On the bill

Musicals

December 1st, 2018 - April 28th, 2019

The end of the year 2018 celebrates the musicals through an unequalled number of exhibitions, shows and films glorifying this musical genre.

Exhibition with some pictures

The National Center of Stage Costume therefore presents an exhibition inviting the visitors to immerse themselves into the world of the greatest musicals from My Fair Lady to The Sound of Music, Cabaret, Grease, Cats, The Phantom of the Opera… and finally to 42nd Street. To discover or rediscover these mythical productions popularized by Hollywood movies, the National Center of Stage Costume has gathered more than one hundred costumes relating the history of this theatrical form which combines acting, singing and dancing. Many musicals which were born in the early XXth century on the New York City Broadway stages have known an unprecedented success in France for the past twenty years.

As their stage codes and vocabulary abide by specific esthetic rules, these stories and intrigues often lead to spectacular sets and costumes of glittering colours. The artists excel at singing, dancing and acting, bringing forth this complete artistic form. Since their creation, the musicals have been an eminently popular genre. Today, they are a major and unique phenomenon. Danny and Sandy from Grease, Sally Bowler from Cabaret, Don Lockwood from Singin’ in the Rain… Not only are the stage costumes of these famous characters recognizable at a glance, but they also allow the artists to embody their parts with panache. The National Center of Stage Costume chooses to bring to light a glamorous and joyful world. Let the show begin!

Musicals are the heirs to different musical performances, operettas, “opéras-comiques”, music-hall variety shows and sometimes jazz. As such, they are part of the cultural heritage. Needless to say they are embedded into the Anglo-Saxon tradition. The New York City Broadway theaters and the London West End theaters are their birthplace. In France, spectators began discovering this musical form in the sixties thanks to American touring shows and cult films like West Side Story or My Fair Lady or, later on, through Jacques Demy’s Les parapluies de Cherbourg and Les demoiselles de Rochefort.
Since the late nineties, owing to the sensational success of Notre-Dame de Paris, Roméo et Juliette and Les Dix Commandements, French musicals have been increasingly produced.

They have appealed and conquered an ever-growing audience. By the year 2000, the take-over by Stage Entertainment of the Théâtre Mogador along with the offering of American musicals at the Théâtre du Châtelet have brought back to fashion the following emblematic shows: The Lion King, Grease, 42nd Street and Singin’ in the Rain which were crowned with exceptional success.

The exhibition showcases more than one hundred stage costumes coming from famous New York and London theaters as well as from Toulon and Paris, notably from performances featured at the Théâtre du Châtelet and the Théâtre Mogador, among which Grease, its latest great success.
An original stage design takes the visitors backstage, revealing thus the life of stage garments from the delivery-room to the fitting-room, then to the make-up room and finally to the stage where they appear under the spotlight. Here and there, some iconic musicals stage sets are evoked in the midst of a musical and joyful atmosphere.

Curator : Delphine Pinasa, Director of the National Center of Stage Costume
Artistic Consultant and Author of the Exhibition Catalogue : Patrick Niedo
Stage Designers : Philippine Ordinaire and Olivier Coquet

Exhibition curator and scenography

Delphine Pinasa

Delphine Pinasa, is director and curator of the CNCS. This art historian specialized in stage costumes was delegate director of the CNCS from 2005, she worked for the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, the Ministry of Culture and Communication, then the National Opera of...

Delphine Pinasa, is director and curator of the CNCS. This art historian specialized in stage costumes was delegate director of the CNCS from 2005, she worked for the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, the Ministry of Culture and Communication, then the National Opera of Paris, where was notably in charge of the museographical collection of costumes, then head of the Costume Heritage Department of this theatre from 2001. Delphine Pinasa has been curator for a number of exhibitions in France and abroad and has published several books relating to these exhibitions and the history of stage costumes. 

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Patrick Niedo

Artistic Director and Author of the Exhibition Catalogue

Patrick Niedo was a dancer and a professor of dance, notably in New York in the nineteen-eighties and nineties. There, he developed a passion for musicals, whose tickets cost as little as ten dollars at the...

Artistic Director and Author of the Exhibition Catalogue

Patrick Niedo was a dancer and a professor of dance, notably in New York in the nineteen-eighties and nineties. There, he developed a passion for musicals, whose tickets cost as little as ten dollars at the time. He began collecting programmes, articles, books and biographies concerning Broadway shows and Broadway artists. His research resulted in the publication of his first book, Histoires de comédies musicales (Ipanema, 2010). Nowadays, he is a lecturer at the Théâtre du Châtelet and the Philharmonie de Paris. He is also a thesis director and a jury in schools and universities. Above all, Patrick Niedo loves sharing his passion for this major art form. His second book, Hello, Broadway! Une histoire de la comédie musicale has been recently published (Ipanema, October 2017).

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Philippine Ordinaire

Set Designer

Philippine Ordinaire graduated from St Martins College of Art in London. She has worked on many theatre and opera projects in France and abroad, notably with Tim Hatley and Robert Carsen for Singin’in the Rain and My Fair Lady at the...

Set Designer

Philippine Ordinaire graduated from St Martins College of Art in London. She has worked on many theatre and opera projects in France and abroad, notably with Tim Hatley and Robert Carsen for Singin’in the Rain and My Fair Lady at the Théâtre du Châtelet. Since 2009, she has collaborated with Robert Carsen on various exhibition sets. With Trafik, she has created the exhibition sets of Maria by Callas at La Seine Musicale. She has also designed public spaces in the nave of the Grand Palais when Singin’in the Rain was featured  there. In addition, Philippine Ordinaire has created numerous stage sets: those of Don Giovanni directed by Allex Aguila at the Theatro Verdi Trieste; those of Bastien and Bastienne directed by Mirabelle Ordinaire at the Amphithéatre de l’Opéra Bastille; those of Tistou les pouces verts directed by Gilles Rico at the Opéra de Rouen…  and many more.

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Olivier Coquet

Set Designer

Before studying architecture and design, Olivier Coquet worked in graphic arts. At the Grenoble School of Architecture, he focused on micro-architecture, the ephemeral and the ‘Do It Yourself’ culture. He graduated from Université du Quebec in...

Set Designer

Before studying architecture and design, Olivier Coquet worked in graphic arts. At the Grenoble School of Architecture, he focused on micro-architecture, the ephemeral and the ‘Do It Yourself’ culture. He graduated from Université du Quebec in Montreal with a field of specialization in ‘Design d’événements’. To Olivier Coquet, the challenge is to give his projects a narrative dimension, to shape the realm of fancy and to create immersive experiences. His fields of expression are many: urban active designs, ludic exhibitions, set designs and interactive observatories, among others.  As a designer at a multidisciplinary firm in Montreal, Olivier tried out and conceptualized  projects whose sets of problems were manifold.  He was the head-designer of numerous  temporary and permanent exhibitions in American and Canadian museums. He now works free-lance in France and develops hybrid collaborations through various projects.   

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