An original work written and performed by Maggie Gallant
Playwright and performer Maggie Gallant brings to life a funny and emotional story about her lifelong search for ‘French Papa’, her birth father.
This is a theatrical memoir with Gallant performing each role, and it features authentic documents, from her birth certificate to handwritten letters, and a primary school essay.
It’s a powerful exploration of identity, roots and why the place that you come from, isn’t always your home. Hot Dogs at the Eiffel Tower will keep audiences laughing and riveted to the end.
Hot Dogs at the Eiffel Tower is an original work that will resonate with anyone who has ever felt at odds with their family. Growing up in a small English village with old-fashioned parents, Maggie Gallant never felt like she belonged. But she didn’t know why. Until a school homework assignment led to an unbelievable discovery and took Maggie on a journey of twists, turns, secrets and lies to learn the truth about where she came from.
Starting with the discovery of her adoption, and her birth father’s French identity, this lifelong search takes the audience from 1977 to 2017. And the story doesn’t even end there. With the advances in DNA, new aspects of the story came to light during and after the pandemic, which are woven into the updated telling. Gallant believes there may still be more to come.
About Maggie Gallant
I grew up in a small village in the South-east of England. The sort of place that I would now long to live with but loathed when I was growing up. I longed to escape to London and after a short stint at Butlin’s Holiday Camp in Weston-Super-Mare, that’s what I did.
I went to college in the middle of Leicester Square in the West End, just above the studio of Capital FM radio and a few doors down from the Comedy Store. From there I scored a job in PR and stayed in it until 1997 when I met my American husband, Erik.
After we fled the UK in 2000, we ended up in Austin Texas and are still here 23 years later. Desperate to shed my corporate past, I took some stand-up comedy classes and started performing in clubs around Austin. When I realized I had ‘aged out’ of the Austin comedy scene, I tried my hand at solo writing and performance and knew I’d found my niche. In addition to Hot Dogs at the Eiffel Tower, I’ve written solo shows about my passion for/obsession with Freddie Mercury and Queen, and the death of Princess Diana.
While the story of my search is personal to me, its themes of belonging and fitting in, finding your roots, and understanding your past are universal. And though DNA gave me the answers I was searching for, it has proven disruptive and even damaging for other individuals and families who weren’t expecting or ready for a genetic surprise.
Adoption practices have changed since my adoption in 1966 and open adoptions are now far more the norm. But the ripple effect of those who experienced the ‘baby scoop’ era is still felt. The women who were shamed into giving up their babies carried that shame and sadness into their future relationships with partners and children. And people who were adopted know that their being ‘chosen’ came from someone else’s loss. It can feel like a heavy burden to carry.
But there is also joy in discovery, in seeing yourself reflected, in being able to view all sides of the adoption prism. And for some of us, in being forever French.
Hot Dogs at the Eiffel Tower is a one-woman show written and performed by Maggie Gallant.
Run Time – 60 minutes.
AV – large screen to project slide deck throughout performance. Ideally, screen is placed center stage just over Maggie’s head. 5’5” from the floor.
Sound – music played to the entire house. Lavalier mic for Maggie Gallant
Lighting – three areas of focus on the stage – fixed or cued, depending on venue’s abilities
Slide Deck – cued throughout performance. 30 slides.
- Black curtain backdrop
- Suspended or mounted screen for slides, center stage preferred.
- Small wooden chair
- Office/conference room chair
- No curtain open or closing, no costume changes
A press release template can provided for venues and organizations to promote the performance to the local community.
A template poster can be used to help promote the show. Details (date/time/venue) added by Maggie Gallant’s creative team.
A customized slide may be added to the video highlight reel with performance dates, venue and ticket information.
Maggie travels Austin Bergstrom airport (AUS) or if within 300 miles of Austin, drives to your performance. Arrival 1-2 days prior to performance to rehearse and ensure all tech details are in place. Accommodations and travel expenses provided by client.