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
Why : 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.