Five years of (French) cult musicals


I can’t believe five years have passed since the first issue of Regard en Coulisse. Time flies, doesn’t it ? And as Mar­i­lyn would sing in Gen­tle­men Pre­fer Blondes « Men grow cold as girls grow old and we all lose our charms in the end… ». But instead of count­ing how many white hair or lines have appeared since 1999, instead of count­ing how many heartaches I’ve been through or how much bad sex I had over the last five years, I’d rather con­cen­trate on my best mem­o­ries. Musi­cal the­atre mem­o­ries, of course.
Since 1999, I have seen a few good shows and a lot of bad shows. But I can only remem­ber the ones that have achieved a cult sta­tus. So here’s my lit­tle ret­ro­spec­tive of the best-French-cult-musi­cals of 1999–2003.
Who am I to decide what’s cult or not, I hear you ask ? No one. But I enjoy doing it and that rea­son is good enough.

Cult musi­cal of 1999 : Mega­lopo­lis
Why : « Friends are here for you when you’re drunk » says the main theme song. Oh yeah ? So where are my friends when I need them ?
Sug­ges­tion : This song should be per­formed as a clos­ing num­ber in all the ben­e­fits, replac­ing the too pre­dictable « Old Friend », « That’s what friends are for » or « Let the sun­shine in ».

Cult musi­cal of 2000 : Da Vin­ci
Why : How often do you get a roller-blad­ing Mona Lisa in a musical ?
Sug­ges­tion for the next show : A musi­cal adap­ta­tion of best-sell­er Girl With A Pearl Ear­ring. On ice.

Cult musi­cal of 2001 : Tris­tan & Yseult
: Dis­coballs effects in a Mid­dle Ages set­ting ? Chi­nese hunks used as human fur­ni­ture ? Small­est and tight­est cos­tumes ever seen (designed by Pierre Cardin nonetheless) ?
Sug­ges­tion : Use these tiny cos­tumes for a musi­cal ver­sion of Show­girls.

Cult musi­cal of 2002 : Cindy
Why : A musi­cal in which the only spo­ken line is « Want some herbal tea ? », just after a love song, has to be cult.
Sug­ges­tion for the next show : A revival would do. Not enough peo­ple have seen this show.

Cult musi­cal of 2003 : Les Demoi­selles de Rochefort
Why : Les Demoi­selles de Rochefort could eas­i­ly be per­formed in the Muse­um of Trans­porta­tion since almost every mean of trans­porta­tion is fea­tured in the show, from scoot­ers to planes. That is enough to give it a cult status.
Sug­ges­tion for the next show : A stage adap­ta­tion of Jacques Demy’s dark­est film Une Cham­bre en Ville, with unem­ployed work­ers (dis­co) danc­ing in the streets of Nantes.