They call themselves, “l’Art de la Parole,” which means “The Art of the Word,” and last night was the sixth edition of their gathering together for an evening of standup comedy – and magic – and a little music. I ended up attending because my friend Raphaëlle was invited to play some songs, and she invited me along. It then turned out that one or two comedians failed to show up, so one of the organisers, and MC, invited me to play a couple of songs as well.
That invitation came after I had thoroughly and relaxedly enjoyed the first half of the evening. Needless to say, while I accepted to play my music for the end of the evening, I spent most of the rest of the evening in a state of nervous stress about playing in a medieval cellar with arched ceilings amidst a group of people who came to laugh, not cry! My experience in the past of playing music during comedy nights is that either the audience has been so laughed out by the time I get to the stage that they’re ready to laugh at my sorrowful sounds of music and it doesn’t go over so well, or I have laughed so much that I cannot reach the depths of my soul to find those sorrowful sounds of music and emotion and I end up wishing I hadn’t come.
Last night would turn out to have none of that existential problem once I got on stage. For the comedians had been of a high and entertaining level from the beginning, and the room itself is an absolutely fabulous one. I had actually played in a music open mic in this bar three or more years ago on a single-night open mic that started there and then moved to the Ptit Bonheur la Chance. For this bar was called La Pomme d’Eve, and it is located on the rue Laplace, just up the street from what used to be called the Ptit Bonheur la Chance and is now La Tireuse.
The Exceptional Location of the Pomme d’Eve Historical Monument of a Bar
And the Pomme d’Eve is a bar that everyone in Paris should go and visit at least once, because it is a 12th Century Gothic cellar that is so impressive in its architecture and history, that it has been classified as an historic monument by the French government. The bar is run by a congenial South African named George, and he loves putting on shows: The stage is fabulous, and the feel of the place is really 1960s beatnik New York. That is what inspired me to sing “Just Like a Woman,” and my own song, “Crazy Lady.” Raphaëlle did a couple of her own songs, an it was a pleasure to hear her sing without a mic in these intimate surroundings.
The comedy night was a real pleasure as well, as I said, and is an excellent idea put together by Olivier Bergot et Mikaël Bianic. Bergot, by the way, was one of my favorite of the evenings performers, as he had a very funny sketch about being an alcoholic!
Someone ought to try doing a worldwide open mic comedy guide and blog like this one I do mostly about music open mics. That would be a real adventure! Of course, the advantage of music is that you don’t have to speak the local language to be understood…. Which brings up a point about my brief videos from last night: My apologies to readers who do not speak French….