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16.1.05

Le Chat Noir Open Again

According to this article by Françoise Dargent (Les surprises du Chat noir, January 13) in Le Figaro, the Musée d'Orsay has reconstructed the famous Cabaret du Chat Noir in its auditorium. Specialists in the late 19th century have recreated performances from the cabaret which are being brought back to life, as well (through January 29). In particular, it is the théâtre d'ombres (silhouette theater) that Henri Rivière directed in the Chat Noir (my translation):

Pantomimes, a ballad, a mystery, an "Australian" drama, a fairy tale: that's the program that audiences can discover through January 29 in the auditorium. Last year, too, two plays had been presented. They will be complemented this time with four other works that were shown for the last time in 1897. The clientele of the Chat Noir crowded in for the evenings organized by Rudolphe Salis, the place's owner and a painter, like his colleague Henri Rivière. Together, they made the silhouette theater the ranking attraction of the time, perfecting it and adding to it continuously to make it, before cinema, a medium where sound and image worked together.
Also, a marionnette performance of Ubu roi is planned for May 19 to 29.

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