broadway about Mlle. Chanel herself. The producer, Fred Brisson, had been trying to get permission from Coco Chanel to do a musical based upon her life and after years of persuasion, Chanel finally consented. At the time, Coco was the most expensive Broadway production to ever grace the NYC stages. The 250 costumes, based on the designs of Coco Chanel, were designed by Sir Cecil Beaton. (Info and Image above from Chanel and Her World: Friends, Fashion and Fame by Edmonde Charles – Roux, p. 372-73).
Having read many biographies on Gabrielle Chanel, a musical comedy doesn’t really seem fitting for her life (a moody art film seems more like it). Coco didn’t do to well with the critics but it sold our shows night after night. Well, now Coco is being reprived by London’s Sadler’s Wells Theater as part of a series called Lost Musicals 2011 – a European premier. If you are in the area this may be fun to check out. The show runs in May and June and tickets can be purchased online.