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Cabaret

by riveras Online Now Mar 18, 2013 at 9:19 AM

I've read many bad reviews about the Cabaret shows in Paris (Moulin Rouge, Lido, Zebra,...). Can anyone recommend one that is more "authentic" and less of a tourist trap?

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17 Answers
  • riorich55's Profile Photo

    Re: Cabaret

    by riorich55 Online Now Mar 18, 2013 at 9:31 AM

    I've heard some good things about Chez Michou. My wife and I wanted to go on our last trip to Paris but ran out of time.

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  • pfsmalo's Profile Photo

    Re: Cabaret

    by pfsmalo Online Now Mar 18, 2013 at 9:34 AM

    If your French is good enough go to the "Lapin Agile" on the back of Montmartre. This not a sexy legs-up cabaret, more a poetry, song and comedian type of place. You'll still find some tourists there though.
    A place for a dance and some accordian music can be found on the rue de Lappe near the Bastille called the "Balajo"; less tourists here but it might not be sort of place you're looking for. Most of the "Cabarets chansonniers" have now gone, except for those that rely on the tourist trade, somewhat unfortunately.

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  • Re: Cabaret

    by jeanfinney Online Now Mar 18, 2013 at 9:44 AM

    Your question intrigued me so I did a quick search - check out guardian.co.uk/travel/2009/n... - sounds like a lot of fun....MIchou is drag queens, I believe? if you like that - but I think you better understand French well...

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  • Re: Cabaret

    by jeanfinney Online Now Mar 18, 2013 at 10:00 AM

    PS - I think avoiding Pigalle is a good rule to thumb - it is also rather raunchy and trashy....Paris deserves to be seen in its best light!

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  • pfsmalo's Profile Photo

    Re: Cabaret

    by pfsmalo Online Now Mar 18, 2013 at 10:09 AM

    I'm sorry to say Jean, but I think there is a lot of journalistic licence in that article. I've been in the Trois Mailletz three times and I've never seen anything as described in that article, not saying it doesn't happen, but that might have been an "invites only evening". In the main that is a piano-bar and does have some good jazz. On the opposite corner of rue Galande at no 52 is a bar that also has a cave where they have different types of live bands every night. One night jazz, next night soul, and so on, its called "Les Oubliettes".

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  • Re: Cabaret

    by jeanfinney Online Now Mar 18, 2013 at 10:57 AM

    OK, either she got lucky - it was late and maybe some fun people were hanging out there that night - or she just had to, well, get an article out...??? The search continues but those in the hip avant garde sort of know...might know....Well, the search continues...although I doubt if Pigalle is the answer to the quest!

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  • goodfish's Profile Photo

    Re: Cabaret

    by goodfish Online Now Mar 18, 2013 at 12:18 PM

    pfsmalo wrote:
    If your French is good enough go to the "Lapin Agile" on the back of Montmartre. This not a sexy legs-up cabaret, more a poetry, song and comedian type of place. You'll still find some tourists there though. A place for a dance and some accordian music can be found on the rue de Lappe near the Bastille called the "Balajo"; less tourists here but it might not be sort of place you're looking for. Most of the "Cabarets chansonniers" have now gone, except for those that rely on the tourist trade, somewhat unfortunately.

    Paul, I've read exactly what you've just said about  Lapin Agile many times: that it will only be enjoyable if you have a good command of French. Riveras, I'm wondering what exactly you are expecting of a cabaret show as there may be some which are  "authentic" but in a current way and not as they would have been a century ago. Like anything else, entertainment evolves. :O) 

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  • pfsmalo's Profile Photo

    Re: Cabaret

    by pfsmalo Online Now Mar 18, 2013 at 12:40 PM

    Thing is Kate, at the Lapin Agile, you never know what you are going to get. Could be a poetry reading or a comedian. If the jokes are poetry is in French, it's ok for 5 mins but after that you're not going to sit there just having a drink (no food here); Bit of singing and music will be ok, goes down in any language; It is very eclectic, the staff are good but it is not certain that everyone will enjoy it, although there are tourists as well.....

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  • goodfish's Profile Photo

    Re: Cabaret

    by goodfish Online Now Mar 18, 2013 at 12:49 PM

    Right: the reviews I read from non- French speakers seemed to be from those who landed in during comedy acts, skits, etc. that they were unable to understand. Music is fine in any language!

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  • GUYON's Profile Photo

    Re: Cabaret

    by GUYON Online Now Mar 18, 2013 at 1:02 PM

    I confess I have few experience of Cabaret.
    Moulin Rouge and Lido are tourist factories ans it is a pity to see the lines of foreigners waiting by the street to enter the Moulin Rouge as in a homeless shelter.
    Michou is pleasant but it is gay. That does not mean the whole spectators are gay. The cabaret is small and all the sits have not a view on the stage. Some spectators can see the show on a TV screen.
    The performance of many cabarets needs to understand French because there are several parts of humour.
    I suggest something different in attending the hillarious show of Olivier GIRAUD at the Theatre des Nouveautés 9e arrondissement : "How to become a parisian in one hour". It is completly in English (with a strong French accent which adds to the fun). The spectators are 75 pct French and foreigners for 25 pct. At the end of show, you can talk with Giraud who stayed in Florida several years and speaks a very good English. The reduced price is between 15 and 30 euros on the website ticketreduc.com

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  • Beausoleil's Profile Photo

    Re: Cabaret

    by Beausoleil Online Now Mar 18, 2013 at 1:53 PM

    Guyon, What a great idea. I've bookmarked it. Thanks.

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  • goodfish's Profile Photo

    Re: Cabaret

    by goodfish Online Now Mar 18, 2013 at 2:29 PM

    Sounds like fun to me! Wish we'd known about that one before our last trip. :)

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  • gwened's Profile Photo

    Re: Cabaret

    by gwened Online Now Mar 20, 2013 at 10:08 AM

    lapin agile is the last of the best, still with a old world French show if you insist on seeing one.
    http://www.au-lapin-agile.com/

    hope it helps your planning

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  • gwened's Profile Photo

    Re: Cabaret

    by gwened Online Now Mar 20, 2013 at 10:11 AM

    yes good idea Guyon, I know him and he just email me will be in London now Leicester square theatre

    he started in Paris at the théatre de la main d'or and now moved to the Theatre des Nouveautés

    I will be tom at La Gare where his girlfriend use to worked and how I met him. Great show and very popular with the expats community of Paris too
    just needed to say that.
    cheers

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  • gwened's Profile Photo

    Re: Cabaret

    by gwened Online Now Mar 20, 2013 at 10:16 AM

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  • Isa&Eric's Profile Photo

    Re: Cabaret

    by Isa&Eric Online Now Mar 23, 2013 at 3:01 AM

    Hi, in fact what does authentic means ? Years ago Parisian used to go to Cabarets. Now it's only for tourists, foreigners and French ones who think that this kind of spectacles is Paris. I went last month to "Chez Ma cousine" in Montmartre because a friend of mine who live in the south wanted to go there. That was a pity, bad singer unable to finish a song, racist sexist and well known jokes. More over during the "spectacle" you can't talk with your friends, obliged to listend to that. I don't know the Lapin Agile, maybe it's different, I hope so.
    Follow Guyon advices.
    Regards
    Eric

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  • pfsmalo's Profile Photo

    Re: Cabaret

    by pfsmalo Online Now Mar 23, 2013 at 4:13 AM

    GUYON wrote:
    I confess I have few experience of Cabaret. Moulin Rouge and Lido are tourist factories ans it is a pity to see the lines of foreigners waiting by the street to enter the Moulin Rouge as in a homeless shelter. Michou is pleasant but it is gay. That does not mean the whole spectators are gay. The cabaret is small and all the sits have not a view on the stage. Some spectators can see the show on a TV screen. The performance of many cabarets needs to understand French because there are several parts of humour. I suggest something different in attending the hillarious show of Olivier GIRAUD at the Theatre des Nouveautés 9e arrondissement : "How to become a parisian in one hour". It is completly in English (with a strong French accent which adds to the fun). The spectators are 75 pct French and foreigners for 25 pct. At the end of show, you can talk with Giraud who stayed in Florida several years and speaks a very good English. The reduced price is between 15 and 30 euros on the website ticketreduc.com

     Thanks for that Ray, I have booked to go on the 17 th April

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