Inspired by the 1951 Academy Award winning film of the same name and adapted for the stage by Christopher Wheeldon, it tells a story of an American soldier Jerry Mulligan (Robert Fairchild) who chooses to miss his train home from Paris after the end of the Second World War. His life changes meaning as he encounters the extraordinary Lise (Leanne Cope), and falls in love. Through joy and trouble the two find their way to each other’s embrace.
Unsure whether to tag An American in Paris: The Musical as a film or theatre piece must be one of the oddest problems I’ve had to tackle in a while – while obviously a stage production, I did go see it in the comfort of a cinema. I suppose this sort of mix of media is something I should get used to at this day of age. It was not merely the marvellous Tony-award winning musical brought to us on screen, it used the medium to enhance the audience’s experience. I must not be the only one whose general verdict for stage recordings is negative – we go to the theatre not only for the performance, but also the experience, and the emotion evoked in us by live action unfolding before our eyes. If such production is recorded, and screened, we are robbed from the excitement. This was not the case with An American in Paris: The Musical, as it turned film medium to its favour, and the final effect was almost as good as it would have been in a theatre. It made use of different angles, and even steadicam shots! A close-up was thrown in every now and then – how often have you sat close enough to see the sweat drip from the actor’s forehead? Not that often, I bet.
You have nothing to lose when going to see An American in Paris: The Musical, brought to a cinema near you straight from London’s West End. Every single seat will be a good seat on 16th of May – and all for the same price too! No need to worry about restricted view…now that’s a treat!
Dir: Christopher Wheeldon, Ross MacGibbon
Scr: Craig Lucas
Cast: Ashley Andrews, Sophie Apollonia, Zoe Arshamian
Prd: Joshua Andrews
Music: George Gershwin
Run Time: 160min