An American In Paris is a musical by Craig Lucas with music by George and Ira Gershwin. It is based on the 1951 film starring Gene Kelly. The musical premiered in Paris’s Théâtre du Châtelet in 2014 before hitting Broadway the year after and the West End in 2017.
Set in post-World War Two Paris, the main plot line centres on a beautiful dancer, Lise, who has three men in love with her and trying to woo her. The suitors are: Jerry Mulligan, an ex-American GI who is trying to make it as an artist; Adam Hochberg, a struggling artist and aspiring composer; and Henri Baurel, who is from a wealthy, traditional family but is secretly an aspiring singer-showman. The story gains depth from other love interests, hidden secrets and duties to pay old debts; however, it is essentially a simple, classic love story, with the question being “Who will get the girl?”
The musical is a dance show first and foremost. The choreography by Christopher Wheeldon is outstanding. The stylish, slick, sharp routines are mesmerising in their beauty and synchronicity. The whole cast are outstanding dancers, performing Wheeldon’s ingenious choreography with precision and panache.
The Gershwin musical score gave the show an air of old-school sophistication. ‘I’ve Got Beginner’s Luck’, ‘I Got Rhythm’ and ‘They Can’t Take Away From Me’ were standout numbers in the musical.
Robert Fairchild and Leanne Cope (both having made their theatrical debuts with An American In Paris on Broadway) played Jerry Mulligan and Lise Dassin, giving standout performances with perfect grace and elegance throughout. Hayden Oakley (Side Show, Sunset Boulevard, The Smallest Show on Earth) was excellent as the flamboyant secret showman Henri and gave a wonderful rendition of ‘I’ll Build A Stairway To Paradise’. David Seadon-Young (A Damsel In Distress, Assassins, Ghost) excelled as Adam, the morbid pianist and composer.
An American In Paris is a superb musical with sensational choreography and a wonderful cast of dancers. The show’s set was high-tech, clever and adaptable, but rather overactive and at times distracting.
An American In Paris is showing at the Dominion Theatre and is currently booking until 30th September 2017 (to book tickets, click here). To read more about your visit to the Dominion Theatre, visit West End Theatre Guide’s guide.