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Thursday, October 2, 2008

An Evening at the Moulin Rouge

The Cabaret stands as it did for years, crowds lined up around the block at 7:00 p.m. hoping to get in for dinner and show, or just get in for one of the shows. It is probably the most famous, most photographed cabaret in the world. Those of us who chose to go on this optional excursion were warned about the adult nature of the performances. Most of us wanted to connect to a bit of history. And some of us wanted to compare the experience to what is available in Vegas.

Our group occupied two front row tables, and were seated as soon as we arrived. The place was already full, and I wondered how the people outside were ever going to get in. The stage area seemed small until the show started and it suddenly increased its size expanding out and jutting against the dinner tables. We couldn't have had a more convenient place.

The music felt familiar, and the costumes were barely covering the dancers' bodies. The numbers were polished, fun, and the attention went to the athleticism of the dancers. Their nude bosoms were just a minor distraction soon dismessed.

We all looked forward to the most famous number, the can-can dance, which came toward the end and was quite subdued. The numbers in between, ventriloquists, impersonators and comics, drew from many cultures. There was even an audience participation that drew people from all over the world on stage. The atmosphere was charged with more genuine excitement not found in Vegas.

On the way out of the place, around ten thirty, we saw a bigger crowd ready to take in the second show. The place has too much history for tourists and natives to miss.
The meal and entertainment, which included ballroom dancing before the show with a live orchestra and international singers, were worth every euro we spent.

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