Friday, April 20, 2007

Idée Fixe

Tonight I went to the Théâtre Edouard VII to see the current production of Idée Fixe by Paul Valéry (1871-1945), a former member of the Académie Française. The play had received rave reviews from the press, and was also a heartwarming performance. Somehow I haven't been up for a melodrama; enough of my own to cope with. This was a perfect choice.

So Chu came in from the 'burbs and we had a gals' night out and went to the theatre. Great theatre. This was not mere entertainment; this was art. Superbly acted, powerful but simple decor. In the best French style, a moving 2-hour intellectual dialogue between the only two dramatis personae. Begins at sunrise, ends at sunset. As such conversations can go, the topics covered ran the gamut from gynecologists' after-hours activities to Einstein's theory of relativity. And this play was written back when Einstein was lecturing live. (I love the difference in pronunciation: in French it's pronounced Ein-shtein.) By the time the play was over you felt as though you'd spent a day with these two men and lived a great philosophical moment with them.

And I'm sure glad that it was all of those lofty things because initially I mostly went to get a real-live glimpse of heartthrob Pierre Arditi.

I was not disappointed.

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