Info Of Paris' two main opera houses, Opéra Bastille is the contemporary one, its angular structure designed by Canadian-Uruguayan architect Carlos Ott and inaugurated in 1989. Located in Place de la Bastille across from its iconic gold-topped tower, the opera house is in a busy neighborhood packed with bars and restaurants ... more
130, Rue de Lyon
Info The Folies Bergère is a cabaret music hall located in Paris in the 9th Arrondissement next to both the Cadet and Grands boulevards subway stations. Opening in 1869, the theater, originally called the Folies Trévise, showed operettes, comic opera, popular song performances, and gymnastics. In 1872 the ... more
32 Rue Richer
Info Inaugurated in 1919, Théâtre Mogador was built by a British financier and modeled after the London Palladium. In the 20th century, Théâtre Mogador's illustrious lineup included Mistinguett and Sergei Diaghilev's Russian Ballets. Stage Entertainment group bought the space in 2005 and extensively renovated it. Since then ... more
25 Rue de Mogador
Concert Venue / Theater
Info Producer Jean-Claude Auclair, behind the renovation of theater l'Européen at Place de Clichy, opened Alhambra in 2008 following two years of construction. The venue prides itself on hosting all genres of music – hip hop, rock, indie, pop, metal, jazz, variety, world music, opera, blues, and more – as well as plays, musicals ... more
21 Rue Yves Toudic
Info Located in the Champs-Élysées' chic gardens in central Paris, Théâtre Marigny dates back to 1894. The rotunda is divided into two performance spaces. Grande Salle is the main one, a luxurious red-and-ivory theater with two balconies and orchestra seating for a total capacity of 1,000. Past performances at Théâtre Marigny ... more
Info Le Cabaret Sauvage is located in the Parc de la Villette in northeast Paris. The brain behind le Cabaret Sauvage is the Algerian Meziane Azaiche who arrived in Paris when he was 23. In 1994 he opened the first Cabaret Sauvage, a temporary installment in the Parc de la Villette, but a huge success drawing in over ... more
Parc de la Villette
211 Avenue Jean Jaurès
Info Built during the Second Empire, Palais Garnier (also known as Opéra Garnier) is Paris' classic opera house and one of the city's most magnificent sites. Designed by Charles Garnier, the building was inaugurated in 1875. Its incredibly ornate exterior is noted for a blue-green copper dome as well as artwork by an army of ... more
8, Rue Scribe
Info The Théâtre du Châtelet is an opera house and theater located in the place du Châtelet in the 1st Arrondissement of Paris. The Théâtre du Châtelet was built between 1860 and 1862 on a design by Gabriel Davioud. Originally, the theater could accommodate 3,500 spectators ... more
1 place du Châtelet
As in any major city, Paris theaters run the gamut from gritty little black box spots known for independent fringe productions to major houses hosting huge traveling shows to kitsch-packed madness made just for tourists (think anything having to do with Moulin Rouge).
Luckily, there’s a little bit of just about everything spread all over town. Those looking to check out some of the bigger productions of Paris theater will fare well on the Champs-Élysées, where major players like Théâtre Marigny and the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées (which is strangely located nearby on avenue Montaigne, not on Champs-Élysées) feature packed calendars of plays with big French stars on the roster.
Many of the theaters in Paris are housed in incredible historic buildings, though few can compete with The Comédie-Française, which was originally founded by a decree of Louis XIV in 1680. Although Comédie-Française’s “new” building went up in 1799, it has remained a treasure of Paris theater for centuries, and the names of nearly all the great actors and dramatists of France have been associated with Comédie-Française.
Yet that’s barely the tip of the iceberg of all the great theaters in Paris. Théâtre de la Renaissance, for example, was managed for a time by the famed Sarah Bernhardt, and big-name stars frequently perform there to this day. Odéon-Théâtre de l'Europe focuses mostly on pan-European productions, while Café de la Gare is a great spot to sample what the French call café-théâtre, which combines satire, variety revue, and slapstick, all performed in a café salon.
From drama and dance at the Théâtre National de Chaillot to the complex of five multi-faceted theaters at La Cartoucherie, the theaters of Paris can make even the most devout Broadway lovers feel at home…so long as they speak French.