The show goes on!
Turn your back on the Paris Bourse crowd. Cross the Vaudeville terrace without letting yourself be distracted by famous actors, writers or intellectuals who feed the world's rumour mills. And immerse yourself into the Roaring Twenties. Tread lightly over the tiles and mosaics, appreciate the large domes, admire the marble, the wood panelling, the etched brass and glass, and gaze at the ghosts of centuries past in the vast mirrors everywhere. All of Paris has thronged beneath the great frosted opal chandelier in the warm ochres and deep blues of the Vaudeville since the 19th century, and the walls still echo the applause that once rang out from the theatre next door.
The history of the brasserie is intrinsically linked to that of the popular theatre from which the Vaudeville got its name, before the theatre finally succumbed under the weight of the years, several fires and the public works commissioned by Baron Haussmann. It was on the stage of the Vaudeville Theatre that "The Lady of the Camellias" (La Dame aux Camélias) received its first grand accolades. And it was in the shadow of the flourishing theatre that the little café adjacent to the Paris Bourse and coach houses began to prosper and would one day become the eponymous brasserie. Sitting comfortably in the café, the famous French dramatist, Eugene Labiche, would have drafted hundreds of plays. When the great public works of Paris swallowed up the Vaudeville Theatre, the little café remained and during the Roaring Twenties went on to acquire its present dimensions and its Art Deco style.
Faithful to the memory of this historical form of theatrical entertainment, and sensitive to the effervescent charm of the quarter where business and journalism thrive at the crossroads of the Paris Bourse, large media offices and the Bibliothèque Nationale, the regular patrons of the Vaudeville are always following the rhythm of contagious laughter, intrigue and dramas constantly being woven into the tapestry of life, day and night. Louis de Funès, Alice Sapritch and Jacques Villeret made it their favourite hangout. For a time, a new literary award used to crown novels judged worthy of its hallowed halls. Journalists and financiers used to gather here daily at lunch to discuss the latest news, and when evening came, they gave way to lovers, artists, and fans of diverse spectacles. Day after day, in a vibrant homage to the stage that made its name famous, the Vaudeville provides a spectacle without intermission of a human comedy on which the final curtain never falls.
Crédits photos : © Jérémie Dequiedt, studio 1+1