Disclosure: I was invited by the venue to see An American in Paris but not compensated to write about it.
It’s been a while since I’ve been able to make it to the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts. I had no idea that upon returning I’d experience the best theatrical production I’ve ever seen. With over fifty Playbills in my pink Tinker Bell memory trunk, I know that’s a strong opinion. Before An American in Paris, my favorites were the 2011 Broadway productions of Hair and How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. Both interesting shows and excellently executed. An American in Paris dances circles around any show I’ve seen. It’s everything I’ve ever wanted in a musical and more. You know that feeling when you’re laying in your comfy bed, watching an old Rodgers and Hammerstein movie, and everything feels right in the world? Seeing this show, I had those feels for the first time in a theater. The music is by George and Ira Gershwin. It’s audibly distinguishable and quite charming. The set and transitions were so outstanding it felt like the Dr. Phillips Center had housed this show exclusively. The use of technology in this set design brought so much but was hardly recognizable. This show feels just plain fancy. Every aspect of An American in Paris is well done but the dancing puts it in a category of its own.
Director and Choreographer Christopher Wheeldon provides an incredible array of movement. Ballet, modern and vibes of traditional musical theater grace the stage by the strongest group of dancers I’ve witnessed. There is no weak link here, folks. This is what a perfect dance ensemble looks like. An American in Paris looked like a stage full of dance captains, choreographers and people who lived and breathed storytelling through movement. The lines and shapes held and created were filled with power and passion. If you enjoy watching dance or romantic, nostalgic tales get to DrPhillipsCenter.org and be moved by An American in Paris while its in Orlando this week. If you live somewhere else, check AnAmericaninParisBroadway.com as it tours in 2016 and heads to London in 2017.