‘An American In Paris’ – Opening in London!
From the musical stylings of George Gershwin, the musical composition ‘An American In Paris’ was born at the New York Philharmonic in 1928. Inspired by his time spent in Paris in the 20’s, Gershwin composed one of his best pieces ever written. Gershwin expressed his intentions with the music; “My purpose here is to portray the impression of an American visitor in Paris as he strolls about the city and listens to various street noises and absorbs the French atmosphere.” Bringing to life and inspiring the 1951 film ‘An American In Paris’, Gershwin’s orchestral talent are combined with his brother, Ira Gershwin’s, lyrical abilities create the music for the film. Drawing for the film, the plot, characters and music, the musical of ‘An American In Paris’ opened up on the Broadway stage at the Palace Theatre in April 2015, and has since been a massive hit with audiences, winning itself three Tony Awards so far. Unfortunately, it’s impending closing is to happen this coming October 2016, therefore, I felt it deserved a little mention out here in the UK, that way you’re all prepared for when it hits the West End in 2017!
Maybe you are yet to watch the film, maybe you didn’t even know it existed, that’s all perfectly okay, because i’m about to run through the plot with you. Are we prepared? Good!
Based in during the aftermath of the Second World War, an American Soldier, Jerry Mulligan, comes across a mysterious girl whilst spending time in Paris. In an attempt to rebuild his life after the war, he decides to stay in Paris and pursue his passion for painting. Alongside his friends Adam Hochberg, and Henri Baurel, Jerry and his new companions are determined to create a better future for themselves. When Jerry is reconnected with his mysterious French woman, named Lise Dassin, who turns out to be an exceedingly good french ballerina, he feels he has made the right decision with his life, until it appears that she is the same young woman both he and Adam have been encouraging Henris to court and propose to.
Meanwhile, Jerry meets American philanthropist, Milo Davenport, who impressed by Jerry’s skill, pushes him into the exploding Parisian Art scene. As Lise struggles between Henris, and Jerry, who she think might her her true love. Eventually both her and Henri realise they have to let each other go. After the opening night of a very important Ballet show, Lise realises she is meant to be with Jerry and they reunite.
Obviously the cast is not going to be the same, I mean I’m sure we’d all love to see Gene Kelly reprise his role as ‘Jerry Mulligan’ but I’m afraid that just won’t be happening, so I suppose for now we’ll have to do with Robert Fairchild, but don’t be disappointed he’s had his fair share of stage and ballet work. Our ‘Lise Dassin’ however, made her stage debut in this role, Leanne Cope originated this stage role on Broadway way back when the show opened and doesn’t seem to be letting go of it anytime soon. She taking her character all the way to the West End. With such precise and delicate dancing throughout the show, all the participants have been classically trained in Ballet. Safe to say, I don’t think the dancing will be a let down!
So there we go, doesn’t it sounds great! Maybe you’re like me, lacking funds to travel all the way to Broadway to witness actually great it is….or maybe you’re lucky enough to be there, and maybe you’ve actually already seen it! (If that’s you, i’m jealous) But remember ‘An American In Paris’ closes October 2016, next month! Don’t worry if you’re stuck in soggy England like me, it’s heading over here to the big old West End next March (2017) so just sit tight and immerse yourself in the soundtrack till then, I can guarantee you that’s what I’ll be doing!