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photo: pont des arts, ile de la cite

Paris' favorite pedestrian bridge - the Pont des Arts.

Few(er) New Items This Week

Paris:- Saturday, 6. November 1999:- The following two items should ease your access to the events you want to see during visits to Paris, by giving you a way to buy tickets for them in advance. Metropole has no commercial relationships with these concerns - if I ever have any, you will not be able to escape reading about it here.

In addition, with the databases behind the tickets offered by the Théâtre On Line and the fnac Web sites, you should be able to find out what will be playing or be on view when you come to Paris. If the two sites do their jobs right, then I can abandon this column - thereby gaining enough time to actually attend some of these things.

Tickets: Théâtre On Line - presents the majority of theatre performances in Paris and the Ile-de-France, with news of new shows, criticism, and has a searchable database. On top of this, you can buy tickets for performances, and if you become a member of Théâtre On Line's 'club,' you may be offered special prices.

Tickets: www.fnac.com - France's giant media and cultural retailer also has its 'ticket' Web site, which has just been presented with a new face-lift, which is called a 're-loook.' Its site also presents a vast array - 6000 shows - of performances, events, and amusement park entries, in Paris, the Ile-de-France, and throughout France. Without having a 'fnac member's card' you can still access the service; but without getting all of the discounts. Maybe memberships are also sold online too. fnac is present in many locations in Paris, throughout France and also in Belgium, Spain, Portugal, Brazil and Taiwan. I thought fnac had a store in Berlin as well, but it is not mentioned.

The Millennium Party 1999 - 2000

Metropole readers have already arrived in Paris to get early seats for what may be standing-room-only events, and other readers are writing to ask 'what's happening?' Watch this space next week for new items. Like last year, they will probably migrate to their own 'Christmas In Paris' page.

2000 In Paris - Metropole has two 'Scene' columns. This one contains actual and coming events, and the occasional '2000 In Paris' column features events - up to next summer - related to Paris' 'millennium party' - and includes some details concerning the coming New Years Eve.

Stephane Serfati - this guy is being offered a pair of pants and a dress, presumably to wear to his concerts, 'Ce n'Est Pas...Pareil,' which are given every Monday until 27. December, at 21:30. Theo Théâtre, 20. Rue Théodore Deck, Paris 15. Métro: Convention or Boucicaut. Info. Tel.: 01 45 54 00 16.

Sapho En Concert - this she does on 'La Route Nue des Hirondelles.' Dates still left are Friday, 26. and Saturday, 27. November; at 20:30. Auditorium Saint-Germain-des-Prés, 4. Rue Fabien, Paris 6. Info. Tel.: 01 44 07 37 43.

Maitres de l'Encre - features Chang Dai-Chien, T'ang Hayen and Zao Wou-Ki, three Chinese brush masters, with their limpid ink sketches done on the fly, that look as if they are still wet. Until 6. February, frombrochure: salon du cheval et poney Wednesday to Sunday; from 10:00 to 12:00 and from 13:30 to 18:00. At the Musée de Pontoise, 4. Rue Lemercier, Pontoise. Access via SNCF from Gare du Nord or Saint-Lazare. Info. Tel.: 01 30 38 02 40.

Salon du Cheval du Poney et de l'Ane - is a horse, pony and donkey show, lasting nine days. Morocco is the guest of honor this year. This a proper salon which features very serious competitions, judging and events - with areas for kids as well. In its 28th year, the salon will fill four of Paris Expo's halls. From Saturday, 4. December to Sunday, 12. December. Daily from 10:00 to 19:00; Tuesday, 7. December until 22:00. Métro: Porte de Versailles. Info. Tel.: 08 03 39 83 98.

Robert Desnos - was a popular pioneer surrealist. All surrealism was pioneering, but not all of it was 'popular.' Desnos is having homage paid to him apparently at the bookshop of the Paris' Bibliothéque Historique, which is a few doors away from the Bibliothéque Historique itself, in the Rue Pavée. Exhibition at 22. Rue Malher, Paris 4. Métro: Saint-Paul. Info. Tel.: 01 44 59 29 60.

La Maison Fournaise - is a 19th century guinguette, on an island in the Seine near Chatou. The nearby Grenouille, a floating café at Croissy, was too animated with boaters and bathers for Renoir, so he immortalized La Maison Fournaise with his 'Le Déjeuner desbrochure: maitres de l'encre, pontoise Canotiers.' The canoe fans came every weekend, and they still do because of the adjacent boatworks. Guy de Maupassant was another guest of the riverside café, and he included it in his 'La Femme de Paul, Mouche, Yvette.'

From Thursday, 18. November until 2. April 2000, La Maison Fournaise presents its history and its former guests. On the Ile des Impressionistes, in Chatou. Take 'RER' line 'A' to Rueil-Malmaison or Chatou-Croissy. Open from Thursday to Sunday, from 11:00 to 17:00. Info. Tel.: 01 34 80 63 22.

Rivages - is an exhibition featuring 200 watercolors depicting the sights and treasures to be found at the water's edge, from the Côte d'Opale on the Riviera to the bay of Mont Saint-Michel or the calanques near Cassis. Part of this expo comes from the Museum of Natural History and also has an aquarium, plus sails rippling in the wind. At the Espace Electra, 6. Rue Récamier, Paris 7. Open daily except Monday, from 12:00 to 19:00. Métro: Sèvres-Babylone. Info. Tel.: 01 53 63 23 45.

Le Son des Guitares 99 - is a mini-festival featuring guitar players - such as Gwyn Ashton, Claude Barthélémy, Juan Carmona, Saïd Chraili and Ras Smaila - for upright guitar fans. Lessons and guitar tuning are on the program too. On Friday and Saturday, 19. and 20. November, in the Espace Lino Ventura, Place de l'Appel du 18 Juin 1940, inphoto: moric sculpture Torcy. Take the RER 'A' line to Chessy, but get off at Torcy and then take the bus 220 or 421. Info. Tel.: 01 60 37 37 60.

Mirza Moric - has been quietly sitting under a canvas marquee in the Square René Viviani since Thursday, 9. September, watching over a garden of his fantastic sculptures that nobody bothered to tell me about. The open-air expo is called 'Le Labyrinthe Sculptural.' If you tire of waiting for the scaffolding in front of Notre-Dame to come down, cross the Pont au Double to the left bank and enter the little park, which is also home to Paris' oldest or second-oldest tree.

With Mirza Moric, try to imagine Thai temple figures that have gone wild - rounder, exaggerated - but no less complex, which are strewn around this little square. While the 'modern' stuff at 'Les Champs de la Sculpture 2000' may leave you baffled, not so here. The exhibition continues until Sunday, 12. December. Paris 5. Métro: Saint-Michel or Cité. No phone.

Destins des Femmes - Colette as the symbol of women's destiny, is the subject of this exhibition of homage to Colette and all women who have this their mark on this century about to end. Open daily, from 10:00 to 19:00; until Sunday, 16. January. At the top of the Grande Arche at La Défense. Métro and RER: La Défense. Info. Tel.: 01 49 07 27 57.

Chatou's 42nd Salon des Beaux-Arts - this year also features honored painters from each of the past ten years, plus a hundred other contemporary artists. This year's honored artist is Pierre Rannaud, who has done the painting on the cover of the exhibition's brochure. From Saturday, 13. November until Sunday, 28. November. Open daily from 15:00 to 19:00; and on Saturdays and Sundays from 10:30 to 13:00 and from 14:30 to 19:00. At the Centre Artistique Jacques Catinat, 3. Place Maurice Berteaux. In Chatou. Take RER line 'A' to Chatou. Info. Tel.: 01 30 53 32 05.

8th Festival de Théâtre Hispanique - is mainly Spanish, but also features artists from Argentina and Cuba, who fill this location with theatre, dance and a Flamenco concert as a final event on 28. November. Vingtième Théâtre,7. Rue des Plâtrières, Paris 20. Métro: Ménilmontant. Info. Tel.: 01 43 66 01 13.

Paris-Banlieues-Tango - Last year about this time Norman Barth send me an email, asking if I knew about Paris' Tango Festival and the Tango's 100th anniversary. He wondered whether anybody would be interested in it.

This year must be Tango's 101th anniversary and I have no information about it except for a program, which is three pages long, crammed full of tiny text. Fortunately the Paris-Banlieues-Tango has a Web site - and its program should be up and running. For information, write to the FAMA or call Info. Tel.: 01 48 87 74 23. The 60 days of Tango continue until Sunday, 5. December. The Fondation Argentine at the Cité Universitaire is also behind this.

Other Stuff:

La Femme, Mode d'Emploi - 'Balzac - Superstar' is a phrase making the rounds at the moment, due in part to waves he made 170 years ago with the publication of 'Méditation de Philosophie Electique Sur le Bonheur et Malheur Conjugal' - or, 'Physiologie du Mariage' for short; it was intended as a 'Guide for Bachelors.'

Balzac had 'scientific' aid, provided by the experiences of two of his mistresses, to lend authenticity and authority to the work, and even provided interesting 'statistics,' worthy of later work by Masters and Johnson. Contemporary cartoons by Monnier, Gavarni and Daumier round out the picture. This exhibition continues until Tuesday, 4. January.

At the 'Maison de Balzac.' Open daily except Monday, from 10:00 to 17:40. Maison de Balzac, 47. Rue Raynouard, Paris 16. Métro: La Muette or Passy. Info. Tel.: 01 42 24 56 38.

Musée d'Art et d'Historie du Judaïsme - has two shows: the first is entitled 'Regards - Sur la Vie Juive au Maroc' and the second, in the 'Chambre du Duc,' will present the works of Jean-Pierre Bertrand with the title 'Ethrog, 1999.' Both exhibitions continue until Sunday, 2. January 2000.

The museum is open from Monday to Friday, from 11:00 to 18:00 and on Sundays from 10:00 to 18:00. Info Tel.: 01 53 01 86 53 and Fax.: 33 1 42 72 97 47. Since it is a new museum, there is also an Internet address you can write to for information. Musée d'Art et d'Historie du Judaïsme, in the Hôtel de Saint-Aignan. This is 'in' the Marais, at 71. Rue du Temple, Paris 3. Métro: Rambuteau.

Current Big Exhibitions:

Brésil Baroque - Between Earth and Sky - 500 years ago next 22. April, Alvarès Cabrai found an unknown land, which is known as Brazil today. Apparently unlike Peru orposter: reine de la nuit Mexico, Brazil was a blank slate, to be filled in by Indians, Africans and Europeans. The resulting art is little known in Europe and this exhibition will change our 'blank slate' view of it.

This exhibition continues until 6. February. Next spring, 30 centuries of Mexican art will take over, also in the Petit Palais, Avenue du Winston Churchill, Paris 8. Métro: Champs-Elysées Clemenceau. Except Monday, open from 10:00 to 17:40; to 20:00 on Thursdays. Catalogue available. Info. Tel.: 01 42 65 12 73.

Portrait of Mexico - as part of the '2000 in Paris' salute to the new world of the Americas, a film history of Mexico is a current attraction at the Forum des Images-Vidéothèque. This is in the Forum des Halles, by the Porte Saint-Eustache entry, Paris 1. Info. Tel.: 01 44 76 62 00.

La Mort n'en Saura Rien - is an exhibition of 74 pieces or sets depicting how man faces death, from two widely separated civilizations; Europe and the islands of the oceans - selected for their aesthetic qualities from public and private collections. This exhibition continues until 24. January 2000. Two other single-artist exhibitions begin on Friday, 29. October; featuring the Moroccan artist Farid Belkahia and the little-known Clovis Trouville. These continue until Monday, 3. January.

At the Musée National des Arts d'Afrique et d'Océanie, 293. Avenue Daumesnil, Paris 12. Métro: Porte Dorée and bus 46. Open daily except Tuesdays, from 10:00 to 17:30. Entry fee for the temporary exhibitions includes access to the permanent collection of art from Africa and the islands of the oceans. Info. Tel.: 01 43 46 51 61.

Napoléon's Eye - was Dominique Vivant Denon's nickname, and he has a huge portrait on the 'Denon' wing of the Louvre to prove it. Denon had his finger in every intellectual pot in his time, and ended up being the Louvre's first director, which kind of makes him the grandfather of all big museum directors. This exhibition contains his private collections and his public ones, as Napoléon's servant. At the Louvre, every day except Tuesday, from 9:00 to 17:45; with late evening to 21:45 on Mondays and Wednesdays. Paris 1. Métro: Palais Royal. Info. Tel.: 01 40 20 50 50.

Here Come Les Fauves - for 30 years nobody has paid much attention to these wild men of color, who crashed in the public's consciousness in 1905 with their flaming palettes. No 'isms' here; just full-tilt color. Big names by the metre, lots of color; a perfect winter show. From 10:00 to 17:30 daily except Mondays; until 27. February 2000, at the Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, 11. Avenue du Président Wilson, Paris 16. Métro: Iéna or Alma-Marceau Info. Tel.: 01 53 67 40 00.

Théo Van Gogh, Dealer, Collector - and brother of Vincent Van Gogh, put all his resources into his family, his collection and to promoting the 'unsalable' production of his brother. Théo followed all the 'isms' of the day and this varied show reflects many of them, from Camille Corot to Camille Pissarro - as well as his brother, Vincent. Until Sunday, 9. January. Except Monday, daily from 10:00 to 18:00; Sundays from 9:00 to 18:00. Musée d'Orsay, 1. Rue de la Légion-d'Honneur, Paris 7. Métro: Solférino or RER 'C' Musée d'Orsay. Info. Tel.: 01 40 49 48 84.

Chardin's Still Lifes - are called 'Natures Mortes' in French, which sort of means 'dead nature' which is not what is meant at all. Jean Siméon Chardin didn't finish paintings until they were finished in his eyes - which he kept open for 80 years until his death in 1779.

poster: sapho en concertIn pre-photographic times, interior light was also inferior, so Chardin's production of 200 exquisitely detailed still lifes is something of a record. For this major exhibition, 95 of them are on display at the Grand Palais until Monday, 22. November. Except Tuesdays, daily from 10:00 to 20:00 and on Wednesdays until 22:00. Reservations are required for morning visits. At the Square Jean-Perrin, Paris 8. Métro: Clemenceau. Info. Tel.: 01 44 13 17 47.

Jean Béraud et le Paris de la Belle Epoque - While the impressionists were all the rage a century ago, Jean Béaud recorded in paint the streets and byways of the City of Light, capturing the charm and the spirit of it. This exhibition presents 60 representative works and it continues until 2. February 2000, at the Musée Carnavalet, 23. Rue de Sévigné, Paris 3. Métro: Saint-Paul or Chemin Vert. Info. Tel.: 01 42 72 21 13.


ArtWorks

Turner et la Seine - Turner turned his eye to the Seine often between 1802 and 1832, with a systematic exploration beginning in 1820. 150 resulting watercolors are on show until the end of January at the Pavillon des Arts, Les Halles, Porte Rambuteau, Terrace Lautréamont, Paris 1. Except Mondays and holidays, open daily frm 11:00 to 18:30. Info. Tel.: 01 42 33 82 50.


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