FOLIES-BERGERE by Paul Derval

FOLIES-BERGERE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The owner-manager of that famous Parisian music theatre, the Folies-Bergere, tells us what lies behind an evening of dream fulfillment in a slight, engaging book prefaced by a star who glittered on the Folies stage, Maurice Chevalier. M. Derval gives us a glimpse of the history of the Folies as a theatre as well as of his beautiful attractions and their on-off stage lives. It was a Beaux Arts ball in Montmartre in 1893 that provided a prudish prefector opportunity for apoplexy in the form of a nude interested in proving her curves most efficacious. The Folies carried on from there with the addition of a little spirit gum (which so incensed one husband who wanted the management to live up to the ""complete nudity"" clause in his wife's contract that he went to court -- ah, the French!), with an emphasis on beauty and grace. M. Derval recounts anecdotes concerning his audience, the ladies of the promenoir who are no longer free to pursue their trade in the theatre, the stars who have dazzled on the Folies stage, among them Mistinguett and Josephine Baker, Colette and Yvette Guilbert. Then there are all the unknown beauties who have come and gone on to marriage or even medical school. M. Derval has a sprightly and fatherly tone as he talks about a sightly theatrical institution.

Publisher: Dutton