BWW Review: LA TOUR DE 300 MÈTRES at Théâtre Des Mathurins

BWW Review: LA TOUR DE 300 MÈTRES at Théâtre Des Mathurins

After several showcases, including one in the actual Eiffel Tower, La Tour de 300 mètres, an original musical with books and lyrics by Marc Deren, finally has an extended run at the Théâtre des Mathurins. The cast of 7, carried by the magic fingers of musical director extraordinaire John Florencio, takes us on a journey back to the turn of the 19th century with much authenticity and charm.

The show succeeds in immersing us in the heart of the belle époque, telling the 5-year long story of the building of the controversial tower of Mr. Eiffel without ever being boring or didactic about all the social background of one of architecture's greatest feats--pulled off while racing against the clock for the 1889 World's Fair.

The colorful characters include G. Eiffel, more than aptly plated by David Eguren, seen on Parisian stages in The Lion King and Beauty and the Beast and off-stage in The Bodyguard and Dirty Dancing. Eiffel's daughter Claire is played with sobriety by Juliette Behar, seen in Oliver Twist at the Salle Gaveau. Standing out as the Poix Comptesse is Véronique Matat, fresh from performing in Grease at Théâtre Mogador. The Italian couple of Angelo, played by Matthieu Brugot (Hairspray, Les Follies Bergères), who finds death in the proceeding, and Amelia, played by Italian-born Claudia Palleschi, is moving.

BWW Review: LA TOUR DE 300 MÈTRES at Théâtre Des Mathurins

Special mention for James the American, played by Nicolas Soulie, recently seen in Tom Sawyer at Mogador, and Maupassant, played by London-trained Stainslas Clément.

Director Julien Rouquette has our attention throughout the 105-minute single act with the help of the minimalist but effective design by Pierre Ponthier and costumes by Zoé Imbert.

The score by Marc Deren succeeds in mixing traditional American musical theater with a French touch, much reminiscent of Maury Yeston's ill-fated Phantom of the Opera. What a better way to celebrate 130th anniversary of the legendary Eiffel Tower than with this fresh new musical revealing to the world a not so well-known page of Parisian history?

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From This Author Patrick Honoré

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