“Un spectacle vivant…ou presque”

Written by: Mohammed Bekada, Marco, Jane Resmond, Frank Victor

Directed by: Jo Brami

Location: Théâtre Mélo D’Amélie

Jane Resmond acts in the one-man comedy show “Un spectacle vivant…ou presque.”

The first character we meet is the lovable producer. Resmond disguises herself with a wig and glasses to portray the charismatic, comical character. She surprises the audience by returning between scenes, keeping the audience active and engaged.

51e1e3137b93988d57cfc7de2a0e56e5.jpgIn the second scene, we see God discussing the matter of overpopulation and the state of humanity on the phone. His solution to all of the problems caused by humans? Send everyone a card, red or blue, which determines their fate. One means you can continue to live on Earth. The other indicates that you will be sent to heaven… But, you must die first.

Resmond acts a variety of characters’ reactions after they recieve thier card. Each character is extreme and unique, having unexpected personalities and reactions.

Resmond’s best quality was her ability to interact with the audience and be personable. The script was well written with many surprises to keep the audience interested and the jokes were hilarious!

Paris le moche

“Tu sait Karla, Paris en mars est moche!”

Wisdom from a nine year old to slip on a pair of rainboots and never go out without an umbrella because Paris in March is ugly! Gray skies and cool, humid air is the forecast for this month. 

April showers come early in Paris and I can’t wait for the flowers!

“Je buterais bien ma mère un Dimanche”

Written by: Julie Villers

Directed by: Johanna Boyé

Location: Le Point Virgule

Julie Villers acts the role of three women, three generations of family in the crude comedy theater piece “Je buterais bien ma mère un Dimanche.”
aff_JulieVillersrevendeurs_640The onewoman show follows three characters: a kooky but sweet girl, her cold, regretful mother and the smoking, sensual, senile grandmother. Each is stuck in a past of regrets that revolves around the unwanted birth of a daughter who disrupts the mothers’ careers. Each mother blames their child for holding them back and stealing their youth.

This dramtic comedy piece, though hilarious and full of crude humour, still manages to pull at the audience members’ heart strings. Three generations of women, lost in the past and blaming each other for their misery. A broken family who may not forgive themselves and accept each other.

Julie Villers brillantly played all three characters. She was able to switch seamlessly between characters. The use of specific mannerisms, voices, facial expressions clearly distinguishing each personality and tell the individual’s story. Villers began her humor in the waiting line outside, kept a high energy throughout the show and engaged well with the audience. Her dynamic, talented performance deserves a round of applause!

Click here for tickets.

Parle moi d’amour

30 years of marriage explode in a witty hour and a half play written by Philippe Claudel. An older couple, played by Caroline Silhol and Philippe Magnan, spill their darkest secrets, self loathing and life regrets in a brilliant romantic comedy.

parle-moi-d-amour-bigThe husband and wife contrast each other in every way. The wife is elegant, artistic, acknowledge. The husband is cold, with an eye only for business and takes no pleasure in the abstract art his wife loves. Their conflicting personalities erupt into a raging disagreement, each pulling out the other’s skeletons from their marraige closet. They go back and forth insulting each other in an amusing manner. Alternating dialogue and movents around the stage, the actors keep the audience laughing with politcal references and backhanded compliments.

The comdey climaxes when the argument is no longer humourous, taking a dark, serious tone. It felt as if all the love and compassion had been sucked out of the room. Fear grabs the hearts of the audience memebers as the mind teases them with the thought of the play ending with the ending of the marriage.

But alas, they forgive each other as they have always done in the past. Their marriage, though not perfect, lasts due to their ability to give and take. Their realistic marriage, with faults and shortcomings, is a beautiful testament to the humanity of the world and the power of love.

Parle moi d’amour. Talk to me about love, compromise and acceptance

The show is currently in Paris, directed by Morgan Perez, and will be showing at the Pépinière Theater Tues. through Sat. at 9p.m., and  6 p.m. on Sat. from Feb. 7 to March 31.

http://www.theatrelapepiniere.com/spectacle_parle_moi_d_amour.html

http://paristheatre.over-blog.com/2017/01/parle-moi-d-amour

 

London

I recently spent a few days in London on my way back to Paris from Peterborough. London is a historic, busy city offering many beautiful attractions for the average tourist.

My phone broke the night before I left for the city, what bad luck. I never realized how dependent I was on Google Maps and GPS until I arrived in a new city without them. Not knowing exactly where my Airbnb was located, not having a way to look up a public transportation route (or the nearest station), nor being able to order an Uber, I used a black taxi which was near the bus station. I had no idea my Airbnb was out in Zone 4 of the city, in the suburbs, and that the black taxi would cost more than my bus from Paris! I was shocked at the total, but, live and learn… I learned never to take a black taxi and double check location before you book a place to stay.

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London’s Underground and Zones

The Airbnb, nice and comfortable, was near an underground station on the Central line. Unlike Paris, London uses names rather than numbers for their underground lines. I thought this was interesting and gave each line a little British personality. Similarly, though, each line has its own color. London doesn’t have as many lines or stops as Paris, and, I found that the cars weren’t as nice or rode as smooth.

The city offers free WiFi in the underground. Another useful feature, especially for tourists, is the contactless payment method for the underground. As in most cities, you can use a one-time ticket or reusable card, which for London is the Oyster card. With the Oyster card, the fares are reduced. The fares are also reduced during “off hours,” and is free for children under 11. Fares are more expensive during busy hours and rise the further distance you go. For example travel in Zone 1 is less expensive than Zones 1-4. And now, thanks to modern marvels, if you have a contactless credit or debit card, you can use it like an Oyster card rather than buying an Oyster card you may only use for a week. Also, contactless payment is the same price as the Oysters, which is less expensive than normal tickets and then you avoid paying the deposit for the Oyster. At the end of the day, you will be charged one sum total. Also, there is a maximum fare, known as capping, by the day or by the week for contactless payment cards. Using my contactless payment card was easy and vert convenient. I just used the same card to touch in and out in the underground. Buses and trams you only have to touch in. Navigating the city became pretty simply after learning the system and using a map.

The first day I visited the London Tower, London Bridge and Tower Bridge. The London Tower is an immaculate medieval castle tucked in among the modern architecture of the city. The juxtaposition was beautiful. It sits near the Tower Bridge and river Thames. The London Bridge has not yet fallen and is still standing strong. It is a plain structure, diminished by the Tower Bridge next to it. The Tower Bridge is absolutely beautiful, even more so when lit up at night when the reflected lights trickle across the river.

The bigIMG_20161229_204246.jpg Christmas area was at Hyde Park. I went my first night but left as soon as I got in line, it was extremely crowded and overpriced. There were pop-up Christmas markets across the city, with little vendor shacks. They sold every type of food and an assortment of merchandise and art. I enjoyed a curry dinner near the London Eye followed by mini pancakes topped wit Nutella and banana slices.

My second day, I visited the British Museum, London Eye, Big Ben, Westminster, and Buckingham Palace.

The British Museum, free entry, had impressive collections throughout the establishment. The first exhibit is the extensive collection from the Enlightenment, mostly consisting of artifacts from the personal collections of founder Sir Hans Sloane. The collection is now displayed in a large hall, originally designed by Robert Smirke for King George III’s library, with cases on each wall and throughout the walkway. The sheer amount of artifacts is impressive; bones, animals, bugs, documents, books, art. The Enlightenment was a time during which people explored all aspects of the natural and ancient world. Travel and trade led to new discoveries of antiquities and new cultures. It is a beautiful time period of education and development.

img_20161229_150528The British Museum houses the Rosetta Stone, an artifact discovered by the French. The stone was the key to unlocking and translating hieroglyphs. Other attractions were the Assyrian Lion Hunt reliefs and the iconic Parthenon sculptures from ancient Greece. The sculptures were larger than expected, though I’ve never been to Greece. It was interesting to have to perspective of the huge tablets next to you then to see them on models of the Parthenon, it puts them and the entire structure into perspective. It also causes one to think of the British invading cultures and stealing artifacts, an ancient controversy.

I personally enjoyed the mummies. There was a mummified head of a soldier with his helmet still on, his skull had been crushed. I enjoyed the exhibit of the unknown plaster skull. In the first case was the original skull, mummified with plaster and other materials. The exhibit walked you through the skull’s discovery and the reconstruction of the face. According to depression areas in the skull, the man would have worn headbands to stretch his head.

I also enjoyed the African exhibit area, mostly of modern art. The most interesting pieces to me where the Throne of Guns and the Tree of Life, both made with old guns. The material itself spoke loudly to me about the life in a war zone, a violent life in which guns are such common materials for artists to use. It was heartbreaking and beautiful. The museum also had interesting Native American, Oriental and Middle Eastern exhibitions.

My favorite piece in the British Museum: The Jericho Skull. See article for more about “The oldest portrait in the Museum.”

The most impressive art pieces were the boxwood mini sculptures. They were incredibly detailed, exasperating just to look at. It’s a shame I didn’t have a better camera, the technique is worth it.

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Boxwood Mini sculpture

My trip to London wasn’t very long but if I go back, I will probably invest in a London Pass. I only saw most of the main attractions but the pass allows entry into them all at a fair price. It also includes a hop on/hop off bus tour as well as optional Oyster Travelcard.

For more information:

https://www.londonpass.com/how-it-works/what-you-get-with-the-london-pass.html

https://www.londonpass.com/london-pass-prices.php

The Jericho Skull

My favorite piece: The Jericho Skull “The oldest portrait in the Museum”

The Jericho Skull, about 9,500 years old, is a plaster covered skull. This technique was used for prominent people. Plaster was used to cover the skull, giving it a face. The eyes are clam-shells. It was discovered in 1953.

The exhibit was located in a small room near the entrance, I almost passed it up. The ancient Jericho Skull is located front and center. The exhibit walks you through the discovery of the skull at an excavation site and the reconstruction process.

Recent imaging techniques show the skulls inside the plaster cover, allowing the 3D reconstruction of the skull and a model of the head. Varying thickness of the skull shows that it was wrapped tightly from infancy with the purpose to permanently change the shape of the skull. Head binding is found across the world in a variety of cultures. The 3D model of the head showed how the man would look in life, it was rebuilt from the skull images muscle by muscle.

I found this exhibit interesting and well organized. It was awesome to see such an ancient artifact and have it given life by 3D reconstruction.

http://www.britishmuseum.org