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Easter Sparkles

photo: cafe at anvers

Saturday night crowd near Métro Anvers.

Drizzle Becomes Cloudless

by Ric Erickson

Paris:– Monday, 12. April 2004:– The is the last day of the Easter weekend. From my memory of the 25 past Easters here, I nominate this one for the 'Easter of the Week' award on account of the stupendous weather. There has been no sleet, the skies have been blue and the sun has shone most of the time.

Granted, the northerly breezes have held the temperatures down – but with the highs around 15 instead of five, there's no complaints. It may even have been the 'Easter of the Century,' but it may be too soon to bet on this as there are a few more years to go.

This rare 'Easter' weather is to continue, according to tonight's TV– weather news. Tuesday should be mostly sunny with some increasingly cloudy periods in the afternoon. The high temperature is forecast to be 15 degrees.

Wednesday should be semi–cloudy and semi–sunny all day long, with a slight temperature up–bump to 16 degrees. For Thursday we can expect a radical improvement when the skies should be mostly sunny, and another point on the centigrade thermometre gets added.

Next Friday is likely to be the same, according to this morning's Le Parisien. All in all, it would be great weather for February – so it will be kind of nice to have it in April.

Café Life

A Midsummer Night's Dream

For the centennial of the 'Entente Cordiale,' One World Actors Productions is staging the '60s 'flower power' version of this hit by Shakespeare, for most of the rest of spring. After all, as Ben Johnson so aptly noted, "William Shakespeare was not of an Age, but for all Time," including seasons that are not summer.

The show, which is in English, had its debut in Paris on April Fool's Day at UNESCO. But now it seems to have moved tophoto: fiat 500 of the week the Studio–Théâtre de la Comédie Française where performances are at 20:00 on Mondays. Upcoming dates are 19 and 26. April, 3, 24 and 31. May, and 14 and 21. June.

The first 'Fiat 500 of the Week' in many weeks.

The Studio–Théâtre de la Comédie Française is at the Carrousel du Louvre entry, at 99. Rue de Rivoli, Paris 1. Métro: Palais–Royal. The RésaTel is 01 48 28 09 26. This plug is thanks to Café Metropole Club member Tomoko Yokomitsu, who has faithfully reminded me about it for several weeks now. This is a second chance, for you, 30–odd years later, so don't miss it!

The Un–Countdown of the Week

Did I miss something? At the end of tonight's TV–news there was a short musical feature, titled something like the 'Anniversary of All–Time Hits.' The song concerned was 'My Way' by Frank Sinatra, but I don't know if it's his anniversary.

Actually, this song started out as 'Comme d'Habitude.' It was written by Claude François and Giles Thibault, and the Claude François version topped European charts after it was recorded for the first time in September of 1967.

It was translated into English by Paul Anka, and Frank Sinatra made it a world–wide hit then and forever.photo: cafe petite rotonde The Spanish version of the 'Comme d'Habitude' was done by Michel Sardou, and Elvis did a version of it as well. My favorite was the extra–long version done by Nina Simone. I think she did it in French too.

Montparnasse café terrace on Easter Sunday.

If she did, I'm sure it is seldom played in North America. While the music is the same, the lyrics diverge considerably. In fact, they are not the same song. While Frank starts off with "And now, the end is near...," Claude is trying to wake up his girlfriend. She doesn't, so he goes to the kitchen for a lonely café and then he goes out. It is cold and gray, and he turns up his collar.

When he comes back she is gone, 'comme d'habitude' – like usual. He goes to the big bed all alone and it is cold, and he hides his tears – like usual. But – like usual – she comes back and gets undressed – like usual – gets into bed – like usual – and they cuddle – like usual – and they do the same thing – like usual.

I make it 39 years since 'Comme d'Habitude' hit the pop charts. Unless there are major anniversaries for 39 years now, I think I must have missed something. In France it's hard to tell. When TV is feeling poor, it has no compunction against putting on a two hour prime time show of Claude François' 'greatest hits,' as it did quite recently.

I am not sure, but it is possible that Claude François and his 'Clodettes' – his big troupe – or with his 'Fléchettes' – a quartet, invented yé–yé. Meanwhile, America had Janis Joplin with the Grateful Dead.

Laurel Avery Takes a Trip

The popular 'Paris Journal' columns by Laurel will be interrupted for a several issues while the author is out of town. Before she left she asked for details about how to connect to the Internet from temporary locations, but she didn't say this meant that her 'Journals' will be coming from any of these.

Web Site of the Week

This came in as a 'link' request, which would have gone into the trash if I hadn't taken a look at the Web site. For zoomy coolness take a look at this. Thanks to Diana Dion–Arivas, here are the other details – the Marian Goodman Gallery is featuring Juan Muñoz until Friday, 30. April. Open hours are Tuesday to Saturday from 11:00 to 19:00, and they are at 79. Rue Du Temple, Paris 3. Métro: Rambuteau. InfoTel.: 01 48 04 70 52.

Headline of the Week

'Tout Sur la Chase Aux Œufs de Pâques' – is Saturday's headline above Le Parisien's logo, so the type isn't as big as some of the one–word headlines seen here in recent weeks.

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