An American in Paris [S]

Opened at the Palace Theatre, New York on April 12, 2015. 623 performances. Music and lyrics by George Gershwin and Ira Gershwin. Book by Craig Lucas. Directed & choreographed by Christopher Wheeldon. Produced by Stuart Oken, Van Kaplan and Roy Furman. Cast includes Robert Fairchild, Leanne Cope, Veanne Cox, Jill Paice, Brandon Uranowitz, and Max von Essen.

Inspired by the much-loved, Oscar-winning 1951 movie, the spectacular stage musical AN AMERICAN IN PARIS is the romantic story of a young American soldier, a beautiful French girl, and an indomitable European city, each yearning for a new beginning in the aftermath of World War II.

While the shadow of war is an underlying motif in the stage version, the heart of the show is the exuberant Gershwin score, which incorporates George’s AN AMERICAN IN PARIS tone poem, as the movie did, as well as both movie and non-movie songs and excerpts from George’s CONCERTO IN F and SECOND RHAPSODY. Given its origins in a movie that celebrated dance and a director who came to prominence as a choreographer, the new adaptation is, not surprisingly, a paean to movement as an expressive element, from the opening sequence depicting the liberation of Paris to scenes that suddenly erupt in dance, to the modernist title ballet near the end.