To recap, it's a sort of Shakespeare-by-way-of-Tim Burton love story involving three couples, told entirely via classic French songs. It is incredibly fun to see how these songs are used in the context--(pop culture is referenced way too rarely in contemporary French entertainment if you ask me)—and thus, almost every song garners an appreciative laugh as it begins.
If you grew up in France, and you see it and don’t like it, well then I don’t know you anymore. And if you are newer to France, than all those damned hours of listening to reinterpreted Goldman songs on Star Ac will have finally payed off!
Here is some video that I took stealthily from the front row (the camera was in my lap, sorry for the weird angle). The first one includes a blond who is very well known (to me) as Stephanie from Star Ac fall 2003.
[Tangent: I basically learned french from that particular Star Ac season, the one with Stephanie. The show was playing during my first six weeks in France. Sure, I was also taking classes at the Alliance Francaise, and sure I had studied five years of French in high school, but I learned waaay more from Elodie and Patchi and Stephanie then at any other point in my life. Within a few weeks I was all, "Beh, chui contente, quoi."]
Here is clip of Total Eclipse of the Heart in French, because how could I not show you a clip of Total Eclipse of the Heart in French? My heart is too big. And not diminished by any eclipse at all.
And here is the final song (or actually the reprise of the final song, as they had to sing it again because the audience wouldn’t stop applauding—potential producers, are you listening?).
Now, for a word about the costumes. Because they have hired the super talented Mariannick Poulhes, who sews for couture houses and the Opera Garnier and has worked on films like Arsene Lupin with Romain Duris. We met up before the show and I asked if I could take a picture of this dress, my favorite dress in the show, which she says is very "maitresse de pension" and I say is very Rochas, non?
Her inspirations for the costumes ran from Ballroom Dancing, to Lemony Snicket and Edward Scissorhands, to the squeaky clean 1950’s famille "qui fait propre sur elle." I personally love Circe’s costume below, which Mariannick describes as "half bride, half Moulin Rouge."
I took this one before the show (the cast was having a photo shoot).
I was interested in where Mariannick buys her fabrics, was there a secret industy fabric source? But no, she goes to the Marche de Saint-Pierre, in Montmartre like everybody else. But then she said that she bought Alceste’s vest at the Marche du Clignacourt, at the opening part where the young people shop for Converse and fake bling jewerly.
But the funniest place where she sourced a costume was from her own body, right before show. JB, the director / sometimes actor in the show had taken his socks home to wash them and left them there. Since he wears short trousers, the socks are an important part of his costume and he couldn’t really go on in athletic socks. It was a sock catastrophe. Until Mariannick remembered she was wearing grey tights and went into the dressing room to peel off the stockings from her legs for him… Commitment!
As the show was about to start, I asked her what her next project would be and she told me something very sad: she was called upon to work on costumes for the new Chanel movie, but she already had a job this winter at Opera Garnier. It’s a good situation to be in, being able to say no to work, but as Mariannick said, "You never, never, want to have to say no to the Chanel movie!"