Monthly Archives: April 2016

Whos was Louis Anquetin? | My Paris

Louis Anquetin (1861 – 1932) was a French painter who is played in My Paris by Andrew Mueller . Anquetin was born in Étrépagny, France and educated at the Lycée Pierre Corneille in Rouen. In 1882 he came to Paris and began studying art at Léon Bonnat’s studio, where he met Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. The… Continue reading →

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Cha-U-Kao, May Milton, and Valentin the Boneless | My Paris

Cha-U-Kao In our production of My Paris, Tiffany Mann plays clown Cha-U-Kao. Cha-U-Kao was the name of a French entertainer who performed at the Moulin Rouge and the Nouveau Cirque in the 1890s. Her stage name came from the “chahut-chaos”, a dance derived from the cancan. She was depicted in a series of paintings by… Continue reading →

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René Grenier and Henri Rachou | My Paris

René Grenier In the musical My Paris, John Riddle portrays René Grenier. Albert (René) Grenier (1858–1925) and Toulouse-Lautrec were fellow students in the Paris atelier of academic history painter Fernand Cormon during the 1880s and became fast friends: Toulouse-Lautrec even lived briefly with Grenier and his mistress, Lili, an actress and model, and made several portrayals… Continue reading →

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Who Was La Goulue? | My Paris

Louise Weber  1866 – 1929) was a French can-can dancer who performed under the stage name of La Goulue (“the glutton”). She also was referred to as the Queen of Montmartre. In our production of My Paris La Goulue is portrayed by Nikka Graff Lazarone. Very little is known about her early childhood, but it is… Continue reading →

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Who Was Yvette Guilbert? | My Paris

Portrayed in My Paris by Kate Marilley, Yvette Guilbert (1865– 1944) was a French cabaret singer and actress of the Belle Époque. Born into a poor family as Emma Laure Esther Guilbert, Guilbert began singing as a child but at age sixteen worked as a model at the Printemps department store in Paris. She was… Continue reading →

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Who Was Chocolat? | My Paris

Rafael Padilla, more commonly known by his stage name Chocolat, was a clown who entertained Parisians in the early years of the 20th century, but whose work was forgotten until the late 20th and early 21st centuries when he was rediscovered. This star of French stage during the Belle Époque is played by Darius Barnes in… Continue reading →

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Who Was Aristide Bruant? | My Paris

Also portrayed in My Paris by Jamie Jackson, Aristide Bruant (1851 –1925) was a French cabaret singer, comedian, and nightclub owner. He is best known as the man in the red scarf and black cape featured on certain famous posters by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. Born Louis Armand Aristide Bruand in the village of Courtenay, Loiret… Continue reading →

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Who Was Jane Avril? | My Paris

Portrayed by Erica Sweany in the musical My Paris, Jane Avril (1868 – 1943) was a real French can-can dancer made famous by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec through his paintings. Extremely thin, ‘given to jerky movements and sudden contortions’, she was nicknamed La Mélinite, after an explosive. She was born Jeanne Beaudon in Belleville, on June 9,… Continue reading →

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Who Was Léon Bonnat? | My Paris

In the musical My Paris, Bonnat is portrayed by Jamie Jackson. Léon Joseph Florentin Bonnat (1833 – 1922) was a French painter, Grand Officer of the Légion d’honneur and professor at the Ecole des Beaux Arts. Bonnat was born in Bayonne, but from 1846 to 1853 he lived in Madrid, where his father owned a… Continue reading →

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Who Was Suzanne Valadon? | My Paris

French artist Suzanne Valadon  (1865–1938) is portrayed in the musical My Paris by Mara Davi. An artist’s model before becoming a respected painter herself, Valadon was part of a circle of artists living and working in Paris’s Montmartre neighborhood at the turn of the twentieth century and was one of the most notable female artists of… Continue reading →

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