Ocelot turns ‘Kirikou’ into musical

Bosch, Brunner producing show

PARIS — Michel Ocelot’s hit Gallic toon “Kirikou and the Sorceress” is being turned into a stage musical.

The Euros 4.5 million ($6 million) production, due to begin rehearsals next month, is being produced by theater impresario Victor Bosch and Didier Brunner, the producer of the two “Kirikou” films.

France Televisions Distribution and EMI are co-producing, and handling DVD and music sales respectively.

Ocelot, who invented the character of the little African boy and wrote and directed the films, wrote the libretto of “Kirikou and Karaba,” the musical.

Ocelot also penned the lyrics to new songs for the stage version, which will contain 10 titles in all. As with the movies, the music is written and performed by the likes of Youssou N’Dour and Malian songstress Rokia Traoure.

The musical is choreographed and directed by Wayne McGregor.

The “Kirikou” films were a phenom in France, where they grossed more than Euros 20 million ($27 million) at the box office, and the producers hope the show will have the same success in a 100 day run at the Casino de Paris, starting October 3, before a nationwide tour.

First, the young unknowns toplining the show will be put through their paces in a short run in the Southern French city of Lyon, where Bosch, the man behind “Notre Dame de Paris,” is based.

“Kirikou and Karaba” will be up against another African-themed stage adaptation, “The Lion King”; which also opens this fall but Bosch said he wasn’t worried about the competition.

“I think the two musicals will create buzz for one another. Africa will be in,” he predicted.

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