Jacques Brel Is Alive and Well and Living in Paris

Even if the title is a bit misleading (Brel hasn’t been alive since 1978), the Belgian Renaissance man’s spirit lives on in this energetic revival of the smash Vietnam-era revue, which ran for four years Off Broadway before finding less-revered life on Broadway and on film. Smartly staged in the funky, car seat-stuffed Zipper Theater, Gordon Greenberg’s cabaret-style presentation of 27 Brel tunes is a tad overextended and occasionally bombastic (the actors are overmiked, despite being mere feet away from the audience). But the songs themselves — like the haunting ”Marieke” and the oft-recorded ”Ne Me Quitte Pas” — are textured and often moving, and the hardworking cast of four prove their mettle (Gay Marshall, as the elder of the two chanteuses, is especially potent). The show’s political undertones seem to have blunted in the years of indifference following the original run, but when this show takes off, it rivals most of what you’ll hear on a Broadway stage. (Tickets: Call Telecharge at 212-239-6200, or visit

Jacques Brel Is Alive and Well and Living in Paris
  • Stage