Whilst on a short break in Paris to celebrate our first anniversary, my wife (let’s call her X) and I deliberated over whether or not to attend a show. By this I’m referring to one of the three top cabarets which the city has on offer (my guidebook references a number of others for those reading who are ‘did-you-knowers’). All three were similarly priced, famous in their own right, and featured elaborate costumes and a sprinkling of topless nudity, but an overall tasteful portrayal of the feminine form. Each show could also be teamed up with dinner, or simply a bottle of champagne (€ ±100 with just champagne and ± €175 with dinner).
And so our deliberation, in its most basic form, came down to which show was really worth our hard-earned Rands. On offer, ‘Féerie’ at the Moulin Rouge, a production at the Lido de Paris on the Champs-Elysees and ‘Désirs’; a slightly risqué (they describe it as ‘avant-garde’) cabaret at the Crazy Horse. I’d seen the Crazy Horse advertised in Vegas a few years back but had never been to one of their shows.
TripAdvisor is my trusty phone-a-friend when faced with tough travel decisions involving a not so insignificant amount of money. There is usually a clear-cut lean towards a particular attraction, or in this case choice of show. It has never failed me in the past, however on this particular occasion viewpoints were quite literally split in a bi-polar manner. Some users rated the Moulin Rouge as a tacky production, with costumes borne of a circus tailor rather than a famous Parisian show seamstress; where patrons are packed into the venue like cattle herded to meat market and more importantly the production was left somewhat lacking. Others said it was the best show they had ever seen; worth every penny and a ‘definite must’ for first timers. Similar reviews appeared for the alternative venues. After reading these, I was left feeling as if I was about to partake in a game of cabaret roulette where the loser (aka me) would be faced with sheer disappointment from my wife (I am a firm believer in the ‘Happy Wife, Happy Life’ philosophy).