The Folies Bergère has been one of the world’s most prestigious music halls for almost two centuries. This legendary venue saw the birth of the first music-hall revue, more than 150 years ago. Opened in 1869 as the Folies Trévise, the Folies Bergère theatre adopted its current name in 1872. The building has been listed as a historic monument since 1990. Renowned for its extravagant sets, costumes, and storylines, the hall has formed the backdrop to some of the greatest musical shows of all time, and hosted legends such as Josephine Baker, Jean Gabin, Charles Trenet, Fernandel, Charlie Chaplin, Mistinguett, and Maurice Chevalier. Its iconic status earned it a pen portrait in Maupassant’s novel “Bel Ami”, and the Impressionist Manet painted his famous “A Bar at the Folies-Bergère” here in 1881. Since then its boards have been trod by Ben Harper, Texas, Herbie Hancock, Zazie, Benjamin Biolay, Vincent Delerm, and Alex Lutz, all drawn inexorably to this symbol of Parisian entertainment. From Jean-Paul Gaultier’s “Fashion Freak Show” to Dita Von Teese’s revues, for many artists, nothing can compare to the Folies Bergère. Starting out as a cabaret music hall, the Folies Bergère has moved with the times and public tastes without sacrificing its soul, and remains a symbol of Parisian life.
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