Muscles, champagne and temptation at Notre Dame de Paris


Last month, I paid my third vis­it to Notre Dame de Paris, the musi­cal hit by Coc­ciante and Pla­m­on­don. I can’t say I would have killed some­one to get a comp, but, still, I was very excit­ed to go, plus, the Palais des Con­grès is not far from where I live so it’s very con­ve­nient. And, how could I turn down an invi­ta­tion to a press night where I would be sure to meet a few friends and a few stars? Her­bert Léonard? I have always been curi­ous of see­ing him up close.

The first time I saw Notre Dame, I was seat­ed at the very back of the house, which means I could have used a motor­cy­cle to get to the stage if I ever had the desire to give a rose to the cast, for exam­ple. The sec­ond time was in anoth­er venue (Mogador) and I was seat­ed in the first bal­cony. Bet­ter. This time, I was very well seat­ed and I couldn’t help but think: Hey, I’m climb­ing up the musi­cal the­atre lad­der. I hope it’s not because of my looks. It’s cer­tain­ly not because I’m nice.

One thing about Notre Dame is that they always have the bulki­est dancers around, since the chore­og­ra­phy requires lots of acro­bat­ics. So even in the last row you get to see the mus­cles, but I was glad to be so close. I could count the abs if I got bored with the songs.
Seri­ous­ly, the songs are so rangy that at the end of the show, you are kind of exhaust­ed for the singers and you feel like going home and play­ing your Car­la Bruni CD, but, yeah, OK, I have to admit the cast deliv­ers quite a performance.

My favourite part of the show is a duet between two ladies who love the same man. They deliv­er a song about how hand­some he is and at that point, he comes up on stage with his shirt wide open on a tanned and ripped tor­so. A tor­so that belongs to Lau­rent Ban (who also hap­pens to have a beau­ti­ful voice by the way). See­ing that glis­ten­ing chest, I couldn’t help but remem­ber­ing the many times I saw Lau­rent Ban shirt­less in a musi­cal. ChancePar­adis­coNotre DameLit­tle Prince… Well maybe not Lit­tle Prince. I might have dreamed that up. Any­way, in the end, Fleur de Lys wants Esmer­al­da to be hung so she can enjoy this tor­so all for her­self. Self­ish lit­tle girl (she’s only 15 by the way), didn’t you moth­er teach you to share with your friends?

At inter­mis­sion, my col­league from Regard en Coulisse had a pass to go back­stage for a glass of cham­pagne. Free cham­pagne? Count me in. I took the oppor­tu­ni­ty to steal a cou­ple of sou­venir brochures for my unfor­tu­nate friends who didn’t have a pass. I gulped down two glass­es in ten min­utes but there were no yum­my snacks unless you count the dancers.

Going back­stage at Notre Dame was like a mix between Prison Break and Temp­ta­tion Island: Prison Break because all the dancers look like inmates with their shaved heads and rough looks, Temp­ta­tion Island because they are very tempt­ing but you are not allowed to touch. That would be so unpro­fes­sion­al to have an affair while inter­view­ing some­one in the cos­tumes stor­age room for exam­ple. And my green-with-envy col­leagues would just kill me.

I went back to my seat for the sec­ond part and it was very nice to be slight­ly drunk.
The lim­it­ed run of Notre Dame is now over and it’s real­ly a shame because I wish I could have rec­om­mend­ed it. The light­ings are just amazing.

Now, I’m skip­ping to some­thing com­plete­ly dif­fer­ent but have you seen the Dream­girls trail­er? Isn’t it won­der­ful to have a trail­er when the shoot­ing hasn’t even start­ed? Next month I’ll try to write a col­umn about shows I haven’t seen.