Parisian Piaf: Sa Vie en Rose

by Alec Clayton for OLY ARTS

A touch of French cabaret comes to Olympia in the form of Piaf! The Show at The Washington Center for the Performing Arts. Produced by Directo Productions in Nice, France, Piaf! has entertained the world with more than 300 performances in 30-plus countries. It was conceived and directed by Gil Marsalla, who was inspired by the Academy Award-winning Piaf biopic La Vie en Rose. The show premiered in 2015 and tells Piaf’s life story in two 45-minute acts, with a “visual tapestry” of Parisian locations as a backdrop.

Known as “the swallow of Montmartre” and France’s chanteuse, Édith Piaf was internationally renowned for her singing and acting until her untimely death in 1963. Many of her songs — torch ballads of love and loss — were autobiographical. Legend has it she was born on the streets of Paris, to a café-singer mother and street-acrobat father, and raised in a brothel. She’s best known for her songs “La Vie en Rose,” “Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien,” and “Hymne a L’Amour.”

Anne Carrere performs as Piaf in the show. Carrere is a native of the south of France. She began her studies in voice and acting in the art school Salon-de-Provence and later studied classical music training on flute and piano. French singer Germaine Ricord says her talent equals that of Piaf “at the top of her career.” Marsalla met Carrere in 2014 when she auditioned for another of his shows. “I have worked in show business on and off stage for 25 years and mounted shows around the world,” Marsalla says, “but to this day, Anne Carrere is my greatest artistic discovery yet. Don’t you dare touch or polish her, she is a diamond that you want to keep raw — Such is the nature of her pure and natural talent.

Marsalla founded his production company in 2001 and specializes in touring French-cabaret shows around the world. He says Carrere is Édith Piaf’s “legitimate musical heiress.”

What: Piaf! The Show

Where: The Washington Center for the Performing Arts,
512 Washington St. SE, Olympia

When: 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 19

How much: $30-$55

Learn more: 360-753-8585 | Piaf! The Show

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