The impending weekend in Paris was set up to be a great one: reconnecting with an old friend, touring and photographing the city, and seeing the debut of the Phantom of the Opera (Le Fantôme de l'Opéra) in french at Théâtre Mogador. I was already familiar with the theatre, having seen the french version of Beauty and the Beast (La Belle et la Bête) in 2013 and the french version of Cats in 2016.
In the weeks leading up, we were planning our adventure and youtubing sneak previews of the songs translated into french, until we stumbled upon a news article that made our hearts drop: Théâtre Mogador had a set fire and the fate of the show wasn't looking too promising.
The good thing about being disappointed in Paris is that if you just lift your head up for a second, you'll find that there is still so much to be excited about. From the architecture to the culture to the little macarons waiting for you in the pâtisserie displays at every corner, we weren't disheartened for too long. We wandered through the Hôtel de Ville under overcast skies that matched the grey buildings. Paris has a way of making grey the most beautiful color. Of course, the rain eventually came so we hid out in a café with hot chocolate, looking out onto the streets of Paris because Paris est plus belle sous la pluie.
That Saturday, sans plans after our Phantom of the Opera date was cancelled, we sat in the Shakespeare and Co. Café by the Seine with a view of the towering Notre Dame in the background. Brainstorming ideas for spending the soirée, I recalled seeing a poster in the city advertising Oliver Twist. Although Nick wasn't head over heels, we had no other plans and we had a musical on the brain. So we booked tickets and found ourselves at a small theatre on Rive Droite.
The acting, the songs, and the set were incredible. Nick had the original to compare it to, and he raved about the inventiveness and creativity of the french version. The songs were not translated from their original version; instead, it was a complete re-write of the script, lyrics and music.
Although it was not Phantom of the Opera, we were content. We had come to Paris to see a musical together and we made it happen despite our original misfortune. High on the spirit of the live musical performance, we headed to Trocadéro to view the Eiffel Tower lighting up the night. It sounds cliché (because it is), but seeing the Eiffel Tower sparkle against the night sky is the most magical sight. It's a sight that can't be captured by a photo or a video; it's an experience. A thrilling, beautiful, captivating experience.
We'll see it again soon.