Time Out says
On December 29, 1855, the famous composer Offenbach founded his own theatre, Bouffes Parisiens. The name references the genre he wanted to promote – opéra-bouffe, a style of comic operetta. At the time, when the venue was brand new in the extremely chic second arrondissement, it attracted huge crowds with the performances, which were somewhere between the great lyrical operas and more popular shows. It was a small revolution – Offenbach wanted to return to the naïve forms of comic opera, and tried to divert the audience as much as educate them. In 1858, all Paris (including the Emperor) turned out for his first work, ‘Orphée aux enfers’.
Like all Parisian theatres, this one has passed from hand to hand over the years. Albert Willemetz, who took over direction in 1921, led the place through its glory years when Maurice Chevalier, Arletty, Jean Marais, Jeanne Moreau and Edith Piaf all trod the boards. Since then the venue, with its remarkable wrought iron façade, has kept the same spirit, switching between musical shows and theatre of all genres through a varied programme that includes classic and contemporary authors.