Well, I’ve covered Cleveland and Pasadena – so I thought I’d return to Paris.
One year after her triumph in FUGUEUSES with Muriel Robin, Line Renaud will open TRES CHERE MATHILDE by Israel Horovitz opening January 28th at The Marigny Theatre in Paris. At the age of 80, Line Renaud continues to amaze.
In December of 2006 I was invited by Line to see FUGUEUSES as I had written to her after not seeing her for about 30 years. We had a grand reunion. In my review of the two character comedy I wrote…
Line Renaud’s star has been shining for many years and everyone adores her. She is a singer. An actress. A comedienne. A humanitarian who has done much for SIDA – Aid’s Research. She is natural and charming and has a sparkle in her eye that is impossible to ignore or to forget. I must also mention her legs – which she is obviously very proud of. She headlined at the Casino de Paris and brought her review to Las Vegas. It was on the West Coast – Los Angeles to be exact – that a friend of mine was giving a party for her. It was there, thirty years ago that I first met her. Being American I did not even know who she was at the time. But we hit it off and stayed in touch for a while. Then last year, at a small dinner in Paris I was given a DVD – a documentary of her life on stage. Of course, I chimed in that I had met her. Everyone was extremely impressed.
I decided to write to see if she would remember. I still had the address and phone number she had given me in Los Angeles. But I did not hear from her. And so I Googled “Line Renaud” – you might want to do the same – sent her off an e-mail which was answered a few days before I left – with a request to call her once I got to Paris. Which I did. She graciously accepted my call. Busy though she was, I was offered two of the best seats at Le Theatre des Varietes for the Saturday matinee at 4:30 which was sold out. The two hundred year old theatre is magnificent. The play – formidable! – I loved it.
And the best part was to come. I was invited backstage to speak with Line. She thanked me for the bouquet of flowers I had sent (all white – her favorite) and hoped that we wouldn’t wait another thirty years to see each other. With another performance that night and with the television special to think about and everything else that she had to do Line Renaud took the time to be gracious and welcoming to someone she hadn’t seen in such a long time. She is a very special lady. www.linerenaud.com/ www.murielrobin.com
Back to MATHILDE. Something rang a bell in my mind about this play. I have a very good memory and it slowly came back to me. I could visualize the program in my mind but could not remember where or why I saw the play. Found the program – October 2002 in New York – before my tenure at Talk Entertainment as theatre critic. I did remember the set and the fact that there was rain and the central character of Mathilde – which is a terrific part. A character that Line Renaud will win another bouquet of sensational reviews for portraying. Friends of mine in Paris told me that she wanted to be challenged by a different type of part and that’s why she chose to be in TRES CHERE MATHILDE – which was called MY OLD LADY. I’m so glad they changed the title.