Please Kill Me theatrical production in Paris. The City Of Lights Embraces Please Kill Me!


Please Kill Me theatrical production in Paris. The City Of Lights Embraces Please Kill Me!


by Gillian McCain

Can I just say that I LOVE France? Legs can bash it all he wants—he’s the only person I know who doesn’t LIKE french fries—but he’s probably never been there and if he has he was on the road with the Scorpions or some other travesty of a band. And/or drunk. And lets just say that he’d pick a Ring Ding over a freshly baked croissant any day. Though FYI: He’s been eating much better lately. Saw him eat an orange the other day. Blew my mind.

FYI Legs just called. I asked him if he’d ever been to France. His response? “I can’t remember.”

Okay, back to reality. Can I just say that the food in France is out-of-this-world? I had one of the best meals of my life the first day my husband Jim Marshall and I arrived (check out his Stooges piece below) at Café de Flore, a Paris institution. Cold chicken, salad with vinaigrette, a glass of Beaujolais, and a simple lemon tart. Sounds dull, you say, well that’s because YOU DIDN’T EAT IT.

Jim and I always stay at L’Hotel, the place Oscar Wilde died, and uttered his famous phrase, “Either that wallpaper goes or I do.” Maybe that’s why they have fabric covering the walls now… see below.

PKM in Paris

For some reason we always see Famke Janssen there with her dog and boyfriend. She always looks somewhat angry, that’s why we never tell her how much we loved her as the Life Coach on Nip/Tuck.

Probably the only thing Legs dislikes as much as French Cuisine is Theatre. Not necessarily French theatre; any theatre. So he has never seen a production of the Please Kill Me play—even when it had its one and only U.S. performance in Brooklyn. Which is sad because you can’t help but like it. And occasionally his name is projected on the floor along with Danny Fields and others.

The cast and director are “magnifique.” They wrote an amazing adaptation—non-narrative, live band on stage, lots of ripping and shredding—(pillow cases became tee-shirts). The music is AMAZING. The acting is INCREDIBLE. The directing is truly ORIGINAL.

They did a run of the production at the Theatre de la Bastille in Paris (Sold out! Held over!) and then did a second run at the Nouveau Theatre de Montreuil just outside Paris. This is what Jim and I saw when we walked out of the train station:

Sign for Please Kill Me french play
Promo poster for Please Kill Me play in Montreuil.

Now, not to be corny, but I would like to thank the cast and crew, who I’m proud to say have become good friends: Dramaturge and director Mathieu Bauer, composer and musical adapter Sylvain Cartigny (both who performed in the band along with the awesome Lazare Boghossian); and actor/performers Kate Strong and Matthias Girbig.

Mathieu with arm around Sylvain after a show in Montreuil.
Mathieu with arm around Sylvain after a show in Montreuil.

Both times we saw the play our great friend Heloise Jones accompanied us. She is a translator and singer/songwriter extraordinaire. Besides our book she has translated some of Nick Tosches’s work, Patti Smith’s Just Kids, and the book The Wire was based on—no easy feat!!! She once translated Ulysses just for fun. That’s the level of cool we are talking about here. The girl knows how to wear a scarf and her hair is always perfectly bed-head messy. Below, see a picture of her taken by Danny Fields, who, for some reason, has nicknamed her “Poopsie in Paris.”

Heloise in Paris
Heloise takes on Paris. Photo by Danny Fields.

Heloise sometimes visits us in New York and is the perfect house guest because 1) she’s is usually out 2) she makes a mean Coq au Vin 3) she gives us private musical performances upon request and 4) after she leaves town our guest room smells like Chanel #5.

Heloise Jones and Jim Marshall in Paris
Heloise Jones and Jim Marshall in Paris

She is the composer of one of the most beautiful songs I have ever heard. To hear “You Never Know” click here    You Never Knoc

Oh, and before I say au revoir, if you ever get to Paris, check out a bakery called Paul’s. It has locations all over the city. The apple turnover was one of the best pastries I have ever had in my life.

FYI Legs just called. He says he LOVES theatre. The guy never ceases to surprise me…

Except when noted, all photos above taken by Gillian McCain.

Joan Jett on Please Kill Me sign in Paris

© 2012