By Mervyn Rothstein
23 Oct 2011
And he is planning for it to run until at least the end of 2012.
His show, logically, runs about an hour. He's alone onstage with just one black leather chair as a prop. One recent Saturday night, the house's red-cushioned seats were just about full. Most of the audience members were young and hip, though there was a sprinkling of gray throughout the theatre. Many arrive at their seats with wine bottles and glasses obtained at the theatre's bar (after all, this is Paris).
They are also multicultural. A survey Giraud takes every night found that on this evening, audience members came from Scotland, the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, the Philippines, Argentina, Colombia, Singapore, South Korea, South Africa, Australia, New York, Chicago — and, in large numbers, Paris.
|photo by Julia Griner|
"The show has great word of mouth," Giraud says at the café. "People come once and come again, sometimes ten times." Indeed, the show, at least at this writing, is No. 1 on the TripAdvisor.com list of recommended Paris-area nightlife, and No. 3 overall for attractions in Paris.
Giraud says that to keep people coming back, he revises the show frequently, and that he will be adding more categories at the new theatre — including how to become a Parisian on vacation and how to find an apartment in Paris.
After each show, he says, he stands outside the theatre to shake hands and say goodnight as audience members file by.
"Most comedians wait years to have a full theatre," he says. "For me, it happened after six or seven months. I wake up every morning happy. And I go to bed happy."
How to Become Parisian in One Hour? has also been seen in Belgium and Spain, with other European bookings planned. Giraud hopes to do the show in New York City in 2012-13. For more information, visit OlivierGiraud.com.
Merv Rothstein's work is often seen in the pages of Playbill magazine and Playbill.com. He pens the monthly A Life in the Theatre feature.