FRENCH MAY : Theatre, Opera & Musical

Gaby Deslys: The Fabulous Destiny of The First Star of The Music Hall

Theatre, Sheung Wan Civic Centre
Thursday - Friday, 13-14 June 2024
8:00 pm

$350 / $280 (AF members can enjoy 20% discount, limited quota only)


French May Jacques Offenbach Pomme d'Api afhk

French May Arts Festival 2024:
Gaby Deslys: The Fabulous Destiny of the First Music Hall Star (Musical)

For his new show, Jean-Christophe Born has chosen to tell the story of Marseille’s own Gaby Deslys: the most famous Music Hall performer from the beginning of the 20th century.

As a singer, dancer, and actress with a dazzling personality and unique talent, Marie-Elise Gabrielle Clairepursued a career as a stage artist over a bourgeois marriage to achieve freedom and financial independence. From her early days at Parisian venues like Parisiana, Alhambra, Cigale, Folies Bergère, and Moulin Rouge, she swiftly ascended the ladder of fame, captivating audiences in Paris, London, Vienna, and New York. The influence of originality and magnetism can be seen in the careers of subsequent artists likeMae West, Mistinguett, Josephine Baker, Line Renaud, and Lady Gaga.

Born in 1881, in Marseille, she debuted in Paris around 1900 and later expanded her success to London and New York, forming a romantic and professional partnership with American dancer Harry Pilcer. They triumphed in New York with the revue Stop! Look! Listen! in 1910, introducing jazz to France in 1917 with the iconic ‘descent of the stairs’ at the Casino de Paris.

During World War I in 1918, Gaby and Harry sought refuge in Marseille's famous Villa Gaby. Gaby also ventured into films like Her Triumph and Le Dieu du hasard. Sadly, she succumbed to pneumonia on 11 February 1920, at the age of 39, resting at the Saint-Pierre Cemetery in Marseille. Despite her wish to donate part of her vast fortune and the villa to the city for a children's hospital, this dream remained unfulfilled

Theater, laughter, emotion, singing, music, dancing, pearls, feathers, and sequins ! Immerse yourself in this period which goes from the Belle Epoque to the Roaring Twenties with Louise Larret (Gaby Deslys) and Jean-Christophe Born (Manuel de Bragance and Harry Pilcer), and on the piano by the amazing Mark Nadler, straight from Broadway, in the role of the pianist Eugène

For more information, please visit French May Arts Festival's website here.

Tickets are available at URBTIX 

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Louise Chérie – GABY DESLYS

Louise Larret aka Louise Chérie was born into a family of artists, therefore it was only natural that she entered the Conservatory of Paris of Musical Comedy and Lyric Singing after graduating from high school. In 2018, she played Jennifer in the musical L'arche and went on tour with the troupe of Une Étoile au Soleil. At the start of the 2020, she joined the Classe Libre of the Cours Florent Musical at the Mogador theater, in partnership with Stage Entertainment. She recently performed at Disneyland as part of the Disney Junior Dream Factory; playing Belle, in Beauty in the beast; Eleven in the Stranger Things Experience… 

Jean-Christophe Born -


At the age of 16, after a year's introduction to Operas and Musicals in the United States, Jean-Christophe Born moved to Marseille, where he enrolled at the Conservatoire while studying Art History. In 2007, he won the First Prize of the European Ravel-Granados Concourse and the Fondation Leopold Bellan. In 2009, he was selected by world-renowned tenor José Cura for a master-class. He has performed in some fifty countries around the world, playing Monostatos in Peter Brook's “The Magic Flute”. He also sang the lead role in Aladdin and the Wonderful Lamp. Finally, he was Marius in the famous international tour Les Misérables le concert.

Mark Nadler - Eugène – Piano

Mark Nadler is a celebrated American cabaret artist who has written and performed in dozens of touring productions on and off Broadway. He received numerous awards for his incredible performances, including the 2003 Bistro Award for "continuing to raise the standards of cabaret performance". He performed in the United States, as well as around the world, particularly in Europe. Not surprisingly, he has won several MAC awards for his talent as a musical interpreter. He has become an internationally renowned singer, pianist, tap dancer and comedian, winning the 2015 Broadway World Editor's Choice Award for Entertainer of the Year.

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