“Versailles” series makes elegant U.S. arrival
Glitz, glamour, and the charm of 1700’s France was the essence that steered the U.S. premiere of “Versailles”. The period drama aired its first episode on October 1st on the independent cable network Ovation TV. It follows the ever-extravagant King Louis XIV, historically known for his messiah-like sense of self, his many affairs, and -- most notably -- ruling all of France while living at the breathtaking palace of Versailles. George Blagden’s performance as the illustrious, yet paranoid “Sun King” sets the show’s dark, engaging tone, all the while juxtaposed with Alexander Vlahos, who executes a strong performance as Louis’ ambitious yet secretive brother, Philippe.
Ovation TV went all out for the highly-anticipated premiere. The first night was set at Bagatelle in the Meatpacking district. Guests were greeted and served by the talented staff, dressed in period-appropriate garment, wigs and lovely French accents. The theme of the night was to “Dine like King Louis,” as guests were immersed in style, from the beautiful chandeliers and candelabras that lit the restaurant, to the assortment of fruit on every table.
The show’s creators, Simon Mirren and David Wolstencroft welcomed guests to the festivities and introduced the crowd to a handful of the featured cast, including Blagden and Vlahos. A preview of an upcoming episode was shown to the already-invested crowd right before dinner was served. Renowned French chef, Nicolas R. Frezal, served a stunning three-course meal, reminiscent of King Louis’ regular evening meals. The dining portion of the night concluded with dessert and a tasting of aged brandy, provided by Grand Marnier.
From food, to atmosphere and music, the evening came together in the most exquisite way possible. The night was concluded by a performance by actress and singer, Lisa Zane. Zane gave a breathtaking three-song set, completely in French, continuing the atmospheric feel that Paris had landed in New York City. Ovation TV rose to the bar that “Versailles” originally set. As the most expensive television program produced in France, the network saw that it was only fitting to give the premiere the 5-star treatment.
Special thanks to Killian and Nicole.