When French comedy no longer hits your funny bone, promoter Karel Beer’s Laughing Matters nights at La Java (organised by his Anything Matters company, which also programmes concerts) usually hits the spot. Expect big names from the Anglophone stand-up world, like Rich Hall, Greg Proops and Josie Long, and tickets that fly like hotcakes.
La Java, 105 rue du Faubourg-du-Temple, 10e. www.la-java.fr. Métro Rébublique. For more information call 01.53.19.98.88.
The tiny La Cible theatre in the heart of SoPi (South Pigalle) promotes raucous comedies and one-man shows by emmerging actors. While 90% of the programme is in French, there's usually at least one English language comedy show and stand-up act each week.
Streams of original language plays (including some in English - check the website) put the neo-classical Théâtre de l'Europe in a league of its own. Highlights for 2012 include 'Prometheus Bound', from Aeschylus, directed by Oliver Py and August Strindberg's 'Miss Julie' (starring Juliette Binoche), plus the Impatience festival for young theatre companies.
Aside from the occasional play in English, this elegant theatre directed by Micheline Rozan and Peter Brook boasts one of the most imaginative programmes of chamber music in the capital. Adventurous programming this year includes an evening of festive music from 17th-century Istanbul, Müsennâ, and the return of veteran harpsichordist Gustav Leonhardt.
Every Friday (8pm) belly laugh deprived expats and anglophile Parisians head to the Pranzo-Gymnase (tucked away inside the Théâtre du Gymnase) for a night of sidesplitting, caustic comedy signed American stand-up comedian Sebastian Marx. His hour-long show, "A New Yorker in Paris", which covers Marx's experiences in Paris as an expat, is followed by the city's only English language open mic event, "The NY Comedy Night". Think you've got what it takes to tickle the crowd? Then revise your one-liners and arrive before 9.30pm.
Pranzo Gymnase, 38 boulevard de Bonne-Nouvelle, 10e. www.pranzo.fr. Métro Bonne Nouvelle. For more information see www.sebmarx.com
This ambitious 18-screen development screens art movies as well as mainstream fodder, also and hosts regular meet-the-director events. The UGC's other branch, the 19-screen UGC Ciné Cité Les Halles (7 place de la Rotonde, Nouveau Forum des Halles, 1st, 08.92.70.00.00) serves the same mix of cinema and events.
For €19.80 a month, the UGC/MK2 Illimité card offers film buffs unlimited screenings at any UGC or MK2 venue, as well as some independents. Also now available, at €35 a month, is the Illimité 2 card, which is valid for two people.