Set the Scene: Musicals and More placed in Paris

  • 3 avril 2020
  • La scène parisienne
  • Sam Asher

It’s no secret that the Parisian landscape is inspiring to all who grace it, and that the city of lights marks the backdrop to many of the spectacles we all know and love. From classics like Les Misérables to innovative new ventures such as Amélie, there’s inspiration to be found in every corner of this enchanting city. 

Phantom of the Opera

The Phantom of the Opera is a novel written by Gaston Leroux, but has seen many adaptations such as a hit Broadway musical and several movie adaptations. If you’re familiar with the story - a rumoured phantom who is actually a masked man becomes obsessed with a singer at the opera house – you’ll be interested to know that the lake that leads to the phantom’s lair is actually real and still exists today! Though it’s not open to the public, the underground lake at Opera Garnier is used for firefighter training. 

Book tickets to see a show at Opéra Palais Garnier

La Dame Aux Camelias

This 19th-century romance written by Alexander Dumas-Fils tells the tragic love story of Armand and a courtesan, Marie. The relation between the main characters ebbs and flows through a high-society Paris until tragedy ultimately strikes. A frequent setting used in this book is the theatres around the Champs-Elysées, some of which still exist today, a key example being the Lido de Paris. The Crazy Horse Cabaret is also currently playing in the eighth district of Paris!

Book tickets to see the Crazy Horse Cabaret

Les Misérables  

This incredibly famous novel has been adapted into an iconic musical and has seen many other diverse adaptations. Written by Victor Hugo, one prominent setting in this book is inside the elephant statue at Bastille. Though the elephant statue is now replaced with a giant spire, you can go to place de la bastille today to live out your Les Mis fantasies, and then cross the street to the Opéra Bastille for a diverse selection of opera!

Book tickets to see a show at Opéra Bastille

The Marvelous Mrs Masel

The Marvelous Mrs Masel - an American TV shows following the tale of a New-York-Housewife-gone-comedian, changed location from NYC to Paris in its second season. Our protagonist, Mrs Masel, found herself tracking down her mother and doing what she does best: accidentally performing stand up to a packed crowd inside a Parisian theatre. Today you obviously won't find any trace of Mrs Masel, but you can still find great English comedy in Paris! 

Book tickets to see a comedy show in Paris

Moulin Rouge

Moulin Rouge has captured the hearts of many theatre fans across the globe, and for good reason. Set in the Montmartre neighbourhood in the 20th Century, during the Belle Epoque, this musical evokes the feeling of Paris wherever you may be watching it from. In keeping with this idea, why not book tickets for Cabaret Burlesque at La Nouvelle Seine through the Theatre in Paris box office!

Book tickets to see Cabaret Burlesque

An American in Paris

This spectacle was first adapted for the stage in 2014, and staged at the well-loved Théâtre du Châtelet, in the heart of Paris. It returned to Châtelet last year, and we can confirm that following Jerry and Lise’s enchanting love story was just as gripping as it was the first time around. George and Ira Gershwin’s delightful score takes you to the heart of the Parisian ballet scene. Why not see a ballet for yourself?

Book tickets to see a ballet

Amélie, A New Musical

We’ve all heard of Amélie, the 2001 French romantic comedy that the world adored, but the musical only hit the Broadway stage in 2017. This show guides its audience through the banks of the Seine, to a café at Montmartre and even the Notre Dame – it, quite frankly reveals the entirety of the enchanting French capital!

Honourable Mention: Gossip Girl:

Though based primarily in New York, this guilty pleasure binge-worthy show has a dazzling Paris story-arc. In Season 4 episodes 1 and 2, our protagonists Serena and Blair take it to the streets of Paris. Filming takes place primarily in the Latin quarter, Le Marais, and notably in the Orangerie where Blaire meets her Prince-disguised-as-Pauper as they stare at Monet’s “Waterlillies.” There are many details to love about this two-episode Paris featurette, which is why we give it our honourable mention!