Broadway’s Palace Theatre, at the corner of Broadway and 47th Street, is home to a reimagined version of “An American in Paris,” and it is worth seeing. This musical, with music and lyrics by George Gershwin and Ira Gershwin and book by Craig Lucas, is inspired by the motion picture according to the playbill, but it definitely tells the story in a very different way. It’s an interesting telling though.
While the beloved movie with which most people are familiar, “An American in Paris,” had the incredible dance moves of Gene Kelly and Leslie Caron but emphasized singing, this musical is the opposite. It emphasizes the beautiful and grace of the dance and ballet in particular. It is absolutely breathtaking to behold this gifted cast as they dance on stage.
Robert Fairchild as American Jerry Mulligan, a soldier turned artist, and Leanne Cope as Lise Dassin, a shop clerk and talented ballerina, are a darling couple to watch. Though the show takes liberties with the storyline in various ways, it doesn’t distract the audience’s attention from the beautiful, dramatic choreography by Christopher Wheeldon, who also directs the production.
This musical is all about the delicacy and the beauty of dance, and there are some good songs in here too that are slightly adapted, such as “S Wonderful,” “I’ll Build a Stairway to Paradise,” and “They Can’t Take That Away From Me.” There are also a lot of new songs that work to move the storyline along nicely.
In the second act, the dance sequence near the end is mesmerizing and takes your breath away. The ending moment of the musical is what should be done at the end of a Broadway musical, and the audience demonstrated their approval with tumultuous applause. There was such a feeling of elation that filled the Palace Theatre at the end that everyone went wild in appreciation of the production and performances they had had the pleasure of beholding.
I won’t say anymore. Just experience it for yourself, but go with an open mind.
Visit www.broadway.com/American-In-Paris for more info.