café chantant

Definition

Theater

  • The most popular type of venue for variety entertainmentin early 19th-century France. In the 1770s Parisian taverns calledmusicos introduced singers; during the Revolution they werelicensed by the National Assembly and multiplied in the districtsaround the Palais-Royal and the Boulevard du Temple. When the theaterswere suppressed during the First Empire, the musicos were replacedby cafs chantants, open-air summer theaters that became immenselypopular; Paris had about 200 by 1850. The performers, however, hadthe legal status of fairground entertainers and were forbidden towear stage costumes until 1867. The cafés chantantsexpanded during the Second Empire but began to be replaced in the1860s by the cafs concerts (see caf' conc').
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