With shows like Notre-Dame de Paris, Cats, Grease and Dirty Dancing playing to sold-out audiences, Paris has become one of the prime spots for musicals on par with London and New York. Over the years, venues in the French capital have developed a distinctive artistic identity and become genuine hubs for live performance. With their toe-tapping songs, dazzling stage decor and extravagant scenography, musicals have become a must-do for many visitors to Paris. A great outing with the family or a group of friends.
This year, the biggest Paris venues are once again putting on a whole range of exciting shows to choose from.
© Johan Persson
The icon of French musicals, Notre-Dame de Paris returns to the Palais des Congrès in Paris from November 15, 2023, to celebrate its 25th anniversary. Performed in over twenty countries since its creation, Luc Plamondon and Richard Cocciante's musical is inspired by Victor Hugo's novel, and features the capital's cathedral as its setting.
Another major reference, the famous musical Starmania – the first Francophone rock opera - returns at the Seine Musicale from 14 November 2023. This cult show will take the audience on a fantastic journey through the futuristic and dreamlike world imagined by Michel Berger et Luc Plamodon!
At the Théâtre Mogador, The Lion King returns from 1 October 2023 until 31 December 2023. Hugely popular and seen by hundreds of thousands around the world, it tells the moving story of Simba the lion cub against the backdrop of the African savanna.
Lido2Paris, located on the Avenue des Champs-Élysées, is programming two musicals back to back for the 2023/2024 season. From 1 to 10 December 2023, the public will discover Stephen Sondheim's A funny thing happened on the way to the forum for the first time in Paris. Then from 27 February to 27 April 2024, the musical The Rocky horror show and its protagonists Brad and Janet will fire up the stage at Lido2Paris, to mark the 50th anniversary of this legendary work by Richard O'Brien.
‘Le Soldat rose’ (The Pink Soldier) is back too, 15 years after it was first staged! From 20 October au 5 November 2023, the musical composed by Louis Chedid will be performed at the Grand Rex with brand-new staging by Julien Alluguette, the winner of a Molière award in 2018. The musical tells the story of a magical encounter between little Joseph and a toy, the pink soldier, that no child wants to buy.
‘West Side Story’, a cult musical which was turned into a movie, is a highlight of the season at the Théâtre du Châtelet. From 20 October to 31 December 2023, this American classic, which premiered in 1957, recounts the rivalry between two gangs in the Upper West Side in 1950s New York. Lonny Price, one of the most famous directors on Broadway, has brought a fresh perspective to the musical.
Another, more recent musical which has also achieved cult status, ‘Mamma Mia! The Musical’ returns to the Casino de Paris, from 21 October 2023 to 21 January 2024, featuring, as always, the best songs by the Swedish group Abba.
At the Folies Bergère, ‘Merlin, la légende musicale’ will appeal to children and adults alike from 25 October 2023 to 7 January 2024. Created by Marie-Jo Zarb, who previously wrote and produced ‘Pinocchio’ and ‘Aladdin’, this show describes the enchanted world of the Brocéliande forest and the meeting between Merlin the wizard and Arthur.
Centuries after his death, his plays are still popular. So it is hardly surprising that the life of Molière should be the subject of an opera featuring rap music and slam poetry, from 11 November 2023 at the Dôme de Paris. Titled ‘Molière, l’opéra urbain’, it is produced by Dove Attia, who is also behind popular hits such as ‘The Ten Commandments’, ‘The Sun King’ and ‘Mozart l’opéra Rock’. With a period, i.e. 17th-century, set and costumes, the musical has modern staging and some of the performers were discovered in the TV show ‘The Voice’.
Bobino has a fair share of musicals with something for all tastes and ages! The musical Peter Pan is a favourite of young audiences and enchante le public, from 7 October 2023. The musical Josephine Baker (from 25 october 2023) allows us to rediscover the dazzling artist, who entered the Pantheon in 2021.
Back on stage, The Black Legends musical fresco traces almost a century of African American music and runs from 5 October 2023 at the theatre Le 13e art.