feerie

Definition

Theater

  • In 19th-century France, a spectacle drama that used elaboratemachinery to produce illusions. The dream-like plots were based onfairy tales and romances and the feerie was a major influencein the development of burlesque and the musical.An earlier type of extravaganza, the 17th-century pièceà machines was based on stories of classical mythology.The fantastic elements in the feerie derived largely from 18th-centuryfairground pantomimes.

    The first feerie to achieve great success was LePied du mouton, presented at the Théâtre de la Gaîté,Paris, in 1806. A later hit was Les Pilules du diable at theCirque Olympique in 1839. The stage illusions and transformation scenesrequired a large stage, limiting most feerie productions tosuch venues as the Théâtre de la Port Saint-Martin, whichwere able to accommodate them.

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