Exhibitions, theatre, books… Every fortnight Madame Figaro offers its cultural selection.
42nd Streetthe cult musical at the Châtelet
It’s the return of the great musical comedy, presented at the Châtelet in 2016, with a whirlwind of successive scenes, 47 tap-dancing actors, 19 musicians in the pit, a collection of sequined costumes for which Gareth Valentine signs the musical direction and Stephen Mear the staging and choreography. This show, in the pure tradition of Broadway, which bears the name of 42nd Street (artery which precisely intersects Broadway at the height of Times Square), held the top of the bill during the decade of the 1980s in New York. The piece takes us behind the scenes of the creation of a show with all the related adventures. On the menu, mise en abyme, happy ending, frenzied rhythm, catchy melodies. A true tale of Christmas.
42nd street, from December 7 to January 15, 2023, chatelet.com
Proust by Wiaz, a gallery of literary portraits at Pierre Passebon
This draftsman is also a painter. After an exhibition of his paintings, oceansin Ars-en-Ré in 2021, here is Uncle Marcel, a family affair, or Proust by Wiaz. Because Pierre Wiazemsky is of literary ancestry, grandson of François Mauriac and distant cousin of Marcel Proust. This exhibition, led by Valérie Solvit, found its setting at Pierre Passebon. Either a gallery of portraits ofwriter behind the gates of boulevard Haussmann, alone in a gondola in Venice, on the Alexandre III bridge, in the posture of Oscar Wilde, in a field of poppies, immersed in Cabourg… This variation, in which dance the lines of Proust, of Wiaz and Mauriac, is sensitive, fragile. When the elegance of the line mingles with the tender palette and the happiness of the titles. A treasure.
Proust by Wiaz, Oncle Marcel, a family affair until the end of December. Pierre Passebon, Galerie du Passage, 20/26, Véro-Dodat gallery, 75001. galeriedupassage.com
square root of the verb to bean ontological piece at the Hill
It’s a great Wajdi Mouawad, a 6 hour odyssey, a moment of theatre. The playwright, who is also an actor and director of La Colline always drinks from the same source, his native Lebanon, war, exile. Alas! the tragedy of the explosion in Beirut in 2020 gave it new relevance. square root of the verb to be, built like a mathematical structure, intertwines the stories of the same family in five countries like so many possibilities. The narration, which follows all these rhizomes, is of rare virtuosity and the actors, Norah Krief in the lead, are prodigious. This piece, underpinned by the question “Why living does not seem to be enough for us?” is at the same time poetic, philosophical, ethical, metaphysical.
square root of the verb to beWajdi Mouawad, until December 30, colline.fr
Dogs of Europea premonitory dystopia at the Odéon
The room Dogs of Europe (The Dogs of Europe) censored by the Belarusian State, inspired by a novel by Alhierd Bacharevic (also banned by Belarus) crowds the boards of the Odeon. It is part bizarre fairy tale, part political thriller, part futuristic epic. The staging is by Natalia Kaliada and Nicolai Khazelin, a couple who co-founded and co-directs the Belarus Free Theatre, underground theater created in reaction to the censorship and repression of the regime of Alexander Lukashenko. Since 2005, the company has often performed secret, provocative pieces bracing against the culture of fear. In 2010, Natalia, Nicolai and their troupe, forced into exile, applied for political asylum in the United Kingdom. The work of the fourteen performers highlights the dangers of denial in the face of rising authoritarianism. This story, in times of war in Ukraine, takes on a prescient dimension.
Dogs of Europefrom December 9 to 15, 2022, Ateliers Berthier , theatre-odeon.eu
Annie Leibovitz, an XXL format book
A lighter version of the SUMO book (26 kilos) fromAnnie Leibovitz just released by Taschen. This new edition, in XXL format, summarizes in images more than 40 years of work by one of the most important photographers working today. Everything is there: from his photo reports for the magazinee Rolling Stone in the 1970s, his portraits for Vanity Fair when she was the principal photographer of the rock scene, her work with actors, directors, writers, musicians… at vogue, iconic images like that of John Lennon and Yoko Ono embracing. This bookvery personal, with no chronology other than that of emotions, is a journey to the heart of popular culture and recent history.
HASnnie Leibovitz, XXL, Taschen editions, taschen.com