Daa-daa-dadadada-daa-daa-dadadada-daa-daa-dadadadada-dadadadadadadadada 😀 The can-can! Who doesn’t know it? I remember my mother and her pals dressing up, rehearsing for hours and presenting a version of it in our home town’s Little Theatre for their annual variety show, what a hoot!
Only one of the most famous dances in the world, the can-can is home at the equally world famous Moulin Rouge. Somewhere, in the back of my mind, I have always wanted to go to the Moulin Rouge. Today I can say that I have ticked it off my bucket list and on a discount I might add!
7 Things To Know About the Moulin Rouge
- The late evening shows are not always 100 Euro’s, the price changes.
- Tuesday & Thursday evenings seem good for less expensive tickets, check the site.
- It’s not black tie – but no flip flops, vests and shorts are allowed.
- No photography while the performance is on, selfies while the houselights are on seemed ok.
- Real French champagne is included in the ticket price.
- The show is around 2 hours long, but doesn’t feel super long.
- The closest metro station is Blanche.
Moulin Rouge in Paris’ Red Light District of Pigalle
On our honeymoon Mr John and I stayed in a Parisian suburb called Pigalle. My brother had recommended the area to us after spending a number of nights on tour with Johnny Clegg in the neighbouring suburb of Abbessess.
I chose Pigalle because the Metro stop had 2 connecting lines on it (green and blue or 2 and 6), which I figured was a pretty convenient stop to make use of while in Paris. However, I did not realise or know that Pigalle was also the red light district of Paris! Ooops!
On our first night we took a little stroll to explore the area. Not only were we stayed next door to the world’s largest sex shop, the Sexodrome, but we discovered the Moulin Rouge a short walk down the road!
Discounted Tickets at the Moulin Rouge
There’s definitely something very special about seeing the real Moulin Rouge after passing the D-grade version in Riebeek Street in Cape Town for decades! But we were quite surprised at the ticket prices while looking to visit.
Visiting the Moulin Rouge is NOT cheap. To be exact, it was 200 Euros – PER PERSON! As South Africans, that’s a LOT to ask to we weighed up the pro’s and con’s and didn’t make any rash decisions.
On our last night in Paris, while dining at the Relais Gastro in Abbessess, Mr John said, “I’d go for 100 euros, isn’t there a matinée or something?” GENIUS!
After dinner, we walked back in the direction of our hotel and popped past the theatre to see if there was a matinée. Low and behold, we found a 11pm show! For 100 Euros per person! YAY!
So totally under dressed, tired but keen, we bought our tickets and queued for the world famous show.
Bal du Moulin Rouge
The queues looked really long at the Moulin Rouge but actually we were able to enter quite quickly and reasonably. It was wonderful to stand in the foyer and think of all the famous people and performers who had passed through the hallways.
Soon we were in the main foyer, with lots of glamorous visitors dressed up – and some unfortunate tourists like myself dressed down!
Moulin Rouge Theatre of Dreams
The red themed theatre was sprinkled with red lamps and golden lights. The ‘cheap seats’ (read our seats) were are at the front tables on the theatre floor. A communal table, we shared with 3 other couples (although no one spoke to one another).
The seating is arranged so that couples sit opposite one another, not next to one another (how traditional!). This way I could look at Mr John throughout the night, making eye contact and enjoying the experience together.
Guests are requested not to take pictures inside, but people do take pictures – really openly! So it gets confusing as to whether they mean NO photos at all or just no flash photography. We stole two quick pictures before the show started.
Before the lights go down, each table is given a number of ice buckets with a bottle of champagne for each couple. Works out to about 2-3 glasses of champagne per couple. REAL FRENCH CHAMPAGNE WHOOHOO! It’s probably the cheap, horrible stuff, but nothing beats drinking French champagne in the Moulin Rouge!
Feerie Showtime at the Moulin Rouge
The show (Feerie) was weird and wonderful!
“Féerie” consists of: a troupe of 80 artists, including 60 Doriss Girls recruited world-wide; 1000 costumes of feathers, rhinestones and sequins made in the most famous Parisian workshops…” – Moulin Rouge website.
The show consists of trapeze type acts, miniature horses, acrobatic elements and the traditional dancing. The acrobatic elements were amazing and one scene included a dancer swimming with a giant, and I mean GIANT python!! Since we were sitting in the front, we were eye level with this extraordinary act. If you’re scared of snakes, you may need to close your eyes for this one!
I also enjoyed the roller skating couple who had a tiny circle stage, which they used to spin in circles. They did CRAZY stunts like hanging off one another while spinning a hundred miles an hour, my nerves were positively shot! If that grip had snapped she would have gone flying into the audience, skates first, LOL!
The costumes and decor were super glamorous and amazing. The stage production was fantastic due to good sound quality, changes in scenes and lighting. The male dancers were very good, but some of them were a little TOO doll like. I think a touch less cosmetic surgery may help that.
Unfortunately, the dancers weren’t singing live, which was a bit of a pity – although I have a feeling some parts may have been sung live. [Let me know what you think in the comment below?] But they were very glamorous and beautiful. Also, not all of the dancers were topless, there seems to be a hierarchy of toplessness! Only the ‘stars’ were topless, and after a while you don’t even realise any more. Being topless wasn’t really the point of the show. It was done in a very classy way.
I’m really happy I visited the Moulin Rouge. It’s lovely to be a part of history in supporting this famous theatre. Originally built 130 years ago (but fell pray to fire a last century), the theatre does feel special.
While I can’t comment on the quality of the food, the ticket prices aren’t cheap so I would recommend going for the less expensive option and dining at one of Paris’ incredible restaurants before the show.
Post dedicated to Kate & Duncan, Mike & Jo who allowed us to go to the Moulin Rouge 🙂 Thank you!