Shows I Love That Take Place in France

In my last post, I mentioned that France is a common setting for musicals. However, I wasn’t able to mention ALL the shows I love that take place there. Shows range from ballet, plays, operas, and musicals. One of my favorite french shows is an opera, which is why I am doing this post. So, what are ALL the shows I love that take place in France?

Anastasia

This is the newest musical to enter my life, as I saw it on October 11th. If it wasn’t for falling in love with 5 songs, I may not have wanted to see it. Due to taking place in BOTH Russia and France, it partly counts. Favorite song is “Journey to the Past”.

Beauty and the Beast

Of all Disney princesses, Belle is the classic one I relate to the most. All I have seen are the animated and live action films. I still am waiting to see the stage show. Filled with enchanting, romantic, exciting, and magical songs. It has lots of lovable characters. Set in a fictional town in France, it is about the romance between Belle and Beast. Favorite song is “Beauty and the Beast”

Phantom of the Opera

Spellbinding, haunting, and beautiful are three words to describe this musical. Set in the Paris Opera house set in late 19th century France. It centers on a mysterious, but angelic love triangle. Its songs are both haunting and beautiful.

Les Mis

Obviously, this is my favorite French musical. Epic, passionate, powerful, emotional, and inspiring are just some of the words to describe this 19th century musical. Complex plot and complex characters. Usually in a musical, I can easily pick my favorite song, but not in Les Mis. This is the musical that challenged what I knew about musicals (so, it disproved a number of things).

La Bohème

This opera is a tragic love story between Rodolfo and Mimi set in 19th century France. If it wasn’t for my love for the musical, Rent, most likely never would given this opera a chance. I originally saw La Bohème by a live stream in Cinemas back in 2016 and finally saw it in person in January 2020. At the moment, it is my favorite opera- there is something about Puccini that drives you in.

Musicals I Love that Take Place in France

By this point, it is pretty obvious that I love more than one musical that takes place in France. That country has also become pretty common. I say that because I love 3.5 musicals that take place there. Yes, that sounds a little confusing—–why the 1/2 (well, if one musical you love only partly takes place there you have no choice). So, what are the French musicals I love?

Anastasia

This is the newest musical of my life. It actually takes place in BOTH Russia and France- St. Petersburg and Paris are its two locations. I saw the stage show October 11th, and knew I would probably love it. Already had fallen in love with five of its songs- what I still didn’t know is if I would love the others. It is a beautiful musical.

Favorite Song: Journey to the Past

Beauty and the Beast

This is the Disney musical I still need to see live. All I have seen are the animated and live action film and listened to the Original Broadway Soundtrack. It is enchanting, magical, romantic, and exciting—-that explains the nature of its songs. Filled with lots of memorable characters. It takes place in a fictional town in France.

Favorite Song: Beauty and the Beast

Phantom of the Opera

I loved this musical since listening to the songs in early 2013. It is mysterious, angelic, and beautiful. Taking place in the Paris Opera House, it centers on one of my favorite love triangles- one I call mysterious and angelic. The musical has a wonderful haunting beautiful nature about it.

Les Mis

Of ALL the French musicals, this is my favorite. This is an epic, powerful, passionate, and emotional musical. It is filled with memorable characters and songs. It really challenged everything I thought I knew about musicals. I become an emotional wreck each time I see it. It may be heartbreaking, but is also inspiring and hopeful.

A Common Century for Musicals

There are many amazing things about the world of musicals. It is pretty incredible to think about where and the time period they take place. It seems that a LOT of them take place in the 19th century, which are the 1800s——the same period many of the favorite classic books were written in. So, what are some of my favorite 19th century musicals?

Les Mis

This takes place in the early 1800s- from 1815-1832. To describe the story of this musical is not easy- meaning it is quite a complex story. It is about Jean Valjean’s journey to redemption after being released from prison——that starts after being shown mercy by the compassionate bishop. It is also about the love triangle between Marius, Cosette, and Eponine. It is also about the uprising the Friends of the ABC are planning and going to fight in—-aka The June Rebellion of 1832.

A musical with a complex plot and complex characters and epic, passionate, powerful and highly emotional songs. It is based on Victor Hugo’s 1862 novel, Les Misérables (the longest book I read and finished)

Oliver

Now we are on a musical based on Charles Dickens, Oliver Twist. I have to attempt I saw the stage show, but don’t remember (seen in 2007). At least, I eventually saw the movie musical—-watched it after finally reading the book. Crazy how such an amazing story starts after a few words—-“Please Sir, I Want some More”. Filled with exciting and emotional songs

Phantom of the Opera

This centers on a mysterious and angelic love triangle between The Phantom, Christine, and Raoul. Taking place in late 19th century at The Paris Opera House. Such a hauntingly beautiful musical. Even though The Phantom responds poorly to the unrequited love, he still makes the love triangle quite mysterious in many ways. Raoul and Christine are one of the most beautiful and adorable couples in musicals, thanks to the very romantic “All I Ask of You”

Newsies

The Disney musical based on The Newsboy Strike of 1899- started after Pulitzer raised the price of papers. Such an inspiring story that happens at the turn of the century! The Newsies relationship is similar to the relationship found between The Friends of the ABC in Les Mis—-both have a brotherly bond that feels like family with a leader and both have a cause they strongly believe in. Jack Kelly, their leader, cares more about his brothers than the strike, especially when it comes to Crutchie due to an intimate and special bond. Filled with mind-blowing dance, emotional and exciting songs, and amazing characters.

What are other 19th century musicals you love?

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.

Favorite Andrew Lloyd Webber Musical

Another famous composer in musical theatre is Andrew Lloyd Webber. At the moment, I only fell in love with two of his musicals, which are Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and Phantom of the Opera. True, I saw Cats before, but I forgot what my opinion was, but I do love some of its songs. So, what is my favorite musical of his?

Phantom of the Opera

It was actually my mom who recommended this musical to me, and I fell in love with it initially by the songs. As a matter of fact, I even have some unpopular opinions in the musical. Why do I love Phantom of the Opera? It is such a hauntingly beautiful show. So mysterious and angelic. I actually love Christine and Raoul as characters and as a couple- they are so adorable and romantic together, as expressed in “All I Ask of You”. I want Phantom with the unrequited love- he may respond very very poorly to it, but it makes the love triangle very mysterious, and it is an unique fact about it.