Based on the 1951 film of the same name, An American in Paris is a dance heavy musical revolving around Lise Dassin (played by Leanne Cope) and her three admirers. Set in Paris at the end of the second world war it’s a very romantic piece that’s only elevated by Bob Crowley’s luscious set design and Christopher Wheeldon’s choreography.
Both leads, Leanne Cope and Robert Fairchild, float effortlessly through the production building a relationship that culminates in an incredibly beautiful second act ballet number which is worth the ticket price alone. It’s not all plain sailing though, the rest of the characters act as hurdles to the pair’s relationship. Played by an ensemble cast including West End stalwarts Zoey Rainey, Haydn Oakley & Jane Asher, the source material is definitely in safe hands.
An American in Paris is otherwise somewhat conflicted in terms of its staging and score. The dance heavy storytelling adds a modern, innovative aura to the production. It’s groundbreaking in the sense that large chunks of the plot are told solely through dance, this modern method of story telling is at odds with the music which is firmly old school. A mishmash of Gershwin numbers such as ‘Swonderful’ and ‘I Got Rhythm’ that cite other works as their original sources, the music underpinning the production lacks a certain coherence.
Overall, An American in Paris is a beautiful, romantic production that sweeps you along for the ride but lacks a certain consistency that stops it from reaching the top of the pile. I give An American in Paris a rating of 3.5/5.
Experience the romance of this production with the Original Broadway Cast Recording*!