Viva La Revolucion!

While America celebrates the Fourth of July, France commemorates its own independence on July 14: Bastille Day. That’s when, in 1789, the French people revolted against monarchy and established a National Assembly to draw up a constitution. (The Americans had passed theirs two years earlier.) The first Bastille Day party in 1790 brought a feast to the middle of Paris, with fine wine and naked streaking through the streets. The guillotines would be wheeled out soon.

Cinema Paradiso marks Bastille Day (one day late) with a major party that will lack only the nude runners. A musical revue called Parlez-vous Français will be showcased in French with English subtitles, the tale of a teacher moving from France to the United States to live out the American Dream. A colossal 50 pop songs are packed into the story — many of them hits that were French in the first place. Top that off with a gourmet buffet from Croissan’Time with free wine, soft drinks, and, of course, rivers of Orangina. Plus there will be live music and dancing lubricated by said wine. Tantalizingly, Cinema Paradiso hints of “many surprises” in store. For Francophiles, this is heaven.

The Bastille Day celebration starts at 7 p.m. at Cinema Paradiso (503 SE Sixth St., Fort Lauderdale). All-inclusive tickets cost $50. To make reservations, call 954-565-0628, or visit
Sun., July 12, 7 p.m., 2009