Paris' most romantic shows

  • February 9, 2021
  • Parisian theatre
  • Eléonore Duizabo

We all know Paris is up there with the most romantic cities in the world. Countless artists have put their pens to work to find the words and the melodies to capture those passionate sentiments and dreamy reveries that the French capital has the power to stir in us all. Composer Cole Porter got it right in his lilting love song “I Love Paris”: “Why do I love Paris? Because my love is here!” In its streets as in its theatres, Paris is full to the rooftops of love and adventure. Today, we’re giving you a glimpse of the most romantic plays set in Paris or showing here now. From classical theatre and comedy to dance, opera and musicals, here’s the full list of the French capital’s most swooningly romantic shows. Whether you’re madly in love or just a mad theatre lover, you won’t want to miss these...

In classical theatre

©Fabienne Rappeneau

Cyrano de Bergerac

When it comes to romantic theatrical romps, they don’t come much better than Edmond Rostand’s Cyrano de Bergerac. Cyrano is a fine musketeer and an even finer poet. More importantly, he’s in love with his razor-sharp cousin Roxane. But the lovestruck musketeer doesn’t dare declare his feelings: how could a damsel so beautiful fall for a man with a nose as enormous as his? Purely out of love for Roxane, Cyrano agrees to help the handsome but witless Christian woo her with his verses. This fantastic love triangle has returned to the stage under the accomplished direction of Jean-Philippe Daguerre. Daguerre is no stranger to French theatrical greats: he has previously revived the likes of Pierre Corneille and Molière. This time his subjects are sword fights, serenades and side-splitting comedy, all three coming together in a magical two hours of theatre. Come and get acquainted with Cyrano de Bergerac, a tragi-comic hero whose unfortunate nose makes for an unforgettable love story.

Book your tickets for Cyrano!

A Love Story

Franco-British actor, playwright and director Alexis Michalik is an old hand at love stories. He has staged and starred in many a weeping romance, whose passionate plot twists are as gripping as they are poignant. With previous credits including several award-winning French plays, not least the five-time Molière winner Edmond, A Love Story is his most recent play. Justine and Katya have fallen in love. Justine is desperate for a baby, so the two young women try artificial insemination. But when Katya falls pregnant, Justine suddenly packs her bags. 12 years later, Katya is told that she has terminal cancer and must decide on a guardian to take care of her daughter, Jeanne. The options are her brother, a cynical writer barely able to look after himself, and Justine, who Katya has not seen in years and now lives a completely separate life. The drama that Michalik unfolds onstage is a deeply moving story with a distinctly modern feel: a challenging contemporary fable of forgiveness and acceptance. We dare you not to shed a tear at this heartbreaking love story.

The Three Musketeers

Alexandre Dumas' swashbuckling adventure story comes to life in this latest production by theatre troupe Le Grenier de Babouchka. The Three Musketeers follows the adventures of aspiring soldier d'Artagnan, who has journeyed to Paris to serve the king. He soon befriends Athos, Porthos and Aramis, musketeers of the king and sworn rivals of the Cardinal Richelieu’s guards. Together they swoop in to save the Queen of Austria’s honour, but when love wreaks havoc in the lives of the musketeers, they must muster up the courage to defend king, country and their companions. This brand new adaptation of a historical classic reflects the highs and the lows of the love between Dumas’ protagonists. Three passionate love stories take centre stage: The Queen and the Duke of Buckingham, Constance and d’Artagnan, Athos and Milady. Their adventures are accompanied by the music of violins and accordion, the soundtrack to a series of dazzling duels. The Three Musketeers is a show that reminds us love is worth fighting for.

©Fabienne Rappeneau

Les Romanesques

Edmond Rostand is one of France’s best-loved playwrights. His literary legacy is a repertoire of plays that are as hilarious as they are heart-wrenching: Rostand may bring his audience to tears but he’ll have them laughing all the way! Nowhere is this truer than in Les Romanesques, now playing at Théâtre Le Ranelagh. A new staging by Marion Berry strikes the perfect balance between humour and romance.
Percinet and Sylvestre are passionately in love and meet in secret every night at the foot of the wall separating their two houses. Just like those of their tragic forebears, Romeo and Juliet, Percinet and Sylvestre’s fathers are mortal enemies. The youths’ love is doomed to be forbidden… or at least, that’s what they think! Little do they know that their father’s loathing is no more than a ruse to unite their overly romantic offspring, allowing the two houses finally to be reconciled. But when the lovers find out that they have been pawns in their father’s games, the union is compromised. Rostand’s romantic comedy will have you on the edge of your seat, played to perfection by a cast of five at our favourite historic theatre.

Book your tickets for Les Romanesques

The Little Hairdresser

Molière Award-winning playwright Jean-Philippe Daguerre is known for his historically-inspired romantic dramas. He has just produced his most recent play: The Little Hairdresser. Inspired by the iconic photograph, The Shaved Woman of Chartres, Daguerre’s play takes us on a journey back to the tense world of Post-Occupation France. Our scene is a provincial hairdresser’s in the cathedral city of Chartres. Pierre, a young painter, has taken over the running of a salon previously owned by his father, who died in a concentration camp just the year before. His mother gives him the task of shaving the heads of any women found to have had affairs with German officers during the war. Among them is Lise, a mysterious blonde with a troubled past. Little by little, Lise finds herself falling for Pierre. At the heart of The Little Hairdresser are two powerful and painful love stories. Then there is the unconditional love that exists between mother and son. At times sweet, at times tragic, Daguerre’s drama is carried by his endearing and comic characters. The result is a play with an enduring message that reaches beyond romance to question history itself.

In ballet

©Julien Benhamou / Opéra national de Paris

Romeo and Juliet

When he put pen to paper on the first page of Romeo and Juliet, Shakespeare was about to write one of greatest romances in history. The play has inspired countless works of art, from the stage to the score and the canvas to the screen. It’s no wonder that Russian choreographer Rudolf Nureyev wanted to leave his own mark on this enduring story. Nureyev did that and more in his ballet adaptation of Romeo and Juliet, which restores to the historic tragedy all its youth, power and beauty. With a score by Prokofiev, Nureyev sets in motion the story of these star-crossed lovers, who pay for their families’ feud with their own untimely death. His choreography is a celebration of ballet in all its technical complexity, with a palette of colours and emotions that sear through his sumptuous pas de deux. The same fresco of colours shines through a resplendent set and costumes designed by Ezio Frigerio and Maura Pagano. More than 35 years after its creation, Romeo and Juliet continues to hold audiences spellbound all around the world. This ballet by the so-called “Lord of the Dance” will be brought to shimmering life once again at the Opéra Bastille in June and July 2021.

Book your tickets for Romeo and Juliet

©Yonathan Kellerman / Opéra national de Paris

Preljocaj’s Le Parc

Few contemporary choreographers know how to blend classical music and contemporary dance with the finesse of Angelin Preljocaj. This French choreographer, whose ballets have graced stages all around the world, is reviving his very first piece choreographed for the Paris Opera: Le Parc. In this stunning contemporary ballet, Preljocaj unites a classical score by Mozart, costumes from the 17th century and strikingly modern choreography. First staged in 1994, Le Parc is an enchanting portrayal of love’s awakening and burgeoning sensuality. One scene in particular exemplifies the romanticism of the ballet: the now iconic Scène de l’Abandon, which has lost none of its power nearly 30 years since its début. The ballet is making a come-back to the Opéra Bastille in March 2021, danced gloriously by the company of the Paris Opera Ballet. An unmissable show for all lovers of dance.

Book your tickets for Preljocaj's Le Parc

©Ann Ray / Opéra national de Paris

Notre-Dame de Paris

When it comes to romantic ballets, few can compare with the late French choreographer Roland Petit. By the time of his death in 2011, Petit had gifted the Paris Opera Ballet more than a hundred masterpieces. Setting the tone for a shimmering career, the very first of these was Notre Dame de Paris, Petit’s take on the timeless novel by Victor Hugo. Known in the English-speaking world as The Hunchback of Notre-Dame, Hugo’s novel has as its heart a cast of characters familiar to us all: the hunchback Quasimodo, the malevolent priest Frollo and Captain Phoebus, all three in love with the beautiful gypsy Esmeralda. Petit breathes life back into them all in seven sumptuous tableaux. Against a sombre backdrop, the technicolour costumes designed by Yves Saint Laurent himself light up the opera house like the stained glass windows of the Parisian cathedral. With a score by Maurice Jarre and sets painted by René Allio, Notre-Dame de Paris tells a tragic tale of love and loss. Almost 60 years after its première at the Paris Opera, this sublimely romantic ballet is back at the Opéra Bastille until May 2021. Don’t miss this balletic tribute to Paris’s best-loved landmark.

Book your tickets for Notre-Dame de Paris

In music


Sainte-Chapelle Concert Series

Are you a classical music fan with a penchant for Parisian landmarks? The Sainte-Chapelle Concert Series was made for you! Under the soaring ceilings of a jewel of Gothic architecture, the finest Parisian ensembles and soloists will enchant you with classical pieces by the likes of Vivaldi, Bach and Mozart. With its 600 metres of stunning stained glass, the Sainte-Chapelle receives more than half a million visitors each year. But when night falls, only a few are lucky enough to attend a sumptuous classical music concert by the light of magnificent chandeliers. You could be one of them! Sit back and let yourself be transported to the sound of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons or one of Strauss’ waltzes. And if you didn’t think the evening could get any more romantic: why not indulge in one of our premium experiences? We’ll treat you to an after-concert glass of champagne or a gourmet dinner on the dreaming cobbles of Paris’ Île de la Cité.

Book your tickets for the Sainte-Chapelle Concert Series

©Svetlana Loboff / Opéra national de Paris


Puccini’s timeless opera is the perfect symbol of lyrical tragedy. Performed on stages the world over since 1900, Tosca deserves its status as one of the finest operatic masterpieces. It was also the piece that gave renowned soprano Maria Callas her sparkling debut. This lyrical tragedy tells the heart-rending tale of one of Rome’s most legendary singers, Floria Tosca. Tosca is hopelessly in love with the painter Cavaradossi but he has been imprisoned by the chief of police, Baron Scarpia, for helping the former Consul of Rome to flee. Scarpia offers to strike a deal with Tosca: he is prepared to fake the execution of her lover but only on the condition that she gives herself to him. The lovers will stop at nothing to be reunited, even if that means a reunion in death. Puccini’s score is charged with drama, which pulsates in-between his lyrical arias. Its subject is love in all its forms and guises: its sensuality, its games, but also the jealousy and desire that draw our characters ever closer to their tragic destinies. Tosca is an unmissable opera for anyone with a weakness for drama that tugs hard at the heartstrings.

Book your tickets for Tosca!


Rarely has a more monumental production graced Paris’ stages than Aida, a powerful reimagining of the opera by Verdi. The Italian composer’s faultless arias never cease to amaze and Aida is one of his greatest love stories. Our scene is the court of Ancient Egypt: Ethiopian slave Aïda and the Egyptian general Radamès are deeply and secretly in love. But their love is threatened on two sides, first by the war waged between their two countries and, more immediately, by the jealousy of Princess Amnéris. Torn between family ties and their love for one another, the couple are condemned to death. Their last days will be sent together entrapped between the walls of the palace vault. A desperate tribute to their fated love is their final farewell, before they depart to be reunited forever in the afterlife. The great Jonas Kaufmann is joined by Sondra Radvanovsky in a glittering production of Verdi’s tragic opera. Their arresting performance will take your breath away.

©Marie-Noëlle Robert

An American in Paris

Adapted from the Vincente Minnelli movie starring Gene Kelly and Leslie Caron, An American in Paris serenades you with some of George and Ira Gershwin’s greatest jazz standards: “S Wonderful”, “The Man I Love”, and “I Got Rhythm.” At the end of the Second World War, veteran Jerry Mulligan decides to stay on in Paris to make a living off his paintings. His work is soon noticed by a wealthy heiress, Milo Roberts, who is as interested in Jerry’s work as she is in him. Except that the painter is already crazy in love for a Parisian dancer by the name of Lise… and he’s not the only one! Vying for her affections are his two friends, Henry and Adam, who are just as eager to win the dancer’s hand. It will take singing, dancing and some fantastic dream sequences before the lovers can be reunited and enjoy their happily ever after. After shining on the newly renovated stages of Paris’ Théâtre du Châtelet, this multicultural musical was snapped up by the West End and Broadway. It’s bound to melt the hearts of any expat or Paris lover so let yourself be swept away by jazz rhythms and tap dance!

A romantic soirée at the cabaret

If you’re after a romantic Parisian soirée, look no further than the French capital’s sensational cabarets. The city is brimming with them! Discover are our favourites for an indulgent evening at the cabaret...

©Alix Malka

The Paradis Latin

If The Paradis Latin is the oldest cabaret in Paris, it surely is one of the most exhilarating! The cabaret presents its latest show, L'Oiseau Paradis, a true celebration of Paris and its romanticism. Choreographer Kamel Ouali rethinks the famous French Cancan by adding a touch of poetry and extravagance. The show mixes new technologies, lighting effects, stunning costumes and acrobatics. A resolutely modern and surprising show that will appeal to all Paris lovers who love to be blown away.

Book your tickets for the Paradis Latin

Le tableau Rougir de Désir ©Antoine Poupel

The Crazy Horse

The Crazy Horse is turning 70 this year but you won’t find a wrinkle in sight. The most sensual of Paris’ cabarets has got a whole lot more pizzazz to give. Its latest show, Totally Crazy, is a fresh new take on some of the cabaret’s most risqué routines: “A Lesson in Eroticism”, “The Queen of Hearts” and “God Save Our Bareskin”. Decked out in lights and dancing hypnotically, it’s no wonder that the Crazy Girls have a reputation for being the most beautiful women in the world. Their mesmerising choreography will leave you breathless.
As if that wasn’t enough, you can inject your evening with even more glamour by indulging in one of our premium packages: book in for a backstage tour, cabaret cocktail or champagne, macarons and much much more!

Book your tickets for the Crazy Horse Cabaret show

Le tableau Fontaines ©Pics - Grégory Mairet

The Lido de Paris

“Aux Champs-Elysées…” We all know the tune to the hit by French heartthrob Joe Dessin. Dessin had it right, the Avenue des Champs-Elysées has got to be Paris’ most iconic avenue. Tucked between designer outlets and classy Parisian restaurants is Le Lido de Paris, a larger than life cabaret with a star-studded history. This legendary cabaret is home to the world-famous Bluebell Girls, the resident dancers who have previously shared their stage with the likes of Edith Piaf, Josephine Baker and Dalida. The Lido’s latest review, Paris Merveilles, breathes new life into the age-old cabaret genre, all while maintaining the rebellious spirit of the Bluebells. Their performance has never looked so modern! Don’t miss your chance to discover the 60 artists that keep the Paris Merveilles show running, with its 600 costumes, 100 kilos of feathers and no less than 2 million rhinestones. Add all that together and what do you get? A dazzling show that unfolds right in the beating heart of the City of Lights!

Book your tickets for the Lido de Paris

Translated from the French by Anna Livesey