A tale of two cities: New York and Paris are my favorite cities in the world from the point of view of culture, cuisine, art, architecture + design and the sheer sensation of fun of discovering each city by foot. Dickens, Charles Dickens wrote about London and Paris, although he did visit America. Dickens is an author I emulate and perhaps I was his muse in Paris, if you believe in reincarnation.
Speaking about reincarnation, Michael Feinstein is a firm believer. He states his belief in front of Broadway audiences from all over the world in his performance with Dame Edna in All About Me. It’s a charming musical and an ode to Ira Gershwin and the great American songbook. In the end, the story is really about us which brings me to the theme of love.
Love is the oldest love story in the world and what better love story is there than Romeo & Juliette written by Shakespeare. Recently, I saw a musical adaptation of this famous love story at Le Palais des Congres in Paris by Gerard Presgurvic. It was powerful and energetic with exquisite vocals accompanied by modern dance and ballet. It’s the best version I’ve yet to see and highly recommend it.
Back in New York, I saw the classic fairytale of Sleeping Beauty performed by the American Ballet at The Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. We all dream of finding our Prince. In fairytales, it’s happily ever after. In Shakespeare’s reality, it’s true love found that ends tragically but ultimately unites families or rivals; therefore, bittersweet. Hopefully, for most of us, we fall in the middle. We fall-in-love with our dream partner but realize we have to work at the relationship with excellent communication skills and continue to grow in loving ways and fun along the way, too.
Love is beautiful but life can be like a comedy. Once again, I saw a vaudeville performance at Maxim’s in Paris. The famed restaurant now houses a tiny theatre. Lots of laughs with Parisian humor about love triangles, family members, neighbors and lots of misunderstandings. Return to New York, I watch a comedic opera La Fille du Regiment, a story about star-crossed lovers but actually turned out on a good note with magnificent singing, operatic voices and performances. Both were love stories with comic twists. It’s good to be reminded to see the lighter side of life.
For one whole week, I decided to not take life so seriously, and it was a glorious high. Since then, I’ve crashed landed but shall try to live my life in balance between the highs and lows and between New York and Paris, my beloved cities.