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Happiness is…at the Lido, in the extravaganza “Bonheur”! The show that is hitting the stage of the world’s most famous cabaret where “Bonheur” has been running since December 2003! The Lido is like a huge ship anchored on the Champs-Elysées on which, every evening, 2,000 spectators embark, dazzled by the luxurious costumes, the tempo of the show, the beauty of the dancers, the sophisticated staging techniques, and of course the excellent supper prepared by Philippe Lacroix. Its invisible, silent machinery, in the wings, uses winches, turntables and pulleys similar to what you might find on an aircraft carrier, to change the scenes, and alternate ice rink and swimming pool. On the deck are four hundred crewmembers, from stagehand to captain, who all share the same artistic complicity, under the direction of Pierre Rambert, director and first admiral. “Bonheur” does not come cheap: 10 million euros, including 3 million for the costumes.


For Pierre, music hall is the meeting point for all arts, hence his search for people from opera, the theatre and the cinema to work on the sets, music and lighting. This son of teachers was already dreaming of dance at the age of 12. At the age of 20, he gave up his higher education course at a prestigious French Grande Ecole for the Conservatoire National de Musique, and studied dance with Boris Kniasseff and Serge Peretti, which later gained him entry to Roland Petit ballets then to the Lido as lead dancer. Eight years later, he took over from Miss Bluebell at the head of the troupe and was appointed Artistic Director in 1999. Pierre Rambert thought up the extravaganza “Bonheur” from a lead idea which links the four tableaux: “I imagined a bird-woman arriving on her cloud of feathers from a place where happiness did not exist. She goes on to discover it in four worlds: Woman, Paris, India and Film.” The happiness of being a femme fatale, a seductress, a romantic, a woman in love, a woman-flower… Happiness in Paris, with its rooftops, its shop windows, its nightlife and its “rave-parties”. Happiness elsewhere is India and its legends. Happiness otherwise, music and film, a magic lantern that leads to meetings with Charlie Chaplin, Fellini and Marilyn. With Cabaret, the wheel comes full circle: the birds of Happiness have found their lost colours.


The music for “Bonheur” is certain to make you happy! It is international, it has the French accent of its musicals whose tunes keep ringing in your ears long after the curtain has come down. That’s what they call a box-office hit. Light, sparkling, hairraising at the end, and it’s all composed by Jean-Claude Petit. Throughout the four tableaux in the extravaganza and the seven songs for the “captain”, Jean-Claude Petit marks the beat for a whole world of emotions in just one and a half hours. “I dream in music. Six months’ work to transform the images into sound, incorporate an American beat into French culture, try out some instruments on a computer to reinvent Indian music, revisit Charles Aznavour and Michel Legrand, and turn all those tunes upside down, putting yesterday’s hits side by side with ultra-modern tableaux. And it has to be full of surprises.” 70 musicians and singers and 100 hours in a recording studio, to record the whole score for the show, with live backing from the Lido orchestra during the performance. One month’s work timed to the nearest second to stick close to the choreographies of the 48 Bluebells and the 18 dancers. The most state of the art digital system in the world uses 70 speakers, 25 amplifiers and a power of 20,000 watts.


Fabrice Kebour is Mr 100,000 watts, the lighting designer, maker of sparks and special effects. The high technology equipment of the Lido, the only cabaret in the world that can rival with Las Vegas, exceeds the imagination and makes the unthinkable possible. A 7,000 watt projector for giant images, 90 state of the art computer controlled spotlights, 200 colour changers with 32 colours for each spotlight, 2 lasers of 12 watts to feed 7 laser sources including 2 ancillaries, made specially for the Lido, 350 spotlights weighing a total of 7 tons. The lighting console is a Wholehog 3, the world’s most state of the art system. Add 32 kilometres of optic fibre, 600 metres of neon and tens of millions of light bulbs… Need we say more?


The sets for the show were designed by Charlie Mangel with the help of Arnaud de Segonzac: “The Lido extravaganza requires you to be imaginative and create amazing scene changes in full view of the audience who love to take part in the show and often wonder how it works.” The twenty-three sets for “Bonheur” are impressive. The nave of a cathedral of light, a staircase spanning more than five metres, the rooftops of Paris with their cats, the Avenue Montaigne with its magnificent shop windows opening on to an haute couture fashion parade only to be changed into an factory scene for a rave party, and a Hindu temple with living sculptures. Set design requires imagination: you have to create the spectacular, play with trompe l’oeil effects to magnify the proportions, and more. The Lido stage machinery, with its turntable stage, three elevators which allow the performers to descend from the sky or rise up into the flies, great staircases, skating rink or swimming pool, the 14 metre wide stage extending on to a 49 sq. m. plateau, gives myriad possibilities for panoramic sets. But the biggest challenge is the technical side, as all these huge sets have to be hidden away in very small spaces before being displayed under the spotlights. A rain curtain takes the place of the stage curtain: the different lighting can make it opaque or transparent as needed. A pool under the stage feeds the 12,000 water points spanning 12 metres. The swimming pool contains 80,000 litres, weighing a hundred and twenty tons, stored under the audience and brought up to stage level by lift when it’s time for the show. The Lido provides uses three workshops. The Ateliers Marigny in Paris, The Ateliers du Nord in Lille, which contribute their very state of the art technology, and Artefact based in Orange, where, for three months, a hundred and fifty joiners, upholsterers, sculptors, hydraulics engineers and electrical engineers bring all your dreams to life.


The Lido has great pleasure in welcoming a new singer and captain for the “BONHEUR” show. Of Dutch nationality, blond with blue eyes and a model figure, Carien Keizer has been lead singer for Bonheur at the Lido since March 2010. After the Lucia Martha Dance Academy in Amsterdam, Carien Keizer began her career in Holland, Germany and Austria. In addition to the musicals Saturday Night Fever, 42nd Street, Aida, Cats, Hair and Ich War Noch Niemals In NY, she has many television programmes under her belt. With her elegance, her charisma and her “happy pop” voice, Carien Keizer sings live and provides the lead for 70 musicians who accompany her every evening on the Lido stage.


Pierre Marchand joined the “Bonheur” show in March 2007. He performs an amazing Diabolo juggling act. Of French origin, Pierre had already performed on several international theatres before stopping off for a few years at the Lido. After attending the Circus school in Kiev, Housch-Ma-Housch specialised in comic acts. He has won many awards in various Circus Festivals, and has been delighting and amusing Lido audiences since 2010. Franck Laure graduated from the Conservatoire d’Art Dramatique. He presents an incredible aerial silks act: a new mode of expression for the body with fabric of incredible purity. He has been at the Lido since the opening of the “Bonheur” show. Skaters Lesley Rogers and Franck Levier are the stars of the ice in the grand Lido tradition.


Edwin Piekny, a former Lido dancer, designed all the costumes for the show. A year and a half to complete 140 models. A budget of three million euros to make the 600 costumes in the Lido tradition. The sumptuous mantle in the finale made of blue-white ostrich and marabou feathers, that opens on the nude, gilded body of the lead dancer, costs in excess of 18,000 euros. For “L’Hymne à l’Amour” in which eighteen dancers each symbolise a different flower - rose, iris, arum, poppy, camellia and orchid – the six and a half minutes of happiness in the tableau reach the dizzying sum of 116,000 euros. Each costume is worth 12,000. Designing for the Lido wonderful: “We dress exquisite bodies according to two golden rules. Exaggerate the proportions emphasising the long legs and revive the sumptuous elegance of the great years of music hall for which the audience feels great nostalgia.”


She is the great lady of music hall. For 30 years, with twelve full-time seamstresses, she dresses the Lido. Apart from the fishnet stockings and the men’s costumes made in Rome by Gabriele Pacchia, the 400 costumes of the Bluebells come from her workshop in the Palais Royal. It’s hardly surprising that the show has a feel of haute couture: she has worked with the greatest names in fashion. As Mine Verges centralises the work of all the outsourcers, her workshop is a caravanserai of sophistications filled with feathers, flowers, embroideries, stretch fabrics, colourful stripes and Renaissance prints, leathers, sequined mousselines on flesh-coloured run-resistant fabric to make the naked skin sparkle. For Mine, however, the most important role in an extravaganza is played by the thong. This triangle of a few centimetres of topstitched cloth has to be strong enough to serve as a foundation and base for tens of kilos of feathers and embroideries which all weigh on the hips. Each costume has its thong made to the nearest millimetre!




Programmer Technical Equipment Video and Film Images Costume designers

Feather workers


Atelier Marigny Ateliers du Nord Artefact Plastic Studio Aquatique Show Equipements Lumière Ambiance Lumière Caméléon Telescan Profil Productions Andrew Doig Manelec Les Films de la Cité Mine Barral Verges G.P. 11 Gabriel Pacchia Amanda Barrow Lemarié S.P.P.N. John Swift & André Kemp Lesage Paris Carel Broderies Broderies Vermont Atelier Valentin


Michel Maryse Roussel Laurence Binet Solignac


Pierre Annez de Taboada Marina Gendre Shauna Giesbrecht

Wig maker Shoemaker Corsetry & Various Accessories

Linda McKnight Clairvoy Michel Carel Daniel Cendron François Privat Genève Cotté

RATES FOR 2014 (except February 14th and December 24th and 31st 2014)

DINNER – SHOW An exceptional evening of entertainment from 7.00 to 10.40pm : - 4 menus to choose from with a half-bottle of champagne per person - a musical atmosphere during dinner with the Lido big band - the BONHEUR show starting 9.00pm

Soirée Plaisir Soirée Panache Soirée Bonheur Service Premier

160.00 euros 180.00 euros 210.00 euros 300.00 euros

Menu Children

100.00 euros

Lunch Matinee

150.00 euros

CHAMPAGNE – SHOW A 1 hour and 40 minutes journey through the magic world of our BONHEUR show : -shows at 9.00 or 11.00pm with a half-bottle of champagne per person

Soirée Emotion 9.00pm

110.00 euros

Soirée Quelle Nuit 11.00pm

100.00 euros

Soirée Service Premier 11.00pm

160.00 euros

Show Children 9.00pm

50.00 euros

Show Children 11.00pm


Show Matinee

110.00 euros

CONTACT Anne-Cécile Thibault +33 (0)1 40 76 56 06

RESERVATION +33 (0) 1 40 76 56 10

Photos © Eric Lanuit

Press kit bonheur anglais 2014