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Ah, Paree! at the Comédie Nation

After weeks of planning and rehearsing my Cabaret Show, February 13th roared in at what felt like a ridiculous speed! But we were ready! Joined by my two fabulous musicians, Thierry Boulanger and Patrice Soler, not to mention some very talented guest artists, Maxime de Toledo, Dalia Constantin and my 11 year-old daughter Anna, I have to say that I felt like a very lucky woman! A very special thank you goes to my director Olivier Benezech, who was tirelessly supportive and provided that all too vital external eye.

In keeping with my current obsession with interactive theater, I was very happy to see how much the audience enjoyed participating in my "literary salon", reading the various quotes aloud and singing out whole heartedly along with me for a rollicking "Mambo de Paris". Thank you to every one who came and joined in!

Many of you have asked me for the song list, so I am posting it here again. In the long lasting love affair between Americans and Paris, there are some real musical gems, and these are only a fraction of the songs I would have liked to sing!

  • An American in Paris (George Gershwin)

  • Paris by Night from "Victor Victoria" (Leslie Bricusse/Henry Mancini)

  • Only for Americans from "Miss Liberty" (Irving Berlin)

  • That’s what makes Paris Paree from "April in Paris" (Sammy Cahn/Vernon Duke)

  • J’ai deux amours (Georges Koger, Henri Varna /Claude Vence)

  • I want to go to Paris from "The Boys and Betty" (George Hobart/Silvio Hein)

  • Mambo de Paris (Alex Alstone/Jimmy Kennedy)

  • April in Paris from "Walk a Little Faster" (E. Y. Harburg/Vernon Duke)

  • Speaking French from "Lucky Stiff" ( Lynn Ahrens/Stephen Flaherty)

  • Darling, je vous aime beaucoup from "Love and Hisses" (Anna Sosenko)

  • The Parisians from "Gigi" (Alan Jay Lerner/Frederick Loewe)

  • Azure te from "Five Guys Named Moe" (Bill Davis/Don Wolf)

  • Ah, Paree! from "Follies" (Stephen Sondheim)

  • Jamais je ne bisse, "I never do anything twice" from "Side by Side" (Stephen Sondheim, adaptation de Stéphane Laporte)

And here are the quotes that the audience read out during the show:

“Amurricans who have never been to Yurrup before, of an appalling type for the most part, who yap like poodles, do two things-- go to the Folies Bergère or some substitute and to the Lido. Maybe they have an hour in the Louvre. But I doubt it.” Janet Flanner

“This summer, for my vacation, I went to Paris. I went there to follow in the footsteps of such great writers as Ernest Hemingway, Henry Miller and F. Scott Fitzgerald, all of whom, for the record, are currently dead. I blame the Parisian drivers.” Dave Barry

“Paris has always seemed ... the only city where you can live and express yourself as you please.” Natalie Clifford Barney

“One day I realized I was living in a country where I was afraid to be black. It was only a country for white people. Not black. So I left… A lot of us left, not because we wanted to leave, but because we couldn't stand it anymore... I felt liberated in Paris.” Josephine Baker

“Paris is a place in which we can forget ourselves, reinvent, expunge the dead weight of our past.” Michael Simkins

“America is my country, and Paris is my home town.” Gertrude Stein

"Just then, a strange character entered the stage: Josephine Baker. She makes faces, crosses her eyes, puffs out her cheeks, twists her body, does a split, and finally exits on all fours, with her legs stiff and her “derrière” higher than her head, like a very young giraffe. Is she horrible, is she beautiful, is she black, is she white, does she have hair or is her scalp painted black, no one knows." Pierre de Régnier

“Paris is so very beautiful that it satisfies something in you that is always hungry in America.” Ernest Hemingway

"When spring comes to Paris the humblest mortal alive must feel that he dwells in paradise." Henry Miller

"In Paris they simply stared when I spoke to them in French; I never did succeed in making those idiots understand their own language. Mark Twain

“You love him, and he loves you, and you live in the most romantic city in the world.” Stephanie Perkins

"Parisians make love all day and have no time to work; Americans work all day and have no time for love." Zsa Zsa Gabor


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