AN AMERICAN IN PARIS (musical)
After World War Two, American soldier Jerry becomes an artist in Paris.
He falls for local Lise... as do his friends Adam and Henri...
Songs by George and Ira Gershwin, book by Craig Lucas, the biggest dance
musical on Broadway hits London.
Leanne Cope is scheduled to appear at all performances except Wednesday EVENINGS, and all performances from
31st July until 9th August 2017 inclusive. At these performances,
Daniela Norman is scheduled to replace her.
The producers cannot guarantee the appearance of any particular
artist, which is always subject to illness, injury and statutory leave
Cast holiday details are given for information only, and
Theatremonkey.com CANNOT take responsibility for any issue arising from
the accuracy or otherwise of these details, nor guest use of this
(Seen at the preview performance on 14th March 2017). Some actors have now
left the cast.
The first in a trio of “big dance musicals” to open in London this year, and the
first since “A Chorus Line” at the Palladium in 2013. The West End has never
really taken to this kind of show, so will this be the one to persuade audiences
to give it the lengthy run it richly deserves?
For this really is the “dance
musical of them all.” The final half hour, from Henri’s “I’ll Build a Stairway
to Paradise” and on to “An American In Paris” are breathless for the cast,
breathtaking for us in the audience. Robert Fairchild (Jerry) and
pulchritudinous Leanne Cope (Lise) give their all, despite probable exhaustion
of being on stage for almost two hours already, and the entire ensemble provide
something unforgettable under director / choreographer Christopher Wheeldon. Add
Bob Crowley’s sets and costumes, Natasha Katz’s lighting and the well-balanced
sound by Jon Weston, and it’s a delight.
In fact, extra applause for the entire sound team at the Dominion, who dealt
with a total microphone failure by stopping he show for just 10 minutes to
switch to a backup, which functioned perfectly. Oh, and for the poor lady who
lost her skirt in the big dance number – nicely dealt with.
Leading up to the final 30 minutes, there are some other fine moments. “I Got
Rhythm” (monkey saw it twice, thanks to the sound failure, and it was worth it
both times) and “Liza” being highlights of act one.
The only problem is the same as the film – the pace. Without much of a book
to hang the story on, non-dance fans are going to find the tiny trickle of
under-written characters, and not much of a tale, tedious. Those who love
Gershwin and dance will be in their element (though it must be said, “Crazy For
You” does it faster and funnier); for the rest, it’s a slow build to that final
Just for Cope and Fairchild, the music, dance and spectacle, this is truly a
five star show. Whether it’ll find a British audience does, as the monkey began
with, remain to be seen. If you like Gershwin, dance and immaculate musical
staging, though, this is certainly for you.