Current Theater: The Parisian Woman by Zina Louhaichy


Everyone’s eyes stared at the light blue walls of the stage at the Hudson Theatre, anxiously awaiting the appearance of famed actress, Uma Thurman in The Parisian Woman. Thurman is known for her Pulp Fiction and Kill Bill films, both nominated for Golden Globe awards. This is only her second broadway appearance, for her first was in a 1999 production of The Misanthrope, put on by the Classic Stage Company. Written by Beau Willimon and directed by Pam MacKinnon, it details the rowdy life of Chloe, Thurman’s character, a charming socialite, and her romantic and political involvements, all to help her husband get to a high-level government position. Set in present day Washington D.C, Chloe has a husband and a few lovers on the side. Chloe is rich, beautiful, popular, and seemingly has it all, but does she?

The Parisian Woman, inspired by Henry François Becque’s 19th-century French play, “La Parisienne,” is a very entertaining play. The play has only five characters showing a lifestyle where only powerful friends are worth having. Chloe exists to manipulate people in furthering her husband’s political career and to make herself ever more important and powerful.

I enjoyed watching the acting, which seemed to be very natural and truthful. The two settings were the living room of a townhouse and a balcony scene at a political party.

There was a lengthy white couch which seemed to be a symbol for the development of relationships. It was the main place where Chloe would hold court and manipulate her lovers to do what she wanted them to do. The alcohol flowed freely and it was used as a relaxer during conversations.

The clothing communicated status and wealth in a subtle way. The performers were dressed in J-crew-esque clothing or business attire with a minimal amount of natural makeup.

I found The Parisian Woman an interesting play because of all the intertwining stories that led to be one grand outcome. One does not have to love politics to enjoy this play but it would help if he or she understood the way things work. At times I was confused and I did not understand what certain political terms meant. All in all, this production was beautifully done, the acting was wonderful, but the story did not really hold my interest.