Jump to navigation Jump to search

Zaza is a French play in 5 acts by Pierre Berton (1842-1912)[1] and Charles Simon (1850-1910)[2]

The original text

A play about a prostitute who becomes a music hall entertainer and the mistress of a married man.

Originally performed at the Théâtre du Vaudeville in Paris, in May 1898.

Translations and adaptations

Translated and adapted into English by David Belasco (1853-1931)[3], who produced it at the Lafayette Square Opera House in Washington, D.C., in December 1898, and then at the Garrick Theatre in New York in January 1899.

The play was the source material for the 1900 opera Zazà by Ruggero Leoncavallo ().

Also filmed a number of times.[4]

Performance history in South Africa

1903: Performed in English as Zaza by Mrs Lewis Waller (Florence West)[5] in the Good Hope Theatre, Cape Town, under the auspices of the Wheeler Brothers, opening on 2 March.


D.C. Boonzaier, 1923. "My playgoing days – 30 years in the history of the Cape Town stage", in SA Review, 9 March and 24 August 1932. (Reprinted in Bosman 1980: pp. 374-439.)

F.C.L. Bosman. 1980. Drama en Toneel in Suid-Afrika, Deel II, 1856-1912. Pretoria: J.L. van Schaik: p.413

Go to ESAT Bibliography

Return to

Return to PLAYS I: Original SA plays

Return to PLAYS II: Foreign plays

Return to PLAYS III: Collections

Return to PLAYS IV: Pageants and public performances

Return to South African Festivals and Competitions

Return to The ESAT Entries

Return to Main Page