Few live shows can rival Le Lido Paris, an entertainment fixture dating Back to 1940s Paris, and an artistic flair more than relevant to modernday Audiences.
Where to experience iconic architecture, sip champagne, dine on French cuisine , be entertained by top international performers then glide out onto the world’s most famous avenue? At the Lido , bien sûr. Located on the glorious Champs-Élysées, Le Lido was widely sought out for all its glamour, glitter and sensuality by the upper classes some 74 years ago. Today, Le Lido is a must-have inclusion on the entertainment itinerary for cabaret-loving travellers. Now playing is the seductive cabaret Paris Merveilles – the 27th revue since it began in 1946, and the brainchild of acclaimed writer-director Franco Dragone (Cirque de Soleil, Celine Dion and many others).
Dragone’s multi-million dollar production is a feast for the senses. The mimes, the acrobatics and the projections are experienced from within a majestic, panoramic space that enthrals as many as 1,100 spectators twice each evening. Adorning the bodies of the jaw-droppingly stunning dancers of Le Lido – more than 40 statuesque ‘Bluebell Girls’ and ‘Lido Boys’ – are the lavish costumes of the cabaret, heavy with glistening jewels, tantalising tassels and equally impressive ostrich feathers. Esteemed dancers hold themselves with poise and grace. Somehow, they make balancing delicate feathered headdresses appear effortless and elegant – a testament to their character, stamina and prowess.
A BOUTIQUE EXPERIENCE
Moments away from Le Lido are some of Paris’ finest boutiques and restaurants: Louis Vuitton , The Fouquet’s Paris and many others. Visit the ever-popular landmark Arc de Triomphe (just 400 metres away), and climb the 280 stairs to a perfect vantage-point from which to gaze upon beautiful Paris.
FINE WINE AND DINING
You toast to Paris, to the invisible musicians (impressively automated instruments) and to the singer/guitarist and double bass player who are warming up the room. While you’re imagining what it could have been like to watch Edith Piaf , Marlene Dietrich, Eartha Kitt or Josephine Baker perform, dinner arrives. To digest the delicious three courses, you take to the dancefloor. The room darkens, the stage ‘rises’ (the front seats actually drop) and the famous Bluebell dancers glide on with their limbered bodies and spectacular costumes.
THE BEST OF PARIS, ONSTAGE AND OFF
The marvels of Paris are shown through the eyes of the main female character – from the sparkling Eiffel Tower to the palace and fountains of Versailles, complete with videos and 3D effects. Sets transform while vaudeville-style acts break up the show, such as contortionists, a sword swallower and sometimes even ice skaters. You gasp, applaud and smile, before you float back out onto the shimmering avenue.
Lido de Paris Copyright POMPON
A NIGHT AT THE LIDO
Your evening starts at Napoleon’s victorious neo-classical Arc de Triomphe . Awakened by the buzz of Paris by night, you saunter down the Champs-Élysées to number 116. A golden corridor leads you to a chandelier-lit lobby where you’re warmly welcomed. Inside the room, you’re hit by the magic of the dark blue-andgold décor, and the red velvet seating of France’s largest cabaret venue.
Le Lido de Paris Copyright Pics-Labarrere
THE FIGURES OF LE LIDO
The sheer scale of Le Lido’s spectacle – the feathers, the glitter, the sensuality – has to be seen to be believed.
__> 1,100 seats for the audience
600 costumes made by Dragone’s
100 kilograms of ostrich feathers dyed
pink and turned into petticoats
22 dressers tending to the costumes each
12-15 costume changes for each Bluebell
girl during the show
11 seamstresses tend to the costumes
8 designers developed projections__
Le Lido’s costumes are as artistic as the performances (photo © Pascaline Labarrere)