Parisian drag cabaret Chez Michou to close its doors after 68 years

Paris's drag cabaret Chez Michou has announced it is closing for financial reasons, bringing an end to a fixture of the French capital's nightlife.

After 68 years in the burlesque business, Sunday's performance will be the last, the managers of the cabaret Chez Michou wrote on Facebook last week.

A liquidator will be appointed from 16 July 2024, "with the task of finding a buyer for our establishment", they added.

Drag pioneer

Run by Paris nightlife icon Michou until his death in 2020, the trailblazing cabaret brought drag entertainment to France in the mid-1950s when it put on shows featuring men caricaturing women personalities of the time.

Despite being the capital's smallest cabaret, the tiny venue in the northern Montmartre district vied for attention with the larger, more conventional Moulin Rouge, Lido and Crazy Horse.

Known for his distinctive chunky glasses and all-blue outfits, Michou – real name Michel Catty – and his "Michettes" inspired a hit 1978 French comedy film, La Cage aux Folles.

But the cabaret's future was already in doubt prior before its closure was announced.

On Saturday, Michou's niece Catherine Catty-Jacquart said she did not know if the cabaret would reopen in September.

"We're living from day to day," she said, with the venue seeing a lack of bookings in July despite the Olympic Games.

(with AFP)

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