Rays of Sunshine Over the City of Light
It was a first — a double rainbow in Paris behind the Grand Palais. We all saw it, took a zillion photos and marveled at it’s beauty.
There was a group of us celebrating the 19th birthday of a pet cat who never ventured out from his hiding place to share a piece of Black Forest Cake with us when the rains came down. Then the sun came out and soon after that the rainbow appeared. We all ran to the balcony of the Champs-Elysées penthouse to witness the event. Within moments it was gone…forever.
The reason this happens, according to AccuWeather.com meteorologists, is that “a ray of sunlight passes through a raindrop, reflecting off the back of the drop at varying angles.” The rest of the explanation is all about the refraction of light that causes the spectrum of colors. Either way, it’s a rare sight in the City of Light, and we felt lucky to have had even those few moments of it’s beauty.
CASABLANCA ON THE BOULEVARD DU CRIME
It’s too late to catch now, if you didn’t have the chance while it was delighting its audiences — Morag Fullarton’s version of Casablanca with Gavin Mitchell, Clare Waugh and Barnaby Power at the Théâtre Déjazet on boulevard du Temple.
It seemed appropriate that I should be there with Cara Black, author of 15 (with more still coming) crime novels set in Paris — the Aimée Leduc Series. The theater is on a spot once known as the “boulevard du crime” — not because of any crime in the area, but because of the many crime melodramas that were shown every night in its many theaters. This theater dates back to 1770 and has quite a history over the centuries. The only reason it still exists, once Baron Haussmann demolished so much of the area around Place de la République, is that it was solely on the ‘opposite side’ of the demolition. It’s now a bit run-down and in need of a cosmetic face-lift, but the setting was still sublime.
The play, a spoof on the film Casablanca in English, was well acted and delightful on all counts. With a constant and almost chaotic change of costumes and personas, the skill of the three actors was evident, playing the roles of Rick Blain (Bogart), Ilsa Lund (Berman), Victor Laszlo (Henreid), Ugarte (Lorre), etc. Sam (Wilson), the piano player, was played by a miniature sculpture on a rotating pedestal manipulated by the actors as needed. What ‘cracked me up’ most was one scene, when Rick’s frustration and anger begs to whack poor Sam, he picks up the wooden sculpture of Sam and slams him down! The sheer absurdity of the cartoon-like representation was simply hilarious.
We have American in Paris Jim Haynes to thank for this event — so let’s just hope this will not be Jim’s last theater project for us Anglophones in Paris to enjoy.
CLUB RAYE — A ‘NOIR ET BLANC’ RAY OF SUNSHINE IN THE 2ND
We have another American in Paris to thank for rue Dussoubs’ hottest new corner. Once a convent with parts dating back to the 13th-century, New Yorker Kein Cross has taken a broken-down old building (at the corner of rue Saint-Sauveur), and with an iron will to overcome French bureaucracy, turned it into the hippest (if not stripiest) spot in the 2nd arrondissement — Club RaYé.
Rue Dussoubs, once known as “rue Gratte-Cul,” was once outside the city walls and specialized in prostitution. The street was later named after the revolutionary Limousin Denis Gaston Dussoubs, who was killed in 1851 on a barricade of the rue Montorgueil while protesting against the coup of Louis Napoleon Bonaparte. And now today, after a massive renovation and masterful decoration in a theme of black and white by Cross, is a haven for mature hipsters (like me) who want a more sophisticated approach to haute cuisine and formidable musical entertainment.
I opted for the Sunday Gospel Jazz Brunch, complete with Southern Specialties…champagne, mini cornbread muffins, deviled eggs, macaroni and cheese (NOT Kraft (!) — the best you have ever tasted), scrambled eggs, bread pudding and American coffee, backdropped by gospel singing and Kein’s signature black and white striped ambiance…all for just 35€. What a bargain!
No doubt I’ll be back…there are too many great offerings to try: Open Mic Night on Tuesdays, Ladies’ Night on Wednesdays and Caroline Nin singing Saturday nights in the month of May, to name just a few. And you should not miss an opportunity to check it out and show your support for an American who’s gone to great lengths to jazz up Paris!
JUST FOR YOU READERS OF PARLER PARIS…as an exclusive offer for a complimentary glass of Champagne! Just present this card (click on the photo to open the PDF) at “Club RaYé” and be sure to tell Kein Cross Adrian Leeds and Parler Paris sent you!
A la prochaine…
Director of The Adrian Leeds Group, LLC
(at Club RaYé)
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