A Look at Paris’ Theatre District – Part 1
A section of Paris that is popular and yet somewhat difficult to define is attracting a greater number of visitors, both locals and travellers. In fact, Paris’ thriving theatre scene is one of the best, and most overlooked, entertainment sources for visitors and expats alike.
While the area hasn’t been officially defined, it unofficially stretches from Opéra all the way up to the République Metro station. Let’s look at 10 places that are especially popular with visitors in what has been referred to as Paris’ theatre district
Harry’s New York Bar
Before seeing a show, take a stop at this U.S.-style bistro that literally came from the Big Apple. The bar’s interior was shipped from Manhattan to Paris in the early 1900’s. Should you decide to visit, you may find yourself sat in a seat where Ernest Hemingway or Coco Chanel once occupied. If it’s ambience you seek, you’ll find it in abundance here. It makes expats feel right at home and it bears a unique sense of both history and art. You’ll definitely want to try out the Pimms Royal.
If you’re a fan of architecture, this is an absolute must-visit. While slightly more modern, it’s every bit as breathtaking as some of the older buildings in the city. Berie Crewe, an esteemed English architect, designed the building, in addition to a number of other jaw-dropping European theatres, including the London Opera House, the Royal Hippodrome, and the Hoxton Hall. The Théâtre Mogador has long been dedicated to musicals such as Les Miserables, Beauty and the Beast, and Cats.
At this venue, you’ll come across a group of young theatre lovers, French artists, and sometimes, hipsters. The late-19th century venue showcases younger talent and French humorists. Among the more popular shows seen here in recent years are I Love Piaf, starring Karoline Rose, who featured in the Voice France. The play embodied the French icon in a contemporary way.
Théâtre des Variétés
This venue owes a debt of gratitude to one individual, in particular. Without the director of the Royal Theatre, Mademoiselle Montasier, the Théâtre des Variétés wouldn’t even exist. Her troupe of actors were let go by the Palais Royal’s theatre, allegedly due to owing the venue money.
Fortunately, Ms Montasier acquired an audience. She also had fans in high places as it was none other than Napoleon III who put her actors back to work and gave her her very own theatre: the Théâtre des Variétés. In 1880, the theatre gained recognition thanks to a book called Nana by Émile Zola. Within the book’s beginning chapters, the protagonist’s early success took place in the venue.
Likely Paris’s most risqué of hotels, the Maison Souquet was, at one time, a Belle Epoque Brothel before it was given a makeover and transformed into an authentic boutique hotel with a sexy angle. The venue is characterised by a private bar, sensual art, and mood lighting to bring out any visitor’s more playful side.