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Rocky Horror Picture Paris

I may be the only person alive of my age bracket that hadn’t ever seen the Rocky Horror Picture Show…until Saturday night.

Eileen Walker, a New Yorker who spends as much time as she can afford in her Saint-Paul pied-à-terre, was determined not to leave Paris before she had introduced me to the ‘RHPS’ mania. Eileen beautifully renovated and decorated her 55 square meter one-bedroom “aerie.” On the third floor, it overlooks the newly pedestrianized rue Saint-Antoine and the Guimard-designed Art Nouveau entrance to Métro Saint-Paul that is shaded by tall trees and appointed with a year-round Merry Go-Round. The vista looks northward toward Le Marais at tree top level. A line-up of new “Vélib” bikes is on the cobblestoned street below just at her doorstep, which she says has changed her life in Paris, now that she’s pedaling from place to place with ease.

The funny thing about this particular apartment, is that two months before Eileen bought it, another one of our apartment-seeking clients purchased it, then because they were unsure about owning property in a foreign city so far from home, they utilized their option during the seven-day “cooling off” period to cancel the purchase with no ramifications.

Lucky thing for Eileen. Over dinner at Matsuya, a new and great Japanese restaurant find (sure to be added to the Insider Paris Guide to Good Value Restaurants) near the Rocky Horror Picture Show theater at number 39 rue Galande (5th, 01.43.54.58.84), we calculated that the apartment had increased in value over the course of the last two years 160% in euro value and in dollar value, 195%! She’s not complaining.

It took an ‘act of God’ and a determined Eileen to get the tickets to the performance of this 31-year old worldwide cult phenomenon unlike any other in movie history. It plays here at the 73 Studio Galande theater at number 42, rue Galande in the 5th arrondissement every Saturday evening at 10:10 p.m. If you don’t reserve your tickets in advance, you won’t get a seat — it sells out most performances and the line to enter the theater forms early. The ticket price is a bargain at 7,80€. To book, call Studio Galande at 08.92.68.06.24 or Allocine: 08.92.89.28.92 or by Internet at http://www.allocine.com/

We must have been the oldest in the theater. Most of the audience seemed like seasoned regulars. We made the mistake of being unprepared, unlike the others who opened umbrellas or topped their heads with rain hats at one point, to weather the water and rice storm that the audience imposes on itself. So after one of the strangest performance I’ve ever had the “pleasure” of seeing/participating in, we left soaking wet, looking like rats, dotted in rice, laughing and shaking our heads in disbelief.

While the movie plays in English with French subtitles, the actors/players who mimic the film and make jokes, manage to obscure the screen as they perform the story live, in fast-talking French and some mixed English. While not ducking under my now-drenched silk scarf, there were several moments of hilarity (what of the French humor I could grasp) mixed with frustration at not being able to truly take in the original film. Now, I guess I’ll have to rent it on DVD to see it for real!

Was I glad to have finally experienced it, even in France? Yes!

Would I go a second time? Doubt it, at least not without rain gear.

A la prochaine…  

Adrian LeedsAdrian Leeds
Editor, Parler Paris

P.S. The Insider Paris Guide to Good Value Restaurants just got updated, so even if you’ve had a copy in the past, you may want to get the latest version. Visit http://www.insiderparisguides.com to download your own electronic copy of more than 200 of my favorite dining spots in the City of Light.

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