Home > 2011 Posts > Paris, Je T’aime

Paris, Je T’aime

Come on! We were in Paris. Of course we had to catch the show at the Moulin Rouge. Nicole would never forgive us. And besides, we got so much more than we paid for.

More? In addition to a table for two that almost touched the stage and a dazzling, original show, we got: a phalanx of Spetsnaz security, a skein of Japanese businessmen following the lead of their own mini-Shogun, a brief shot at stardom in my World Premier as a ventriloquist’s dummy, insight into ferociously predatory showgirls clawing their way up the theatrical food chain, and all this within an easy walk from our Montmartre apartment.

Moulin Rouge Marquis

The large cast worked their Moulin Magic in all ways during a fine show, with feathers and capes literally swirling against our cheeks and dozens of sequins flying off onto our table. Each young lady was more lovely and aloof than the next, with constant smiles on their lips and almost uniformly expressionless eyes. Costumes were gorgeous and flamboyant in a surprisingly tasteful way, especially considering that they omitted the top front part. Each male dancer was handsome, accomplished and observably less straight than the next. As is to be expected; straight male dancers are as rare in the theater world as white guys are in the NBA. In general, it’s a merit system focused on a narrow set of skills and some folks just end up doing better than others.

Three specific recollections from that night might be worth a few lines.

As we strolled up to the entrance on the Boulevard de Clichy, we were a little early and the only patrons out front. A dozen serious, burly young men in dark suits and small ear-pieces were dispersed under the marquis, each one carefully placed to observe the street and provide mutual covering fire as needed. The one at the podium was slightly older. He glanced at me and our ticket, then waved us inside with a tight smile and a gracious, Russian-tinged “Bienvenue!” My wife was a bit unsettled, but I was pleased. No one short of a French Special Forces platoon would even think about causing trouble here tonight with this Spetsnaz Reunion underway.

Inside, we were greeted warmly by man resembling the image in my mind’s eye of Hercule Poirot. I know, the Poirot character is Belgian, but still… . He wore a tuxedo with tails, and an understated gold watch chain draped across his fleur de lis patterned silk vest. Perhaps it was because we were well-dressed in Parisian style, or perhaps it was because we were a bit early, or more likely because my wife is so lovely that she more than makes up for my appearance, but in any case he led us to the only table for two right next to the thrust stage that projected into the theater. Then, with a brief glance over our heads, he caused champagne in an iced silver bucket to appear on the crisp white linen, together with two crystal flutes. We sipped, marveling at our good fortune and then shifted into people-watching mode.

Le Bal de Moulin Rouge is a lot of fun and a good value, especially if you are lucky enough to get some extra experiences similar to ours. I wouldn’t bring my 12 year old daughter to the show as one patron did, but 16 would probably be ok.


Incidentally, the title of this post, Paris, Je T’aime, is also the title of what we thought was the best song, among many good ones, in the show. This is the Moulin Rouge website.

Categories: 2011 Posts Tags: , ,
  1. April 1, 2011 at 7:32 am

    Thank you for the interesting story!

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