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Dramatic masks
"The virtue of dress rehearsals is that they are a free show for a select group of artists and friends of the author, and where for one unique evening the audience is almost expurgated of idiots."

Alfred Jarry (1873-1907),
French playwright, author.

The weekly magazines Pariscope: Une Semaine de Paris (which has an English section) — 0.40 €, l'Officiel des Spectacles — 0.35 €, and Figaroscope (a supplement to Le Figaro newspaper) are published every Wednesday and give detailed entertainment listings. Paris Nuit — 3 € — is a monthly publication containing good articles as well as listings. The Paris Free Voice is a free monthly that spotlights events of interest to anglophones, including poetry readings, plays, and literary evenings. Activities are also listed in "Saison de Paris", a booklet available at the Paris Tourist Office, whose 24-hour hotline in English (01-49-52-53-56) is another source of information about events.

  La Comedie Francaise, 17th century
  La Comédie Française
17th Century

The best place to buy tickets is at the venue itself; try to purchase in advance, as many of the more popular performances sell out. Also try your hotel or a travel agency, such as Paris-Vision (1, rue Auber, 75009 Paris; phone 01-40-06-01-00; métro Opéra). Virgin Megastore (52, av. des Champs-Elysées, 75008 Paris; phone 01-44-68-44-08; métro Franklin-D.-Roosevelt) sells theater and concert tickets.

Half-price tickets for many same-day theater performances are available from the Kiosques Théâtre at the northwest corner of the Madeleine church (across from 15, place de la Madeleine, métro Madeleine) — open Tues.-Sat. 12:30-8 p.m.; outside the Gare Montparnasse (place Raoul Dautry, 15e, métro Montparnasse-Bienvenüe) — open Tues.-Sun. 12:30-7:30 p.m.; and in the basement of the Châtelet-Les-Halles métro station. Expect a line, and budget your time accordingly.

Jean Boorsch, Professor of French, Emeritus, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut.
Source: Grolier Multimedia Encyclopedia v9.0.1., Grolier Interactive Inc., Danbury, CT (1997).
Bibliography: Geoffrey Brereton, A Short History of French Literature, 2d ed. (1976). Louis François Cazamian, A History of French Literature (1955; repr. 1967). Lester G. Crocker, ed., The Age of Enlightenment (1969). Martin Esslin, The Theater of the Absurd (1961; rev. ed. 1973). Wallace Fowlie, Dionysus in Paris: A Guide to Contemporary French Theater (1960). Grace Frank, The Medieval French Drama (1972). Jacques and June Guicharnaud, Modern French Theater (1967). Fodor's Paris, Fodor's Travel Publications, a division of Random House Inc., New York. Frommer's Paris From $95 A Day, Haas Mroue, Wiley Publishing Inc., Hoboken, NJ. Fodor's Exploring Paris, Fodor's Travel Publications, New York. The Columbia Dictionary of Quotations, Robert Andrews, Columbia University Press (1993). The Paris Pages (web site). Paris Tourist Office (web site).
Image sources: Cover shot of "The Count of Monte Christo" from Amazon.com Books. Thumbnail of Odéon - Théâtre de l'Europe © Michel Austin and Monir Tayeb (photographers), from The Hector Berlioz Website — All Rights Reserved.


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