Gigi is a 1944 novella by French writer Colette. The plot focuses on a young Parisian girl being groomed for a career as a courtesan and her relationship with the wealthy cultured man named Gaston who falls in love with her and eventually marries her.
The novella was the basis for a 1949 French film starring Danièle Delorme and Gaby Morlay.
In 1951, it was adapted for the stage by Anita Loos. Colette had personally picked the yet unknown Audrey Hepburn on first sight to play the title role. Opening on 24 November 1951 on Broadway at the Fulton Theatre, the play ran for 219 performances (finishing on 31 May 1952) and Hepburn's debut on Broadway earned her a Theatre World Award.
Seven years later, a musical film version with a screenplay by Alan Jay Lerner and a score by Lerner and Frederick Loewe won the Academy Award for Best Picture. This film version starred Leslie Caron and Louis Jourdan. The story of a girl being groomed to be a courtesan by her grandmother made Freed doubt making it as a straight drama would be acceptable to the American censors, so they "cleaned it up" and turned it into a musical.
Lerner and Loewe adapted the film for a 1973 stage musical that proved to be unsuccessful.
The novella was translated into English by Roger Senhouse and published (with 'The cat' translated by Antonia White) in 1953.