It’s good to be the King


Dear read­ers, it’s been a long time and I would like to thank the one per­son who inquired about me. After months of see­ing shows that were not worth writ­ing about (not that they were bad, maybe they weren’t bad enough), I’m back! How could I miss the oppor­tu­ni­ty to write a report on the lat­est Big French Musi­cal of the season?

Le Roi Soleil is Paris’ lat­est musi­cal sen­sa­tion. It’s a big, expen­sive musi­cal with colour­ful char­ac­ters, loud pop songs and hunky bare-chest­ed dancers. Sounds like the descrip­tion of Glad­i­a­tor, The Ten Com­mand­ments, Notre Dame de Paris and Cindy 2002 right? But it seems like French pro­duc­ers love those ingre­di­ents, so who will blame them? I won’t.

As some of you may know, Le Roi Soleil is about French King Louis the 14th, a big­ger than life char­ac­ter who invent­ed glam­our and style. Even Madon­na is fas­ci­nat­ed by him (remem­ber her poster for the Re-Inven­tion Tour ?). I was very curi­ous to see how they would pre­cise­ly rein­vent Louis’ myth. In his times, Louis was an icon. Would he live today, he would be a pop singer. That’s prob­a­bly why they decid­ed to make him look like a famil­iar pop star. No, not Madon­na (that would be too obvi­ous), but Ala­nis Mor­ris­sette (won­der­ful long brown hair part­ed in the mid­dle, stern-look­ing but you can feel the fire inside). Ok, I might be going too far. He doesn’t look like an ordi­nary Ala­nis, but like an Ala­nis with a real sense of style. I could kill to get the fab­u­lous white shoes. And I loved the fab­rics they used to design the clothes. Instant­ly, I felt like cre­at­ing pil­lows, cur­tains, nap­kins and table­cloths. For­get about the Zen style; bring in the fleur de lys. Isn’t it good to be the King and have every­thing around remind­ing you how bril­liant you are?

Unlike the king, his broth­er doesn’t have a great hair­style. He sports some kind of dread­locks and looks like my friend Helene after she came back from a two-week vaca­tion in Domini­can Repub­lic. Lat­er in the show, he wears a fab­u­lous jack­et entire­ly cov­ered by hair. It made him look like Cousin Itt in the Adams Fam­i­ly. It’s crazy how gay char­ac­ters must be por­trayed as incred­i­bly eccen­tric and par­ty-lov­ing. It is real­ly a cliché because most of my gay friends are get­ting more bor­ing and bor­ing and nev­er stay late at a par­ty because they don’t want to miss the last train and have to feed their cat.

My favourite part of the show was a black Mass musi­cal num­ber. Mme de Main­tenon, dressed in black, is sur­round­ed by weird crea­tures, and she calls out to the demons: she wants to be loved by the King. Who wouldn’t? The young lady sings her way through a sort of gigan­tic tun­nel made of cir­cles wrapped in some sort of black stock­ings. To me, it seemed extreme­ly graph­ic, in an anatom­ic way. No won­der she’s treat­ed like s**t by the King. Once she’s done with her tech­no song, she gets arrest­ed and I’m sure her Madon­na like dress (1984 era, black lace style) will be a riot in the jails of La Bastille.

In the end, I had a won­der­ful evening. I didn’t think French His­to­ry could be that fun, and it is so inspir­ing. When I got home, I decid­ed to part my hair in the mid­dle. I end­ed up like anoth­er Yvonne. But that’s anoth­er story.