A Look at Paris’ Theatre District – Part 2
Square and Théâtre Edouard VII
Built to honour Edward the 7th from England, known for his passion for Paris (as well as French women), the venue has welcomed them all: Meryl Streep, Picasso, Eartha Kitt, and Orson Welles. Its purpose was to celebrate Anglo-Franco relationships and show off Anglo-Saxon theatre and cinema. It makes some sense, therefore, that those who can speak English can enjoy a show here with English subtitles.
Musée du Parfum Fragonard
A boutique hotel in the style of Napoleon 11 designed by an individual who studied under Charles Garnier. The museum of luxurious perfume features scents of the Fragonard Perfume House. For anyone who’s seen just about every Paris museum there is, this offers an interesting alternative designed to appeal to two senses, in particular, with its wonderful fragrances and decor. You will learn how scents are combined with substances, such as fats to create perfume, and enjoy the displays of striking Schiaparelli and Lalique bottles.
Musée de la vie Romantique
A perfect combination of culture and romance, this museum is dedicated entirely to the arts. Hidden away in Paris’ 9th arrondissement, it features a postcard-perfect and romantic garden. The museum’s original owner was a Dutch painter by the name of Amy Scheffer, who was prominent in the 1800s and who enjoyed a close friendship with Louis Philippe I. There are a great number of romantic-era collections, in addition to memorabilia of memoirist and novelist George Sand, who had a reputation for her joy of romance, her literary ability, and her affairs with Musset and Chopin. Two annual temporary exhibitions are organised, in addition to concerts, children’s activities, and readings. There’s a seasonal tearoom in the garden open from March to October, offering a tasty snack.
A 10th arrondissement lush theatre known for providing Minstinguett’s big break. Minstinguett was the Belle Epoque’s highest-paid female performer. The small venue was previously a café théâtre, hosting popular comedy shows, improvisational theatre, cabaret, singing, and dance. Because they weren’t technically regarded as theatres, Paris’ café-concerts became extremely popular with the city, being regarded as something of an entertainment hub. In the 1970s and 1980s, a group of French actors known as the Troupe du Splendide put on a number of comedies for French cinema and theatre, building a reputation as France’s answer to Monty Python. They made Théâtre Splendid their home in 1974 and gave it its namesake; with the venue endearing itself even more in the hearts of Parisian theatre lovers.
Théâtre de la Porte St Martin
This venue, which was built in only two months, was commissioned by none other than Queen Marie Antoinette. It played host to numerous French shows, including Molière’s Tartuffe. While visitors of this great city may have chosen not to visit Parisian theatres, that is changing thanks to the revolutionary surtitling at a number of the venues in the entertainment district. An increasing number of shows offer subtitles and so are more accessible to Anglophone visitors or residents who regard themselves as art lovers.