Paris. The acknowledged home of the cabaret. Home of the world famous Moulin Rouge. I’ve always wanted to see a traditional Parisian cabaret and in April I finally got the chance at Paradis Latin.
Perched at the far end of the Latin Quarter, Paradis Latin is nestled in a rather residential neighborhood next to one of the universities. Why this particular and rather unknown location? Why pass up on the Moulin Rouge, the Lido and the Crazy Horse? Because this theater has its own unique history and is a local favorite.
Designed by Gustav Eiffel (yes that Gustav Eiffel, architect of the Tour Eiffel) in the 1830s, it is obvious the theater has been thoroughly modernized but it still maintains its unique charm. Dark walls, mirrors and elaborate chandeliers it is everything I expected it to be.
Tickets for the show either include dinner service or champagne (by the half-bottle or the glass). We opted for the half-bottle, of course. And I will admit to being pleasantly surprised by the quality of the wine on offer. I was expecting some ing more acidic and a bit rougher around the edges.
The show runs about one and half hours and features a multi-song, multi-act performance. Not just a strip show this traditional Burlesque offering includes song, dance, unicycles, trapeze swings and of course a bit of T&A. Even a bit of male bum.
I could be all critical and say that you could clearly tell that some of the dancers had been classically trained (every little girl’s dream: become an erotic dance after years of intensive training) while the others clearly had not. I could also mention that the singer wasn’t particularly good. But I would rather tell you how much I enjoyed the show. In all it’s cheesy, campy, kitschy glory. Silly and fun. Touristy and yet somehow authentic. The evening was everything I wanted it to be.