Category Archives: theater

Dance in Paris streets with “Paris Quartier d’été”

Up to August 16, Paris quartier d’été presents all kind of dance shows: ballet, modern dance, circus, experimental dancing…in different places like Tuileries Garden, piazza in front of Centre Pompidou Museum, Palais Royal Gardens…

Tickets available Wednesday to Saturday 15 to 19 place Colette (square in front of Palais Royal gates), 75001 Paris, Métro Palais Royal.

More information and program : dial 33(0) 1 44 94 98 00 or go to : www.quartierdete.com/

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News from Paris Palais-Royal

Daniel Buren got really angry this winter about his Palais-Royal columns deterioration and the state’s reluctance to start any restoration. He went so mad that he threatened to remove and destroy his creation.

At this point, last January, Christine Albanel, who is in charge of cultural issues, came to him and promised that restoration works would start within a month.

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So I came back to Palais-Royal this February, and guess what ? Mrs Albanel kept her word.

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Buren’s columns are not the only modern installation in Palais-Royal.

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The two fountains by Pol Bury are less controversial. On sunny days, the metal balls reflect the garden’s classic columns.

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And it’s also fun to play with your own reflection.

Behind the colonnade, the gates open on the proper Palais-Royal gardens and its classical statues.

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People sit in the winter sun

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Girls chat by the classical fountain

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And on a side row, Gaïa, Mother Earth, is watching the place: it is the last remain of an exhibition of modern sculpture on mythological themes by a young Greek artist, Vana Xenou.

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You can go in or leave Palais-Royal gardens by the side arcades, west on rue Montpensier.

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Going up rue de Montpensier, you will find the Palais-Royal theater, playing mostly comedies. Now showing, up to March 1, a play (in French) by Woody Allen “Puzzle”. It’s a lovely eighteenth century theater.

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and next to it, on rue de Beaujolais, the Grand Véfour restaurant.

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It also offers a beautiful eighteenth century setting.

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And it is one the best Paris restaurants, 3 stars on guide Michelin and 18/20 on Gault et Millau, two major French guides for hotels and restaurants. Of course, it’s also quite expensive. 88 euros (lunch only), large menu 268 euros, carte about 200/220 euros.

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Jardins du Palais-Royal, colonnes de Buren and fontaines de Pol Bury : enter place Colette, Metro Palais-Royal.

Théâtre du Palais- Royal, 38 rue Montpensier 75001 Paris, tel 33(0)1 42 97 40 00. Tuesday to Friday show at 20.30, Saturday 17 and 21. Programs, reservation and virtual visit on : http://www.theatrepalaisroyal.com/

Restaurant le Grand Véfour 17 rue de Beaujolais Metro Palais-Royal, tel 33(0)1 42 96 56 27, fax 33(0)1 42 86 80 71. Closed Friday evening, Saturday and Sunday, April 10 to 17, all August and December 24 to 31. Reservation, all information and visit on : http://www.grand-vefour.com/

Paris Montmartre for newcomers

If you really want to feel like a regular tourist, the easiest way to visit Montmartre is to take a 40 minutes tour on the little city train.

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You will take it place Blanche, and it will get you back there, next to the Moulin Rouge which is the last of Montmartre legendary cabarets.

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The other ones no longer exist except on posters.

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Another way to start visiting Montmartre could be to come to light at Metro Abbesses, on the lovely place des Abbesses,

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If you don’t feel like walking all the way up, go the “funiculaire” station, and wait for it to come listening to the inevitable accordionist.

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For a bus or metro ticket, it will take you up to the Sacré Coeur.

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But you might as well walk around.

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For example, take rue des Abbesses and rue d’Orsel, up to the charming place Charles Dullin, where the théâtre de l’Atelier stands, which besides being pretty and in a nice setting also often shows good plays.

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Going up rue des trois Frères, you can stop for lunch or for a drink at the Progrès. If you can get a table, you’ll notice that some of the customers are French, and even Parisians, which is not the case of all Montmartre cafés.

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Now you might feel strong enough to climb up the stairs, which is the hardest but the nicest way to get uphill.

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Being on top of butte Montmartre,The Sacré-Coeur church is part of Paris scenery.

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This huge white ugly church was built “to expiate the crimes of the communards “, number of which died on the spot, and in memory of French soldiers killed in the war against Prussians. Though it’s edification started in 1875, it was not finished until 1914, and consecrated only in 1919, and all the way it had a warlike, revenge, anti-German purpose, and I always think of it as unpleasant, though it’s very popular. But of course, sitting on the stairs back to it, you can’t see it, but you have a view on Paris.

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I prefer to walk in the little garden below where stands a statue of Chevalier de la Barre, an unfortunate nineteen years old boy who got sentenced to death and tortured in 1766 for not taking his hat off in front of a procession. Voltaire wrote about this terrible case, and had to to run away to Switzerland not to be convicted of crime. French Revolution rehabilitated Chevalier de la Barre who has become ever since a symbol for all atheist groups.

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Don’t bother to visit place du Tertre, it’s impossible even to look at it, for all space is completely filled with stalls selling junks and daubs and people offering to paint your portrait. I should advise you to refuse, and go by without stopping at any café or restaurant.

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But close to it are lovely little quiet streets.

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A peaceful public square with its strange statue of Saint-Denis holding his chopped head in his hands.

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Place Marcel Aymé, Jean Marais carved version of the author’s “Passe Muraille“(Man getting through walls) seems ready to shoot in soccer ball.

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It’s closed to wealthy and secured places.

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At this Avenue Junot corner, film maker Claude Lelouch has opened “Cine 13, a place where you can show or look at films or theater plays, and have a drink.

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If you look closer, you’ll discover on the wall this lovely art-deco figures mingled with branches.

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Go back down by rue Ravignan and place Emile Goudeau where there is nothing left of the “Bateau Lavoir” where Picasso spent evenings with Max Jacob, Apollinaire and Douanier Rousseau. It’s a pretty place, though.

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If you wish to feel what this long lost time of artists life in Montmartre was like, I strongly recommend you to read Dan Franck‘s “Bohèmes“, subtitle : “Modern Art adventurers (1900-1930)”.

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I don’t know whether it has been translated in English, but it’s quiet easy to read in French. It’s available in paperback “livre de poche n°30695)

And go to the Orangerie Museum to look at Utrillo‘s ideal Montmartre.

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utrillorue-ravignan.jpgrue Ravignan 1910

“Petit train de Montmartre”everyday 10 to 18, one departure every hour place Blanche, tour 40′, see information at : http://www.parisinfo.com/visite-paris/excursions-1/en-bus-minibus-ou-train-touristique/professionnels/100225/promotrain-les-petits-trains-de-montmartre

All about Moulin Rouge, programs and reservation at :http://www.moulinrouge.fr/home-fr.html

Théâtre de l’Atelier, 1 place Charles Dullin, 75018 Paris, Métro Anvers, tel 33 (0)1 46 06 49 24, programs and reservation at : http://www.theatre-atelier.com/accueil.html

Café restaurant “le Progrès” 7 rue des 3 frères, 75018 Paris tel 33(0)142 51 33 33 Reservation 33(0)1 42 64 07 37

More about “Ciné 13” at : http://www.cine13.com/

And Montmartre has its website : http://www.montmartrenet.com/

Paris : half-price theater tickets

If you understand French, you might be interested in attending a theater play or a one man show. Two places in Paris offer half price tickets for the evening shows.

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One is located on Montparnasse square and the other place de la Madeleine, close to the church, opposite to Hédiard.

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To get an idea about running plays and shows, you can look at l’Officiel des Spectacles (0,35 euros) or Pariscope. You’ll also find, in both papers, films, concerts and exhibitions programs. (I prefer l’Officiel ). They’re published on Wednesday, because new films are released on Wednesday, but you can find either one throughout the week. It can help you make a choice between the night available shows.

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Several websites also offer to book theater places at bargain prices, but not for the day. For example, http://www.theatreonline.com/guide/home_guide.asp?gclid=CILztZK8348CFQbclAodJDDF1g

or : http://ticketac.com/?gclid=CMe3pLO9348CFRL6EAodEkxngA