Aspects of Love is a musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber based on the novel by David Garnett of the same name. The picture at right is the show's original logo.
Roger Moore was contracted to appear in the original West End production as George, but dropped out during rehearsals stating that he was not up to it.
The London production closed in 1991 after a relatively short three-year run; the Broadway production lasted only eleven months after receiving very bad reviews (particularly a devastating pan in the New York Times by Frank Rich.) After the successes of Cats and The Phantom of the Opera it is regarded as a disappointment.
This Musical was nominated for 6 Tony Awards.
Aspects of Love is a character-driven play that begins at a train station at Pau in 1964. The 34-year-old Alex reflects on his love life over the past 17 years.
The play then flashes back to 1947, where 25-year-old starving actress Rose Vibert rants at her producer, Marcel, because the last show was an absolute flop. Marcel bails out by introducing her to an avid young fan, the 17-year-old Alex. Alex convinces her to come with him to his villa at Pau. It turns out that the villa belongs to Alex's uncle, George.
At an art exhibition in Paris, the 58-year-old George hears that Rose and Alex have broken into his villa and bids his current mistress, a young Italian sculptress named Giullietta Tripani, farewell. before leaving for Pau.
Alex and Rose explore the villa and come across a gown that had belonged to George's first wife, Delia. Later, George catches Rose and Alex acting out a play at his villa, but rather than being upset, simply starts a conversation. Rose is immediately attracted to George despite his age and leaves to dress for dinner. Meanwhile, George advises Alex to be wary of love. Rose reappears wearing Delia's gown. and George collapses at the sight. George recovers, then amuses Rose with tidbits about his life while a grumpy Alex listens. George leaves, and the next day, Rose tells Alex that Marcel needs her. After she leaves, Alex realizes that Rose had never taken him seriously.
Two years later. Alex, now a soldier, and a few friends visit a fairground in Paris before Alex departs to visit his uncle in Paris. The old housekeeper, Elizabeth, tells Alex that George is fixing up the villa in the country, but that the mistress was at home. Alex is shocked to find that Rose is George's current mistress and accuses her of being with him only because he's rich. Rose protests that she really loves George, and Alex calms down. Rose admits that she did love Alex once, and the two head for the bedroom. The next morning, an aggitated Rose yells at Alex to leave her, and Alex, enraged, pulls out his gun. Rose throws a candlestick at Alex, and the gun goes off, shooting Rose in the arm. George comes in, but is surprisingly calm. Rose faints, and Elizabeth takes her away. George and Alex each tries to convince the other that he is the right man for Rose. George wins the debate, then heads to Venice to reunite with Giullietta. Rose reappears, saying that she'd phoned Marcel to see Alex off. Alex is stunned by Rose's behavior, but leaves without a fuss. Rose and Marcel then follow George to Venice.
In Venice, George tells his version of events to Giullietta, who tells him that he'll never get over Rose. Suddenly, a number of people enter, demanding money from George, and Marcel explains that Rose had run up bills everywhere. George is exasperated by Rose's antics, but admits that he'd be lost without her. Later, Giullietta and Rose bond while discussing George's foibles. George comes in and says that he had lost most of his money. Rose then asks George to marry her, and he agrees. At the wedding, Giullietta shocks everyone by claiming her best man's rights and kissing Rose on the mouth. George, however, is delighted.
At a military encampment in Malaya some months later, Alex hears of the wedding, and that George will be a father soon. End of Act One.
Act Two opens some thirteen years later at a theater in Paris. Rose has risen to stardom, and her latest production was a hit. Marcel and the rest of the cast celebrate, but Rose insists that she must return to the villa at Pau and her family: her husband George and her 12-year-old daughter, Jenny. She tells her current young admirer and helper, Hugo, to help her prepare. Marcel then praises her, calling her the perfect leading lady, before reintroducing her to the 32-year-old Alex. Rose is delighted and insists that he come with her to Pau.
At the villa at Pau, George attempts to put Jenny to bed, but she is less than cooperative, excited by the prospect of her mother's return. She finally retreats, and George expresses his love for his little girl, saying that he would trade all the other pleasures of the world for her. Jenny then comes bursting in, saying that Rose had returned. George is delighted to see Alex, and Jenny, who has heard much about him, meets him for the first time. Rose and George insist that Alex should stay with them. George and Rose then leave. Jenny and Alex are left alone, and Jenny pretends that she's a mermaid.
Two years later. Jenny tackles Alex playfully, then leaves to dress for dinner. Alex suggests that Jenny needs a Paris education, which upsets Rose, who suspects that her daughter has developed an unhealthy crush on Alex. That evening at dinner, Jenny appears wearing Delia's gown. Everybody is alarmed, worried that George, who is in is 70s, would be unable to take the shock. However, George is delighted and dances with his daughter. Rose and Hugo then start dancing. Jenny tries to draw Alex into the dance, but Alex politely refuses. Later, Jenny and Alex are left alone, and Jenny finally convinces Alex to give her the last dance. Rose catches Jenny clasping Alex in a very adult fashion, and Alex leaves. Jenny tells her mother that Alex is the first to make her feel like a woman.
Later, Rose tells Alex that she'd had enough of whatever was going on between him and Jenny. Alex insists that he would never harm her and that it was all platonic. Later, Jenny tells Alex plainly that she was in love with him. She begs him to be honest, then kisses him on the mouth.
Meanwhile, George plans his wake, insisting that there should be dancing and fun, and that Giullietta should write his funeral oration. Rose tells him that he's being ridiculous, and that he was bound to outlive them all. George then worries about Jenny and Alex, saying that it is unnatural for a girl her age. Rose assures him that he is simply being overdramatic.
A circus in Paris. George, Rose, Alex, and Jenny are celebrating Jenny's fifteenth birthday. George is increasingly aggitated as he watches Jenny talking with Alex, finally breaking in impatiently. Alex leaves, not wanting to cause trouble. Jenny, upset leaves as well. Alex, Jenny, Rose, and George then simultaneously but separately reflect on love as they know it.
At night, Alex puts Jenny to bed, as he had promised earlier. Jenny tries to convince him that she's really in love with him, but Alex insists that they're just cousins. Jenny falls asleep, and Alex stays in her bedroom, reflecting upon his feelings for her. He reveals that he knows he must not love her, but cannot help but love her. A very paranoid George hears Alex in Jenny's room and is enraged, suspecting the worst. However, he collapses before he can burst in on them. Alex comes out of Jenny's room to find him dead on the floor.
At George's wake, Giullietta gives a very strange eulogy, saying that George believed in living life to the fullest. Impromptu dancing begins, becoming more and more frenzied. Rose reminds the funeral-goers that she is carrying out her husband's wishes. Giullietta meets Alex, and the two join the dance. The two are immediately attracted to each other as they wander away from the party. Jenny follows them, spying on them. Meanwhile, Marcel tries to comfort Rose, who is still upset about George's death.
The next morning, Giullietta and Alex in awaken in a hayloft. Alex, not wanting to be cruel, wonders how to end his relationship with Jenny. Giullietta tells him that the only cruelty would be to let her and Alex's moment die while leading Jenny on. Later, Jenny begs Alex not to leave her as he tries to explain that their relationship was unnatural. She reminds him that he was only seventeen when he met Rose, and that she was as old as Giulietta. She tells him that three years is not a lifetime and asks why he can't just wait for her to grow up. Rose appears and tells Jenny she must talk to Alex. Rose tells Alex that she'd rather be anything but lonely, and that she could still have a thousand lovers. However, she begs Alex not to leave her. Alex, unsure of how to reply, leaves.
A train station at Pau. As Alex and Giullietta wait for the train, Giullietta wonders what will happen in a few years, when Jenny becomes a woman. Alex, unable to reply, reflects on how love changes everything. End of Act Two.
Notable Musical Numbers