A 1978 Franco-Quebecois Rock Opera
with music by Michel Berger and lyrics by Luc Plamondon. While various versions have been produced through the years, the basic plot runs as follows:Twenty Minutes into the Future
, the West (comprising the Americas, Europe, North Africa, Russia and Japan) has united as the new country, and Zero Janvier, president of the biggest Mega Corp.
in "The Occident" (as the new country is known) is now campaigning to become President. The chief plank in his platform is a promise to eliminate the terrorist group
Les Etoiles Noires (the Black Stars) and their leader Johnny Rockfort, and to this end he has convinced the Etoiles' information broker Sadia
to secretly work for him instead while he also courts the retiring film star Stella Spotlight. Johnny Rockfort's own plans involve the kidnapping of television sweetheart Cristal, but his heart starts beating to a new rhythm when he falls in love with her instead
. Overlooking all of this is Marie-Jeanne
, who's a waitress in the Underground Cafe where the Etoiles Noires meet, and her friend Ziggy, an obsessive David Bowie
fan whose dearest wish is to get to be a disc jockey on Cristal's music program Starmania
Includes examples of:
- Ambiguous Gender: Sadia, in theory anyway. In practice she's repeatedly described as a "daughter of the upper classes" and is usually costumed as an obviously female, if slightly butch, punk girl, despite her crowing "but I'm not a woman/I'm a transvestite".
- Bourgeois Bohemian: The Grand Guru, Zero Janvier's opponent in the presidential elections. Lest you get the mistaken idea that there are any nice people besides Marie-Jeanne and possibly Ziggy (whose biggest sin is ambitions of stardom) in this world, the Guru's platform, in contrast to Janvier's plans for martial law, was all about violence and destruction in hopes of forcing humanity to start over again. The character has since been deleted from the show.
- Crapsack World
- Does This Remind You of Anything?: Zero Janvier expounds at great length upon how becoming an evil, free-world-conquering bastard was his second career choice after he realized he'd never be a great artist. (Also, the man owns a nightclub called Naziland. It's not exactly subtle.)
- Downer Ending: Zero Janvier wins the election, Johnny and Crystal make a terrorist attack on the Naziland, presumably killing Ziggy who finally was on his way to stardom by getting a DJ job in the club, Crystal dies in the police chase following the terrorist assault (in some versions, Johnny is also heavily wounded, and it is hinted that he will not make it), Stella leaves Zero after he made clear that she was no longer of use to him, and goes back to her alcoholic ex-idol life, and Marie-Jeanne turns to drugs to escape reality (this one is subtle, but is a possible interpretation of her final song, "the world is stone". That, and the fact that Marie-Jeanne litteraly translates to Marijuana). Sadia is unheard of but probably suffered the same fate that Ziggy, being in the club shortly before.
- Gray and Grey Morality
- Heel-Face Turn: Johnny Rockfort falls hard and fast for Cristal after he and Sadia abduct her, and this makes him realize that he'd rather build a new, better world with and for her than simply wreck the old one. Too bad Cristal's decided she's totally fine with destruction now herself...
- "I Am" Song: "A Child of Pollution", "The Ballad of the Automatic Waitress", "The Northern Suburbs"
- Every character (except Crystal) has one:
- "Ziggy's Song": Ziggy
- "A Child of Pollution": Johnny
- "Working girl (The Ballad of the Automatic Waitress)": Marie-Jeanne
- "Nobody chooses (The Northern Suburbs)": Johnny
- "The Businessman's Blues": Zero
- "Farewell To A Sex Symbol": Stella
- "You get what you deserve": Sadia
- "Do you want to play with me" was Crystal's, but the song is cut from most of the adaptation.
- Incompatible Orientation: Marie-Jeanne is in love with Ziggy, who's gay. She even spends a little time in her song "A Boy Unlike The Others" wishing she could be a boy for him.
- Stockholm Syndrome: Cristal takes to being one of Les Etoiles Noires quite eagerly, to the point of becoming a more enthusiastic terrorist than Johnny himself (much to the trying-to-reform Johnny's chagrin).
- White-Dwarf Starlet: Stella's on a sort of in-between spot where this trope is concerned; she's become a bit of a joke for still claiming she's 39, but is still a popular actress retiring on her own terms rather than because her roles are dwindling.
- The Woobie: Oh, Marie-Jeanne.