On the bill


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