The hit Broadway show An American in Paris opened last night at the Dr. Phillips Center, and it truly brought a vintage view of the City of Light to life.
Based on the 1951 film of the same name, the show is a musical telling of life in Paris just after WWII for a trio of men in love, and the women who bewitch them. American soldier Jerry Mulligan (played by Garen Scribner channeling Gene Kelly) opts to stay in Paris after the war as an artist, and it’s love at first sight when he meets a mysterious woman in passing named Lise Dassin (Sara Esty). He meets her again later, discovering she is a ballerina.
He also meets another woman, American philanthropist named Milo Davenport (Emily Ferranti bringing much needed sass to the role), who ushers him into the Paris art scene while enjoying his company.
Meanwhile, his two new best friends, Adam Hochberg (Etai Benson), a composer and fellow veteran, and Henri Baurel (Nick Spangler), the son of wealthy French industrialists and wannabe song and dance man, are also wrestling with new loves and romantic arrangements.
I really can’t say more because part of the charm of An American in Paris is the complicated entanglements that unspool during the show.
Another highlight of the show is the lovely songs by George and Ira Gershwin, sung beautifully by the cast backed with a full orchestra. Classics like “I Got Rhythm,” “‘S Wonderful,” and “They Can’t Take That Away From Me” were also accompanied by amazing choreography that incorporated dance moves from ballet and tap.
Honestly, it really felt like I was watching a much beloved classic song-and-dance movie from the 50s and 60s. Big production numbers, a healthy sense of humor, and slightly bittersweet scenes punctuate this fun musical ode to love in all its forms.
An American in Paris is at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts through Sunday, December 18. Tickets start at $33.75, and can be purchased at drphillipscenter.com, and at the venue box office.
[Photos by Matthew Murphy for An American in Paris]
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