Carnival is a stage musical, based on the film Lili.



A lone figure, Jacquot, is playing "Love Makes the World Go 'Round" on a concertina. Gradually, the other carnival members arrive and parade their colorful banners and bright costumes. Lili, an optimistic orphan, enters the gift caravan in hope of a job, but instead Gobert, the souvenir salesman, tries to sexually assault her. Marco the Magnificent, a magician, enters as Lili escapes from Gobert, and performs a magic trick, which enchants Lili so much that she falls in love with him. He invites her to his trailer and charms her. She agrees to participate in one of his magic tricks and leaves to explore more of the carnival happily.

In another part of the carnival Paul Berthalet, a lonely, bitter and crippled puppeteer, is unhappy with life. Humiliated, she prepares to leave, but is stopped by a small redheaded puppet named Carrot Top. Lili meets the three other puppets: Horrible Henry, Marguerite, and Reynardo the Fox. After singing a song to comfort Horrible Henry, Lili decides to join the puppet act. When she leaves, it is revealed that Paul is the puppeteer. The puppet act becomes a hit, starting with the song "Yum Ticky" and then grander songs like "The Rich" and "Beautiful Candy". Paul notices that he pays a lot of attention to Lili and curses his obsession with her face, only to realize the emotion he's feeling is love. All the same, he treats her with increasing cruelty but increasing care through his four alter egos. Jacquot sees that the carnival is gaining popularity and predicts that the carnival will soon be "The Grand Imperial Cirque De Paris". Paul is frustrated and while practicing with Lili, corrects her every move and executes a dance step miserably, causing him to fall. When Lili runs to help him, he kisses her. Lili is shocked, angry and confused. They run to opposite sides as Lili proclaims he's the first person she's ever hated while Paul realises his love.

Meanwhile Marco practices a magic trick with his partner, The Incomparable Rosalie, who has threatened to leave him for a doctor. They pledge their love. Paul sings about his love with "She's My Love". Lili, stressed, prepares to leave the carnival. The carnival, too, is moving to a new town. Carrot Top appears asking her if she will leave without saying goodbye. She sees the puppet is trembling, and lifts the puppet off to reveal Paul's hand. She brings him out of the puppet stand. As Paul confesses, she begins to understand the kindness in him and together they follow the carnival.

Musical numbersEdit

Act I
  • "Direct from Vienna" – The Incomparable Rosalie, Greta Schlegel and Carnival People
  • "A Very Nice Man" – Lili
  • "Fairyland" – Puppets
  • "I've Got to Find a Reason" – Paul Berthalet
  • "Mira" – Lili
  • "Sword, Rose and Cape" – Marco the Magnificent and Roustabouts
  • "Humming" – The Incomparable Rosalie and Mr. Schlegel
  • "Yes, My Heart" – Lili and Roustabouts
  • "Everybody Likes You" – Paul Berthalet
  • "Magic, Magic" – Marco the Magnificent, The Incomparable Rosalie and Lili
  • "Tanz Mit Mir" – The Bluebird Girls
  • "Carnival Ballet" – Lili, Carnival People and Townspeople
  • "Mira" (Reprise) – Lili
  • "Love Makes the World Go 'Round" – Lili and Puppets
Act II
  • "Yum Ticky" – Lili and Puppets
  • "The Rich" – Lili and Puppets
  • "Love Makes the World Go 'Round" (Reprise) – Lili and Puppets
  • "Beautiful Candy" – Lili, Puppets and Vendors
  • "Her Face" – Paul Berthalet
  • "Grand Imperial Cirque de Paris" – Jacquot and Carnival People
  • "I Hate Him" – Lili
  • "Grand Imperial Cirque de Paris" (Reprise) – Carnival People
  • "Always Always You" – Marco the Magnificent and The Incomparable Rosalie
  • "She's My Love" – Paul Berthalet