January 20, 2012

Waiting for Chaillot

The Lights are Dimmed for the Sparkle Show (Photo by Meredith Mullins)
You don't have to look at your watch to know it's time for le spectacle to start. There is a heralding of horns. The crowds move toward the gold-brushed doors. The Tour Eiffel begins to sparkle. Where are you? You're in the magical Théatre National de Chaillot.

What makes this theatre so special? Location. Location. Location. It's part of the Palais de Chaillot at the Trocadero, with a perfect view of the Eiffel Tower through it's lobby windows. It was built by the brothers Jean and Edouard Niermans for the Paris Exhibition of 1937 and now houses three theatre venues and a theatre school.

Théatre National de Chaillot
Chaillot showcases international dance, French choreographers' work, circus performances, acrobatics, and visual arts. But the best-kept secret is the pre-performance ambiance. You can have dinner at the theatre's Italian restaurant, Listrani, or you can grab a snack or a glass of wine and sit at one of the free tables. You don't even have to have a ticket for the performance. You can just hang out and look at the view ... and wait for the dimming of the lights for the on-the-hour Eiffel sparkle show.

 Best Bar Tables in Town (Photo by Meredith Mullins)
The theatre culture in Paris is thriving despite thoughts of austerity and news of the European downgrade. People still want to be entertained. So, check out the Chaillot schedule and enjoy an evening out.