French Shows I Love

Just yesterday was Bastille Day, which is France’s Independence Day. France is actually an amazing location for fiction- it is where some of my favorite shows take place. So, what are my favorite French shows?

La Bohème

If it wasn’t for Rent, there is no way I would have seen this tragic opera. It centers on the two lovers, Rudolfo and Mimi during 19th century France. While they are the main couple, we have a 2nd couple- Marcello and Musetta, who help lighten up the tragedy ever once in a while. While Rudolfo and Mimi have a tragic relationship, at least we know they truly love each other. Or when the characters are having fun- due to their bohemian lifestyle. There is just something about Puccini that draws you in. La Bohème is my favorite opera

I first saw the musical as a live stream in Cinemas back in 2016. Than soon enough saw it in person in 2020.

Phantom of the Opera

This is actually my favorite Andrew Lloyd Webber musical. Another show taking place in 19th century France—-this time late century. Centering on a haunting and angelic love triangle. It is found between the mysterious Phantom, and the adorable couple of Raoul and Christine. The musical is so beautiful, in many ways. The costumes are beautiful and so is the set. Spellbouding and can drive you to tears

I saw Phantom of the Opera at the beautiful Peace Center May of 2014. I was spellbound the moment the show started, and didn’t move until the chandelier fell

Les Mis

Where to start? Of all musicals, this was most expected due to a massive love—-another show taking place in 19th century France. This time, we are starting in 1815 and ending in 1832. To fall in love with Les Mis, I had to give the musical film a 2nd chance, and the rest is history.

There is SO much I love about this musical. The complex plot, the complex characters, and the epic, passionate, powerful, and highly emotional songs. It is so hard to even choose a favorite song from this musical. The musical that disproved a number of things about musicals- 1) tragic musicals exist, 2) death is memorable and can happen during song, 3) heartbreak is a musical emotion

Les Mis is about Jean Valjean’s journey on becoming a better person. He is an ex-convcit, who life was changed after encountering the compassionate bishop, who taught him the ways of the Lord. What the bishop taught him would drive the rest of his actions. 1) the compassion towards Fantine, 2)t the adoption of Cosette, 3) mercy and forgiveness towards Javert, etc……

In addition, it is also about the love triangle of Marius, Eponine, and Cosette——I actually love this love triangle, and all three characters (Marius actually is my favorite survivor and now is almost a core favorite character). It is also about the uprising that is formed through the Friends of the ABC. All of the storylines are so strongly connected, that if you get rid of one tiny thing, the entire story starts unraveling itself.

In total, I have seen the stage show six times- that is in 3 cities and 4 theaters. The cities were Charlotte, London, and Greenville. The theaters were Halton- CPCC (this gets 3x due to once with family and twice as usher), Queen’s, Peace Center, and Ovens Auditorium- Blumenthal. As a matter of fact, I had some pretty special Les Mis dates- like my mom and I in London or being with my University in Greenville.

Beauty and the Beast

I ended on Beauty and the Beast because it was the ONLY French show I love that I still haven’t seen live. All I have seen of it were the two films- animated and live action. Of all classic Disney princesses, I relate to Belle the most. I am both a bookworm and unique. A collection of exciting, romantic, and emotional songs. My favorite song is “Beauty and the Beast”—-such an enchanting and magical moment that it can easily drive you to tears.

A musical that truly shows that “beauty comes from within”. The Beast may look like a beast, but he is beautiful on the inside. Gaston may look handsome on the outside, but is. truly a beast on the inside

As a matter of fact, this is the first French show I fell in love with. But it took me way too long to figure out it took place in France. Don’t know why it took me longer than it should have- despite obvious clues. Character names and some words characters say- Lumiere literally singing “This is France” in the fun song, “Be Our Guest”, and the word “Bonjour” was sung in the opening number, “Belle”.

Conclusion

As different as all these shows may seem, they still share some things in common. Just like with any show, you need to have an emotional connection- the reason why you want to feel the emotions. Plus, I love the songs in all of them along with the plot and characters.

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