Brad Spurgeon's Blog

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Derailed by a Burlesque, Enchanted by….

March 3, 2012

I was just about to do my nearly daily post last night when a friend sent me an SMS asking if I wanted to join him to see a friend of his do her Burlesque show at the Alcazar in Paris, near the place de l’Odeon. I have my priorities, so I dropped everything to go and see Louise de Ville. I would write about my evening at the Mazet open mic later, like now.

I had heard about the Alcazar for years, but never went. I did not regret it. It was a vast, two-floor restaurant with a stage in the middle where both floors could see the performance. Louise’s performance was memorable, and just totally spell-binding – as she says, “people pay more attention to you when you are in your underwear.” We met afterwards, and spoke along with my friend, and I learned she is from, Kentucky, has lived in Paris for a few years, and works in Burlesque in several venues around the city. She loves the Crazy Horse, but is less hot about the other well-known venues for exotic dancing in this city that does not exactly specialize in the genre.

Anyway… not much to say that will not sound like my tongue was hanging out….

So, to back step a little, I must say that I was in enraptured on Thursday night as well. Again with a woman – no, actually two of them. It was the open mic at the Mazet and soon into the evening two women took to the stage, both on guitars, one on vocals. It was Vanessa and Emilie, and the latter played cool lead while the former sang. They looked not only like sisters, they looked like twins. They were not related. It turned out that one was the sister of David Oxxo, the MC of the evening.

I learned that after I had decided which one to propose marriage to, but it turned out to be the wrong one. I did that with Emilie – well, okay, I did not quite propose marriage, but close – after she played lead with me for several songs, “Crazy Love,” “I Shall Be Released” and “Just Like a Woman.” A Bob Dylan medley, almost. And she was wonderful: Check out her site. It was soooo cool to have a woman lead guitar player, and especially one who with the other woman – Vanessa – looked like Kate and Anna McGarrigle, or maybe the Patti Smith twins.

Speaking of medleys, it was also a treat to see and hear Mary Catherine and then her father, who did a medley of some pop rock standards.

Then, later, James Iansiti had a couple of members of one of his bands there, and they did a great rendition of Stairway to Heaven, and James pointed out it was the 40th year anniversary of that song.

And to top it all off, I got given a copy of David Oxxo’s recently released album. There is some good stuff on this beautifully produced and recorded album in French and English, but I especially loved the song “Corps en laisse,” which felt like Jacques Brel in some ways.

Can you ask for a better two days?!


  1. Pingback: Louise de Ville, Beauty With Brains One-Woman Show and Brainless Kararocké « Brad Spurgeon's Blog

  2. Pingback: Louise de Ville, Beauty-With-Brains One-Woman-Show and a Brainless Kararocké « Brad Spurgeon's Blog

  3. Hi Brad,

    I was wondering if you could help me. I’m going to Paris end of octobre and I’d like to go see a Burlesque show. However I don’t much care for the Moulin Rouge & Crazy Horse type venues. Have you got any tips for me?

    Take care, Marloes

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