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The Paris Program - New Year 1997 - Part IV

Paris:- Friday, 26. December 1997:- This is the final update to our Christmas - New Year program. New information has been added for this issue; out-of-date events have been removed. The program is for those who may be intending to visit Paris over the holiday season; but if you can't or didn't make it, you are perfectly free to read it too.

A short and brief list of events is included in an Ile-de-France section, following the list of Paris events.

Special Holiday Events in Paris


Crèche de Venise - presents 1000 years of the history of Venice; from its paintings to its architecture and its music. The audio portion features the voices of Marcello Mastroianni and Pierre Santini. Daily from 10:00 to 20:00 in the heated tent located in front of Notre Dame, on the Ile de la Cité.

Noël Aux Cinq Continents - presents 150 crèches from around the world. At the Forum des Halles - 1st and 3rd, on the balconies and the 1st level. Open daily 10:00 to 19:30; until Sunday, 4. January 1998. Info Tel.: 01 44 76 96 56.

Fun de Noël

An ice-skating rink has replaced last year's crèche Morris column at Champerret in the place in front of Paris' Hôtel de Ville, and for good measure two merry-go-rounds have also been added.

The rink itself has two round ends joined by a loop, giving skaters an impression of going somewhere. Rental of skates is 30 francs. Rides on the merry-go-rounds are free. All of this is within a decor of pines and lights on the city hall and there is plenty of space both for skating and watching your loved ones take tumbles doing it. Open from 9:00 to 22:00, until Sunday, 11. January 1998.

There are many other 'manèges de Noël' located around Paris; plus there is a giant ferris wheel at place de la Concorde.

The merry-go-rounds can be found at the place de la Bourse - Paris 2, Square du Temple - Paris 3, by the Square at Saint-Médard - Paris 5, in the place Saint-Suplice - Paris 6, at the place Joffre - Paris 7, the location of the one in Paris 9 is still unknown, at the corner of the rue Jean-Poulmarch and the quai de Valmy - Paris 10, at the Mairie of the 11th arrondissement, in the avenue Daumesnil near the Mairie of the 12th, in the place de l'Italie - Paris 13, at the place de Brancusi - Paris 14, in the place Raoul-Dautry, at the Gare Montparnasse - Paris 15, at the place du Trocadéro - Paris 16, the place du Docteur-Félix-Lobigeois - Paris 17, in the square Willette - Paris 18, at the Mairie of the 19th and also at the Mairie of the 20th arrondissement.

Christmas Concerts

Concertsolo - Un Nôel Russe, un Nôel Basque - features the Choeur Sirine de Moscou, presenting an ensemble of Russian Orthodox music, directed by Andrei Kotov. Anaiki Basque Men's Choir and mixed Hegoa Choir, directed by Jean-Marie Guezala, also features traditional instruments and groups of children.

Dates are Monday, 29. December, Tuesday, 30. December and Wednesday, 31. December, all at 20:45. Eglise Saint-Louis -en-l'Ile, 19 bis, rue Saint-Louis- en-l'Ile, Paris 4. Info Tel.: 01 44 62 70 90.


La Traviata - Giuseppe Verdi - New Production - Orchestra and choir of the Opéra National de Paris. Produced by James Conton. Directed by Jonathan Miller, choir direction by David Levi. Performance on Tuesday, 30. December; at 19:30. This opera continues until 10. January 1998. At the Opéra National de Paris Bastille, Paris 12. Info Tel.: 08 36 69 78 68.

Ballets - Danse

Opéra National de Paris - Palais Garnier

All of the following performances are with the entire company of the Ballet de l'Opéra de Paris.

Les Sylphides - choreography by Mikhaïl Fokine and music by Frédéric Chopin.

Le Spectre de la Rose - choreography by Mikhaïl Fokine and music by Carl Maria von Weber.

L'Après-Midi d'un Faune - choreography by Vaslav Nijinski and music by Claude Debussy.

Petrouchka - choreography by Mikhaïl Fokine and music by Igor Stravinski.

Performance at 19:30 on Tuesday, 30. December. To find out which ballet will be playing, phone Info. Tel.: 08 36 69 78 68.

Opéra National de Paris - Bastille

Raymonda - choreography by Rudolf Nureyev, based on Marius Petitpa; music by Alexandre Glazounov. With the entire company of the Ballet de l'Opéra de Paris.

Performances at 19:30 are on the following days: Monday, 29. and Tuesday, 31. December. Info. Tel.: 08 36 69 78 68.

Operettas and Musical Comedy

Opéra National de Paris - Palais Garnier

Le Veuve Joyeuse by Franz Lehar - new production by Armin Jordan, under the direction of Jorge Lavelli with David Levi directing the music.

The last performance, at 19:30, is on Monday, 29. December. Info. Tel.: 08 36 69 78 68.

Opéra Comique - Place Boïeldieu, Paris 2

Une Nuit à Venice by Johann Strauss, with the Operetta Ensemble of Paris and the singers and chorgraphic ensemble of the Opéra Comique. Produced by Andreas Stoehr and under the direction of Alfred Wopmann.

Performances at 19:30 are on the following days: Monday, 29, Tuesday, 30. and Wednesday, 31. December. Info. Tel.: 01 42 44 45 46.

Théâtre Mogador - 25. rue Mogador, Paris 9

La Vie en Bleu - or 'The Chronique des Années Picasso.' Musical comedy bar in alley, Paris 20 by Pascal Stive. Written by Jean-Michel Bériat and Raymond Jeannot and directed by Robert Hossein. Music performed by the philharmonic orchestra of Monte Carlo. A young Franco-Quebec cast recreates the tumultuous and passionate life of Pablo Picasso, from 1906 to 1973. [There is a poster for this on Poster Page II in this issue]

Performances are at 20:30; on Saturdays at 15:30 and 20:30 and on Sundays at 15:30. No performances Mondays. Info. Tel.: 01 53 32 32 00.

Théâtre de la Porte Saint-Martin - 16. boulevard St-Martin, Paris 10

Les Côtelettes - Philippe Noiret is one of my favorite actors and one of the best producers in France is Bertrand Blier - so I expect this is a good show. Also staring Michel Bouquet and directed by Bernard Murat.

Evening performances are at 21:00 and there are matinees at 18:00 on Saturdays and at 15:00 on Sundays; closed on Mondays. Reservations and Info. Tel.: 01 42 08 00 32.

Théâtre le Trianon - 80. boulevard Rochechouart, Paris 18

Néron - or some 'thoughts about power,' with humor, by Gabor Rassov, directed by Pierre Pradinas. Performances at 20:30 from Tuesday to Saturday; at 16:00 on Sunday. Closed Monday. Playing until 1. February. Info Tel.: 01 44 92 78 04.

Palais des Sports, Porte de Versailles, Paris 15

Starmania! is the name of a French rock-opera, written by Michel Berger and Luc Plamondon, which has been playing in Paris for five years - and I have just been told it is very good. It has a partially new troupe; acrobats, special effects, surprises, dancing of course; and is directed by Lewis Furey.

According to posters in the métro, the last performance is Sunday, 4. January 1998. It is on at 20:30 from Tuesday to Saturday, and at 16:00 on Saturday and Sundays. Seats are from about 150 to 240 francs. At the Palais des Sports, right beside Paris-Expo at the Porte de Versailles. Info. Tel.: 01 44 68 69 70.

Gymnase Marie-Bell, Boulevard de Bonne-Nouvelle, Paris 10

Piaf, Je t'Aime is a show which evokes the life and times of Edith Piaf. Nathalie Lhermitte is the lead singer and she is assisted by 30 actors, singers and musicians. This is like a musical biography, and was written by Roland Riber and Jean-Louis Marquer. There is a matinee of this show at 16:30 on Thursday, 1. January.

Seats cost from 120 to 230 francs. Performances are at 20:30 from Tuesday to Saturday; and at 16:30 on Saturday and Sundays. Théâtre du Gymnase Marie-Bell, 38, boulevard de Bonne-Nouvelle, Paris 10. Info. Tel.: 01 42 46 79 79.


Comédie Française

Daily at 14:00 and 20:30 - alternating performances of:
La Vie Parisienne by Jacques Offenbach; directed by Daniel Mesguich - next date: at 14:00 on Tuesday, 30. December - on until 12. January 1998.
Nathan le Sage by Gotthold Ephraïm Lessing; directed by Alexander Lang. Next date: at 20:30 on Monday, 29. December
Les Fourberies de Scapin by Molière - a new production - directed by Jean-Louis Benoit - next date: at 14:00 on Monday, 29. December - on until June 1998.
Les Bonnes by Jean Genet; directed by Philippe Adrien. At 20:30 on Tuesday, 30. December.
Comédie Française - Salle Richelieu, 2. rue de Richelieu, Paris 1. Info. Tel.: 01 44 58 15 15.

Théâtre des Variétés

La Puce à l'Oreille by Georges Feydeau, directed by Bernard Murat; with Jean-Paul Belmondo, Béarice Agenin, Sabine Haudepin, Pierre Vernier and Jean-Paul Bordes. Performances daily at 20:30 and Sunday matinée at 15:00. Closed Mondays. Théâtre des Variétés, 2. boulevard Montmartre, Paris 2. Info. Tel.: 01 42 33 09 92.

Théâtre National de Chaillot

Cyrano de Bergerac by Edmond Rostand, directed by Jérôme Savary. With Francis Huster. Performances at 20:30 plus 15:30 on Sundays. At 20:00 on Wednesday, 31. December and on Thursday, 1. January, at 17:00. Closed Mondays. Théâtre National de Chaillot, place du Trocadéro, Paris 16. Info. Tel.: 01 53 65 30 00.


Charles Asnavour is singing at the Palais des Congrés until Saturday, 3. January 1998 - except on Mondays, Christmas and New Years Day. Performances at 20:30 and at 16:00 on Sundays. Palais des Congrés, 2. place de la Porte-Maillot, Paris 17. Info. Tel.: 01 40 68 00 05.

Marcel Marceau has two alternating shows: The first is Pantomimes de Style et Pantomimes de Bip and the other is Le Chapeau Melon ou l'Extraordinaire Odyssée de Jonathan Bowler, which is described as a 'Mimodrame.' Except Mondays, on daily until Sunday, 11. January 1998 at 20:30 and at 15:00 on Sundays. At the Espace Cardin, 1. avenue Gabriel, Paris 8. Info. Tel.: 01 42 65 27 35.

Musiques et Danses Viennoises are performed by the Budapest Strauss Symphony Orchestra, with the ballets by Pannonia. Performances are at 20:30 on Tuesday, 30 and Wednesday, 31. December. At the Salle Pleyel, 252. rue du Faubourg-Saint-Honoré, Paris 8. Info. Tel.: 01 45 61 53 00.

La Reine Contrefaite is based on an Irish tale, which is like saying it is a tall tale - for four-year-olds and up. Produced by the Companie l'Olifant for the Théâtre des Marionettes; it is playing at the Auditorium Saint-Germain, 4. rue Félibien, Paris 6. On until Saturday, 3. January. For times and exceptions, Tel. Info.: 01 44 07 37 43 or 01 44 64 79 70.

Sindbad le Marin is a musical comedy for five-year-olds and up. This is about Sinbad's extraordinary voyage, and it is performed by Les Tréteaux de la Pleine Lune. Written and directed by Nedeljko Grujic. On daily until Sunday, 4. January; and at 15:00 on Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday. Phone for evening times, if any. At the Espace Paris Plaine, 13. rue du Général-Guillaument, Paris 15. Info. Tel.: 01 40 43 01 82.

Tango y Flamenco

Tango Pasion - The tango celebrates its 100th anniversary and a current revival. Choreography by Hector Zaraspe, orchestra Sexteto Mayor and produced by José Libertella and Luis Stazo. On until Sunday, 11. January 1998; no performances on Monday, 29. December and 8. and 10. January. Réveillon show on 31. December. Nightly at 20:30; two shows on Thursday the first, fourth and 11. January, at 15:00 and 20:30. At the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, 15. avenue Montaigne, Paris 8. Info. Tel.: 01 49 52 50 50.

Chants et Danses Flamenco 'Solo Flamenco' - With Carmen Linares, Cantaora; El Moraito, guitar; Eduardo Serrano 'El Guito,' dancer; and with the Compania de Danza Flamenca. Dates are until Wednesday, 31. December. Times are at 20:00. Théâtre du Châtelet, place du Châtelet, Paris 1. Info. Tel.: 01 40 28 28 40.

Latin, Red Hots, Variados, Rock, Live, DJ's, Dance-floor Soft-Shoe: - from Wednesday, 31. December nonstop to Thursday, 1. January 1998

Either take your chances or call in advance - reservations are necessary for some of these - and take lots of shoe leather. If you don't need it for dancing, you might need it for walking home. Watch out for the goofy 'Noctambus' eyeballs signs on bus stops which signal the night bus stops - see poster in Café column.

New Morning: Salsa Festival, very live, starting at 22:30, lasting until dawn in 1998. At 7-9. rue des Petits-Ecuries, Paris10. Entry of 250 francs includes glass of Champagne. Métro: Châtean d'Eau. Info. Tel.: 01 45 23 51 41.
Divan du Monde - Brazilian Festival - wear white! - starts at 20:30 and lasts as long as you can, but until next year at least. At 75. rue des Martyrs, Paris 18. Métro: Pigalle. Info. Tel.: 01 44 92 77 66.
Le Java - at 105. rue Faubourg du Bains - Douches, Paris 20 Temple, Paris 10. Métro: Belleville. Starting at 23:00: entry 80 francs plus 26 francs: maybe totals 100 francs, maybe 200. Lotsa salsa, lotsa bands, plus DJ. Info. Tel.: 01 42 02 20 52.
La Coupole - at 102. boulevard du Montparnasse, Paris 14. Métro: Vavin or Montparnasse. Info. Tel.: 01 43 20 14 20.
Montecristo Café, but not upstairs for dinner for 950 francs, instead after midnight in the downstairs bar for 200 francs, at 68. avenue de Champs-Elysées, Paris 8. Métro: Franklin-Roosevelt. Info. Tel.: 01 45 62 30 86.
Le Totem - which is the restaurant of the Palais Chaillot - the one on the right - starting 20:30, dress well and bring money for the 450 franc buffet, and the view is free. Without eating and after 23:30, but with reservation - 390 francs. Palais Chaillot, place du Trocadéro, Paris 16. Info. Tel.: 01 45 74 59 57 or 01 47 27 28 29.
La Chapelle des Lombards - Carribean, with band and DJ Natalia La Tropica. Opens at 22:30. 19. rue Lappe, Paris 11. Info. Tel.: 01 43 57 24 24.
Web Bar - start with dinner at 20:30 with a trio - needs reservation - or come after 23:00 for night of latin music plus live Web conferencing; entry 150 francs. 22. rue de Picardie, Paris 3. Info. Tel.: 01 42 72 66 55.
Cadran Breton has cheapest New Years' Rock party in Paris; drinks start at 12 francs and the music starts at 21:00. In downtown Montparnasse at 22. rue de l'Arrivée, Paris 14. Info. Tel.: 01 45 44 03 16.
Café de la Danse is supposedly surrealist, and possibly true; starts at 20:30 and entry is 120 francs. Surrealist? At 5. passage Louis-Philippe, Paris 11. Info. Tel.: 01 47 00 57 59.
Duc des Lombards has Rhoda Scott Trio, on organ, starting at 22:00 with the 650 franc buffet, or after 23:00 for 200 francs for entry. 42. rue des Lombards, Paris 1. Info. Tel.: 01 42 33 22 88.

Plus these regulars on Wednesday, 31. December:

Big Joe Turner - blues - two shows, at 22:30 and 00:30, from 26. December to 10. January; except Sundays and 1. January. At the 'Jazz-Club Lionel Hampton' in the hotel Méridien-Etoile, 31. boulevard Gouvion-St-Cyr, Paris 17 - beside the Palais de Congrés at Porte Maillot. Tel. 01 40 68 30 42.
Orient Express Moving Schnorers at the Auditorium Saint-Germain, 4. rue Félibien, Paris 6. Info. Tel.: 01 46 33 87 03.
Les Yeux Noirs at L'Européen at 3/5. rue Biot, Paris 17. Info. Tel.: 01 43 87 97 13.


Les Ibères - The Iberians - in the century before Christ's birth, life developed in the basin of the western Mediterranean, between Andalusia and the Languedoc. It was a civilization with advanced social and artistic characteristics, contemporary with the Phoenicians and the Greeks. Until Monday, 5. January 1998. At the Galeries Nationales du Grand Palais - see below:

Prud'hon ou le Rêve du Bonheur - 1758 to 1823 In advance of Romanticism, Prud'hon was a major painter and artist during the years of the Revolution, Empire and the Restoration. Until Monday, 12. January 1998. At the Galeries Nationales du Grand Palais - see below:

Georges de la Tour - 1593 to 1652 This exhibition of de la Tour's work features 30 original paintings and an equal amount of atelier sketches and old copies of quality; which give a complete idea of his work. Until Monday, 26. January 1998. At the Galeries Nationales du Grand Palais - see below:

These three shows are all at Grand Palais. The shows are open daily from 10:00 to 20:00 and to 22:00 on Wednesdays. Reservations are required in the mornings from 10:00 to 12:30 and these can be made at the Grand Palais, at the Paris Tourist Office or at fnac locations, or by calling 01 49 87 54 54.

Galeries Nationales du Grand Palais, place Clemanceau, Paris 8. Info. Tel.: 01 44 13 17 17 or 01 44 13 17 30.

Paris et Parisiens au Temps du Roi Soleil Engravings from the 18th century form a illustrated history of Paris under the reign of Louis XIV. Famous engravers such as Israël Silvestre show Parisian architecture while Robert Nanteuil portrayed Parisian society and dress was captured by Jean Lepautre and his contemporaries. Working life scenes were done by Abraham Bosse, and the history of France is reflected in the surviving almanacs on show.

Musée Carnavalet, 23. rue de Sévigné, Paris 3. Open daily except Mondays, from 10:00 to 17:40 - this show continues until Sunday, 18. January 1998. Info. Tel.: 01 42 72 21 13.

Gamma's 30 Years is an impressive photo exhibition, representing the best of Gamma's photojournalists, with some truly amazing and wonderful photographs. Besides hardcore news photos, there are a lot of excellent photos of Paris in this exhibition, which is bigger than it looks. In the reception office of the Hôtel de Ville, at 29. rue de Rivoli, across bar Le Metro, place Maubert from the BHV. Not open Sundays or Thursday, 1. January. Otherwise open daily from 9:30 to 18:00 - but only until Saturday, 3. January 1998. No entry charge.

Montmartre Toujours exposes the Vieux Montmartre in a show assembled by the Société d'Historie et d'Archéologie. Centuries of local history, myths; religious aspects and Montmartre's famous bloodbaths and revolutions; up to the 20th century's real-estate speculation, are on show - as well as the works of the usual gang of artists. At the Musée de Montmartre, 12. rue Cortot, Paris 18. Daily from 11:00 to 18:00; closed Mondays. Info. Tel.: 01 46 06 61 11.

New Years Day Parade

La Grande Parade de Paris will take place for the sixth time on New Years Day, Thursday, 1. January 1998, starting around 14:00. This street parade in the popular tradition beings together 3000 youths from around the world; musicians, jugglers, dancers, acrobats and pom-pom girls - and takes place in the streets of Montmartre. Starts from the corner of boulevard Rochechouart and rue des Martyers. Don't miss this and I won't either. Info. Tel.: 01 43 65 10 10.

The 'Cirque du Docteur Paradi'

The spectacle of the Circus of Doctor Paradi was inspired by the works of the Vesque sisters; Marthe and Juilette. Between 1905 and 1950 they created a body of works in watercolors, much prized today, for the homage paid to the circus. This live Circus of Doctor Paradi is not a tableau taken from the paintings, but uses the ingredients - the horses, August, the white clown, the juggler, the ring, the aerials, an orchestra - with fantasy rather than parody; respecting its roots and its traditions, while being contemporary.

At the Espace Chapiteaux, near the Cité des Sciences and next to the canal Saint-Denis. Closest métro is the one at the Porte de la Villette. On until Wednesday, 31. December. Wednesday to Saturday at 20:30, Sundays at 16:00. No performances on Monday or Tuesday. Info. Tel.: 08 03 30 63 06; reservations, Tel.: 08 03 07 50 75 - toll numbers.

Other Circuses

Cirque Joseph Bouglione - modern circus with music by Beethoven and clowns from 'Clockwork Orange; poetic animals, acrobats, jugglers and trapeze artists are featured. At the Square de l'Amiral-Bruix at Porte Maillot. Info. Tel.: 06 07 61 28 85.

Cirque National Alexis Gruss - traditional circus: after 23 seasons Alexis Gruss has new acts for this 24th one - on until 1. March 1998. At the allée de la Reine-Marguerite in the Bois de Boulogne, Paris 16. If you do not know where this is, be sure to phone. Info. Tel.: 01 40 67 76 10.

Cirque Pinder - Jean Richard - also a traditional circus: the two hour show features the new 'Etoiles de la Piste' and there are tigers too. The show continues until Sunday, 4. January. At the pelouse de Reuilly, in the Bois de Vincennes. Métros Porte de Charenton or Porte Dorée. Info. Tel.: 01 43 44 09 09.

Romanès' Cirque Tzigane - With a gypsy circus you can expect anything, and this one is playing in the passage Lathuile, just off the avenue de Clichy. The show continues until Sunday, 4. January. Paris 18, near métro place de Clichy. Info. Tel.: 01 43 87 16 35.

Doll Museum

Teddies are seldom hyper-exciting, so if the circus represents high-anxiety for you or your kids, there is 'Il Etait une Fois, des Ours at des Poupées' which features over 150 teddies, with dolls as companions. This is a special exhibition for the season, put on at the Musée de la Poupée, in the Impasse Berthaud, which is somewhere near 22. rue Beaubourg, Paris 3. Info. Tel.: 01 42 72 73 11.

Events in the Ile-de-France

Poissy - 'Noël au Musée' - Exhibition of Christmas toys at Poissy's famous toy museum - the Musée du Jouet. Runs through to 8. February 1998. Info. Tel.: 01 39 65 06 06.

Saint-Germain-en-Laye - 'Marché de Noël' - near the exit of the RER 'A.' Until Wednesday, 31. December. Info. Tel.: 01 30 87 21 70.

Versailles - variety performance featuring 'Chevallier-Laspalès.' Performances Tuesday, 30. December and Wednesday, 31. December. At the Théätre Montansier. Info Tel.: 01 39 24 05 06.

Re-updated Program Note:

This holiday program - which has again been shortened by deleting events with 'past-due' dates, but lengthened by adding new items, especially for New Years - has been complied mainly from the December version of the Paris Tourist Office's 'Selection' and other sources, such as the magazine, 'Nova.' Whatever else I've been able to turn up by chance has been added. Please take note that about 1,876 other events are not included in this 'selective' list.

The telephone numbers have not been verified; some of them may lead to robot-answering computers, which may waste your time and money.

The photos with this week's program are a selection of 'spares' that didn't, for one reason or another, make it into any of the past 10 issues. Rather than bury them in the achives, I've selected these for this issue's holiday program.

This is the final update to the holiday 'program.' My thanks to all readers who wrote for ask for ideas or for specific items - thereby giving me ideas for what to include here.

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