An evening at Lido’s iconic Paris cabaret on the Champs-Elysées is like stepping into another era. The question that you might ask yourself over the course of the evening, however, is which one. This show is exceptionally glitzy and often times resembles an over-glorified drag show. But if you’ve got deep pockets and a sense of humor, you’re sure to enjoy this mix of French can-can, circus, magic and cabaret.
It's an updated and arguably more elegant cabaret than the infamously more famous Moulin Rouge-- but not to worry, you'll still get plenty of extravagance and pomp for your money.
Location and Contact Information
Lido is located in Western Paris on the famed Avenue des Champs-Elysées, in the city's 8th arrondissement.
Address: 116 Bis Avenue des Champs Élysées
Metro: George V (Line 1) or RER A, Charles de Gaulle-Etoile
Tel: Call +33 (0)1 40 76 56 10 for reservations (required)
Open: Daily from 9am to 2am. Dinner is served daily from 7pm; Champagne-revue from 9:30pm to 11:30 pm. On certain days, guests can also enjoy a lunch-revue (1pm or 3pm) or a champagne-revue at 3pm. Call or visit the official website for more information.
Reservations: Dinner and show at the Lido (Book direct via TripAdvisor)
The Lido giftshop is open daily from 7:oo pm to 2:00 am.
For current prices, visit the website.
My Review of the Show: The Welcome
After you pass through the front entry at Lido, you’ll be greeted immediately by a smiling, tuxedo- donning staff member, who will show you to your seat. Preferred seating is up front at long tables, where you’ll practically be able to feel the sweat dripping off performers’ faces.
Plush booths sit further back from the stage, but still offer a great view. Plus, you’re less likely to have to crane your neck to the side during the show, as is unfortunately the case at the long tables.
Dinner at Lido
If you arrive for dinner, you can enjoy the six-piece jazz band and singer, who will accompany you through your meal with hits by Nina Simone and other classic artists. You’ll choose between several meal options of varying prices, with most offering an appetizer, main dish, dessert, half bottle of champagne or wine and coffee. Or, you can opt for the dessert or champagne-only option while you enjoy the show.
While my guest spread thick layers of foie gras with rhubarb and apricot sauce onto crusty toast, I opted for the bonito fish and fennel appetizer, both of which were delicious. As we sipped our Lido-brand champagne and were waited on hand and foot, it was easy to feel rather queen-like. Both of us chose veal with beans, asparagus and eggplant for our main course. While the vegetables were fresh, the meat left something to be desired, making me half-heartedly wish I had ordered the fish option.
Dessert was divine, though – a flaky peanut butter pastry with a gooey chocolate coating.
As we sipped red wine and awaited our after-dinner coffee, guests leaped up on stage to slow dance to the band before the real show began, as you should feel free to do if you’re so inclined.
Let the Show Begin!
And then the show begins. The Lido cabaret is full of pomp and circumstance and starts off with a bang. A feather-coated egg hangs from the rafters before dipping down to the stage to reveal our singing host, wrapped in white feathery angel wings. She will continue to make appearances throughout the evening, each time to varying degrees of showiness, but always offering a quite impressive (live) singing voice.
A raft of rainbow-colored, feathered dancers then appear on the stage, for the first of many extravagant, sparkly and generally over-the-top performances. Dancers twist, twirl and kick, sometimes topless or exposing their derrieres – but not necessarily.
While the main dancer offers fairly impressive talents and charisma, it is not enough to offset the fact that most of the other dancers here are basic at best, stiff and awkward at worst. Still, with 23 different sets and 600 costumes, it’s hard to focus on a few lackluster shimmies and kicks.
The show continues, as dancers take on an incongruous mix of themes, spreading widely over different eras: Marilyn Monroe, Cats, Chicago, the fashion catwalk, the 1920s and classic French can-can. Culturally sensitive types may find the “Legendary India” number not only ethnically confusing but mildly offensive, as it mixes Indian, Thai and Arabian costumes and music without discrimination. A very lifelike elephant even appears to finish off the Bollywood-esque number.
From here, Lido mixes several non-dance performances into the show – a spirited Diablo artist, an acrobat, a magician and an ice skater (who manages, though precariously, to stay within the tiny square he is given to skate on). At one point, a real horse comes running out with a red-capped monsieur riding atop. The moveable center stage also allows for a real fountain to rise ceremoniously out of the floor, making you constantly wonder what Lido is going to think up next.
Closing Time...and My Bottom Line
As the end of the show rolls around, you’ll probably have seen enough sparkle, leather, fur, mesh, leopard print and feathers to last you into the next century. If Lido is anything, it's lighthearted, and its goal is to entertain you at all costs. For this reason, no amount of glitter, color or flamboyancy is spared. Lido doesn’t take itself too seriously and you shouldn’t either. If you’re going to splurge on a night here, leave your pretentions at the door and just enjoy.
As is common in the travel industry, the writer was provided with complimentary services for review purposes. While it has not influenced this review, TripSavvy.com believes in full disclosure of all potential conflicts of interest. For more information, see our Ethics Policy.