“An American In Paris” is the romantic story about an American soldier, a mysterious French girl, and an indomitable European city, each yearning for a new beginning in the aftermath of war.
“An American in Paris” is a Gershwin-themed, Tony Award-winning new musical. The story develops around the relationship between an American Solider and a French woman who are drawn to one another after the war and after their own unluckiness in life. With Paris as a backdrop, the slow-moving story develops into an interesting set of circumstances that cause the pair to gravitate towards one another after trying their best to not be what each other truly desires. While the theme is familiar, the choreography and the non-verbal communication set it apart from other musicals because it continues to communicate its purpose through beautifully choreographed dance numbers and defiance of its own character flaws.
In short, it’s complicated. To be fair, the music is outstanding and the unspoken words seem to develop the characters well, but in the end, I felt that there was something major missing or perhaps there was so much movement going on that I failed to grasp the entirety of how each fragment contributed to the whole absence of dialogue that would pull it all together.
Director and Choreographer Christopher Wheeldon should be commended for bringing in a highly professional crew, most of which came directly from Broadway as well as major ballet companies. Garen Scribner (Jerry Mulligan) and Sara Esty (Lise Dassin) who play the lead characters, are both principals and the well-trained actors took their roles seriously and seemed naturally fit to play their perspective and diverse roles which were all-encompassing. The massive array of supporting actors was excellent as well. While I highly recommend the musical for a great night of entertainment for the entire family, I’m inclined to believe that there is a little more to the story that needs to be explained, and perhaps a little less tutu-ing just might bring it home for me altogether!
Now playing at the Music Hall at Fair Park thru February 12th