Triumph of Love (musical)

Triumph of Love is a musical with a book by James Magruder, lyrics by Susan Birkenhead, and music by Jeffrey Stock.

Triumph of Love
MusicJeffrey Stock
LyricsSusan Birkenhead
BookJames Magruder
Basis1732 Pierre de Marivaux
commedia dell'arte play
Le Triomphe de l'Amour
Productions1997 Broadway


Resembling a chamber musical more than a traditional book musical, it is based on the 1732 Pierre de Marivaux commedia dell'arte play Le Triomphe de l'Amour and centers on Spartan princess Léonide, whose love for Agis is complicated by the fact her throne was wrongfully wrested by her family from the object of her affection. Agis has been raised an educated man ruled by reason rather than passion by his uncle Hermocrates and his aunt Hesione. The princess, conspiring with her servant Corine, disguises herself as Phocion in order to infiltrate the guarded "men-only" palace compound occupied by Agis, who is plotting her assassination. Complications ensue when both Agis and Hermocrates separately guess her secret, and she tells the former she's Cécile, on the lam from an undesirable paramour, and to the latter claims to be Aspasie, who wishes to study philosophy with him. Adding to the convoluted plot are Hermocrates' valet Harlequin and gardener Dimas.


Triumph of Love opened on Broadway on October 23, 1997 at the Royale Theatre, where it ran for 85 performances and 30 previews.[1] The musical was directed by Michael Mayer and choreographed by Doug Varone. The cast included Susan Egan as Léonide, Christopher Sieber as Agis, F. Murray Abraham as Hermocrates, Betty Buckley as Hesione, Nancy Opel as Corine, Roger Bart as Harlequin, and Kevin Chamberlin as Dimas.[1] Comedian Elayne Boosler had been announced to play Corine but dropped out during rehearsals due to creative differences.[2]

An original cast recording was released by Jay Records. As a bonus track, it included Buckley's cut solo from Act II, "If I Cannot Love."



Critical response

The Variety reviewer called the musical "Modest in everything but talent and charm, this chamber-size comedy just might have the sass to take its place alongside the season’s big-budget lions."[4]

Original Broadway production

Year Award Category Nominee Result
1998 Tony Award Best Actress in a Musical Betty Buckley Nominated
Drama Desk Award Outstanding Featured Actress Actress in a Musical Nominated
Outstanding Lyrics Susan Birkenhead Nominated
Outstanding Costume Design Catherine Zuber Nominated
Drama League Award Distinguished Production of a Musical Nominated

See also


  1. "'Triumph of Love' Broadway" Playbill (vault), accessed March 28, 2016
  2. "COMINGS AND GOINGS: Elayne Boosler Says Bye-Bye Love" Playbill, August 27, 1997
  3. "'Triumph of Love' Listing", accessed March 28, 2016
  4. Evans, Greg. "Review: ‘Triumph of Love’" Variety, November 1, 1997
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