I would like to be here.
I would like to be there.
I would like to everywhere at once;
I know that's a contradiction in terms.
And it's a problem,
My body's clearing forty
As my mind is nearing ten.
A 1982 musical adaptation of Federico Fellini's classic 8½
was conceived by librettists Arthur Kopit and Mario Fratti, and songwriter Maury Yeston. The story is that of world-famous film writer/director Guido Contini, a man who's facing a midlife crisis on many fronts as he turns forty. On one hand, he can't come up with a script for his latest film. On another hand, his marriage to his wife Luisa is on shaky ground. Factor in the other women
in his life, including his mistress, his confidant and costume designer, his film star muse, and his mother, and Guido's got some
Not to be confused with the film 9
, which came out three months before Nine's film version was released.
This show and film feature examples of:
- Age Lift: For the film version, Guido's age was changed to fifty. (Daniel Day-Lewis was 52 in 2009, when the film was released.)
- All Musicals Are Adaptations
- All-Star Cast: The movie stars Daniel Day-Lewis, Marion Cotillard, Penelope Cruz, Judi Dench, Nicole Kidman, Sophia Loren, Kate Hudson and... Stacy Ferguson of the Black Eyed Peas (aka Fergie). The first six are Oscar winners. Didn't stop most critics from panning it.
- All Take and No Give: Guido.
- The Casanova: Deconstructed (although Guido is definitely more in the Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places category) and lampshaded with Guido's film, a filmed opera version about the Trope Namer starring Guido himself that resembles Gudio's own life a little too closely.
- Coming of Age Story: As Guido turns forty, he looks back on his life and realizes it's finally time to grow up.
- Downer Ending: Guido's film, and his marriage, both die.
- Bittersweet Ending: In the 2003 revival, Luisa embraces Guido just as the curtain falls.
- In the film version, Luisa sneaks onto the set and hides in the shadows as Guido makes his newest film.
- Beard of Sorrow: In the movie.
- Driven to Suicide: Guido nearly ends his life after his midlife crisis overwhelms him, but he is stopped by his nine-year-old self. This is absent in the film version.
- In the film version, it is Carla who nearly ends her life after Guido rejects her.
- The Eleven O'Clock Number: "Getting Tall"
- Epic Movie: In universe, Italia seems to be that kind of film.
- Even the Girls Want Her: If you weren't a fan of Penelope Cruz before A Call to the Vatican, you will be.
- Ghost Song: Technically, anything Mama Contini sings. The film version's "Guarda la Luna" counts especially.
- Intercourse with You
- "I Want" Song / I Am Song: "Guido's Song".
- Movie Bonus Song: Three of 'em!
- "Cinema Italiano", a solo for Stephanie Necrophorus, establishing both her character and the popularity of Italian movies in the 1960s for the audience's benefit.
- "Guarda la Luna", replacing the show's song as the solo for Guido's mother. Based on the "Waltz for Nine" instrumental from the second act.
- "Take It All", which replaces Luisa's "Be On Your Own", since Yeston believed the latter to be to inactive and stage-y for film. Originally conceived as a trio for her, Carla, and Claudia.
- My God, What Have I Done?: He realizes what a jerk he's been, and says the line, when Luisa leaves him and the film dies.
- Oscar Bait: Oh yes, very much so. In fact, take a look at the film's cast: All but two of the film's main stars have won Oscars. That's to say nothing of the Oscar winners and nominees on the crew. In the end, it could only manage four nominations at the Oscars, far less than the thirteen raked in by Chicago seven years earlier.
- Patter Song: "Contini Submits", Stephanie Necrophorus' section of "Follies Bergeres".
- Prima Donna Director: Guido.
- Screen-to-Stage Adaptation: And back again with Rob Marshall's film.
- Show Within a Show: Guido's film of Casanova.
- Solo Duet: Lampshaded by Guido during his I Am Song as he sings how much he'd "like another me to travel along with myself/I would like to be able to sing a duet with myself."
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Luisa delivers one very powerful one imbetween lines of her song "Take it All" Thank you...for reminding me I'm not special. You don't even see what you do. Even the moments I think are ours, it's just you working to get what you want... You're just an appetite, and if you stop being greedy you die. You take everything and I'm empty. You know, I'm glad I came. I can see now it's hopeless.
- Troubled Production: In-universe. The production of Guido's future masterpiece Italia is, to put it very mildly, a living hell: no script, no cast, outrageous sets and costumes, and one crazy director.