Chez Maxim's with Claudine and Gérard


Text photos ©linda compagnoni walther
I grew up at a time, where one couldn't just quickly travel to cities like London, New-York, Rio de Janeiro or Paris!
Paris...! That is where my heart always beats faster...the Eiffel tower, the much sung about River Seine, fashion made by designers like
Pierre Cardin, Dior, Coco Chanel and  world-famous Restaurant Maxim's!

Before 2009 I had never set foot in this prestigious house, founded by Maxime Gaillard (purchased in 1981 by famous clothing designer Monsieur Pierre Cardin) visited by such personalities like Jean Cocteau, Marcel Proust, Onassis, Georges Feydeau (who wrote  the popular comedy La dame de chez Maxim (The Girl From Maxim's ) whose main role has  been for years successfully performed by Véronique Fourcaud!

In any case, we were now on our way to this magical, sometimes mythical  Restaurant and in our company Claudine Ancelot!  Memories from my last visit came back; when I went to see Gerard Chambre & troupe in his amazing and very sucessful play Le petit groom de chez Maxim's!
In due course, we entered Maxim's Restaurant, decorated with
objects from the Art Nouveau period.We searched for a suitable place, admiring the gracefulness,of the restaurant, from the interior to the color of the furniture, mirrors, lamps and the famous monumental ceiling! We sat down on a comfortable sofa, smiling at Claudine, who shared our pleasant anticipation for the upcoming spectacle with Gérard Chambre's Cocteau Guitry chez Maxim's! Needless to say, Frédérique and I were most  exhilarated - not only did we have the immense pleasure to spend an evening with Claudine Ancelot - no - we were going to watch, the much talked about, new and very successful musical of Gérard Chambre - and - going to witness, after over twenty years, the first  meeting between La Dame de Montsalvy and Jean de Xaintrailles, known nowadays as Claudine Ancelot and Gérard Chambre .
I am sure, everyone who adores the TV-Series "Catherine, il suffit d'un amour", will understand want went through my head! To meet with two of the main characters at the same time, in the same was something else. How could I stay this calm?

The spectacle started at 20.30 on time. The first part of the show was called: N'écoutez pas Messieurs a one act play by Sacha Guitry, starring Gérard Chambre and the fantastic and ingenious Véronique Fourcaud. It was funny, fast, hilarious and sexy! We absolutely adored it...! The laughter in the audience was proof of the excellent performance.
The second part was called: 
Le Boœf sur le Tôa a Cabaret burlesque with 15 presentations and 17 chansons, written and  and directed by Gérard Chambre.
What a show it was! Without going over the had everything which makes an audience go along with the artists - it was funny, sexy, humorous, tender, full of rythm, jazz, performing at its best!
A must for everyone who wants to spend a really delightful evening! We smiled, applauded to the music of Fabrice Coccitto and the songs written by Gérard Chambre. Claudine like us, was enjoying herself heavenly! My report would never end, if I was to write about everything. However, I must emphasize how wonderful it was to hear Gerard and his singers Je suis Snob Mika Apamian with Amédée or Véronique Fourcaud as Marlene Dietrich sing LOLA! One word UNIQUE...!
After the last chansons, the audience, totally enchanted, demanded and was rewarded with three more encores.

The entertainers bowed the last time and Gérard Chambre, waved in our direction, before he vanished behind the curtain! We looked at each other, still a big smile on our faces, saying in one accord that we had been greatly entertained by Véronique Fourcaud, Virginie Colette , Mika Apamian, Fabrice Coccitto and Gérard Chambre.

Everyone was slowly getting up, either to go home or have a last drink at Maxim's. Claudine was recognized by another popular actor, with whom she had once played together and while we discreetly waited, Gérard Chambre, (looking dashing in his white jacket), came smiling towards us. He greeted us charmingly while we waited for Claudine. We congratulated him on his latest spectacle and praised the ensemble. Then Claudine came back...! Frédérique and I stood back, watching,with a happy smile the reunion of those two adorable and important former colleagues of the Catherine series. It was such an unforgettable moment! We looked at each other, beaming, saying in one accord: what a tremendous evening, incredible in every way, we are able to attend tonight! We joined Claudine and Gérard, who waved to us to join them and sipped a glass of champagne. We were introduced to the other stars of the show and  Frédérique took this amazing photo of Claudine Ancelot and Gérard Chambre.

It was one of those evenings, one wishes would never come to an end! We said good-bye to Gérard Chambre, who was much sought after by the remaining guests, waved one last time, and walked out of "Maxim's "with Claudine.

It was time to say au-revoir...we hugged each other warmly, promising to meet soon again and watched our Catherine cross the street. We walked quietly a few steps, each of us sunken in their own thoughts.We walked quietly a few steps, each of us with their own thougths. Then, I had to, turned my head around and say that Claudine did the same. She waved a last goodbye and pat the heavy backpack where she had put all the treasures that we had brought to her. This gesture, I admit, touched us so deeply and made us even more greatful of the sincere friendship Claudine is offering us.

Dear Claudine, Dear Gérard

We thank you so much for the wonderful evening we all spent together.  For the kindness and understanding  you  have for our passion. And last but not least, for proving that sometimes dreams can come true! Very fondly, Mistral and Frédérique

© 2008 - 2019 Linda Compagnoni Walther




official website
of Gérard Chambre

video clip
Musical Guitry-Cocteau