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An American In Paris

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Currently in previews at the Palace theater, An American In Paris is based upon a 1929 orchestral composition by George Gershwin.


MGM turned it into a filming starring the great Gene Kelly and Leslie Caron, and directed by Vincente Minelli, in 1951.


Now a stage version has arrived on Broadway. Highly anticipated, it stars NYC Ballet lead Robert Fairchild and Leanne Cope, and Christopher Wheeldon is the choreographer.


To be brief, I was a bit disappointed. The music is glorious and the Gershwin Estate has been very generous to allow this production to use what can only be described as the cream of the crop from the Gershwin songbook. Each and every number a true gem. However, I found the production a bit flat. There is a lack of sets and most of it in a monochromatic scheme which does not reflect the beauty and color of Paris. Projections are used on the back wall to help evoke a feeling of Paris. The storyline is not helped by the Nazi subplot and seems to weigh it down. There is also an illusion, or hint, of the questionable sexuality of the character Henri.


I don't know how much work will be going into the preview window before opening night but I don't foresee any major changes. We'll see what the critics say.



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