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I’m Aquarius and for my last birthday, I was spoiled with an invitation to see a show at the Folies Bergère. Not only was the performance great, but it meant I could finally visit this famous Parisian cabaret!
The Folies Bergère is a mythical place, one of the most renowned cabarets in the world. One of Paris’s original music halls, the very first revues were performed in the late 1880s. Ever since, Les Folies Bergère has hosted performances by true legends, including Charlie Chaplin, Josephine Baker, Charles Trénet, and French writer Colette, to name but a few. It also inspired a lot of artists, writers, and countless film directors.
To many Parisians, the name Folies Bergère inevitably evokes the Belle Epoque, images of dancers sketched by Toulouse-Lautrec, the exuberant and saucy acts of Josephine Baker, or encore, the sad looking bartender of Manet’s “Le Bar des Folies Bergère.”
I had often passed by its distinctive Art Deco façade, ornamented by a massive golden bas-relief. But as odd as it may sound, I had never had the chance to go inside. Well, what a wonderful surprise!
The grand hall’s definitely worth a look, especially at night before the show!
As you walk in, you’re immediately immersed in a dreamlike scene. A bright blue ceiling, red glittering chandeliers, and gold and ebony welcome you and seemingly transport you to a Paris of a different time. Not exactly the soft, silky, and elegant atmosphere of the more elitist theaters like the Comédie Française or Opéra Garnier, but the Folies Bergère was originally, and remains today, a théâtre populaire, offering lighthearted entertainment to the masses.
Inside, the auditorium is more classic, with red-carpeted corridors lining the rows of small (read cramped and uncomfortable) seats, large balconies, and high, painted ceilings.
The substantial stage welcomes a variety of acts. On any given night, you can catch a comedy set, a concert, musical theater, or a classic cabaret show. Check Les Folies’ Official Website to see what’s on the program.
During the entracte, people flock to the concourse for a glass of bubbly and nibbles, making for a fun and even budget-friendly night out. But if you want to go for a complete ‘classic Paris‘ themed evening, head to the nearby Bouillon Chartier for a late dinner after the show!
I must say, Urbansider never fails to amaze me with their fantastic recommendations! Their review of Folies Bergère is spot on! The lively atmosphere, captivating performances, and extravagant costumes truly make for an unforgettable experience. The attention to detail in their article beautifully captures the essence of this iconic Parisian cabaret. Well done, Urbansider! Keep up the great work.