Review An American In Paris West End….
Winner of 4 Tony Awards, American In Paris opened in the West End at the Dominion Theatre in March 2017.
Having stole the hearts of New York and Paris with universal 5* reviews, this re-telling of the 1951 MGM classic film has had much hype prior to opening in London….
Sadly for me, despite an incredibly talented 5* cast offering a perfect performance, this music & dance production doesn’t work in the enormous Dominion Theatre.
The intimacy, class, art & heart felt lost in this cavernous 2000+ seater barn.
Despite some beautiful moments, at times the staging seemed very cluttered & ‘busy’ with the constant fury of mirrors being whizzed on and off. A ballet of scenery I guess.
However, the live orchestra was spectacular and a joy to hear. Fairchild’s physicality, ease, moves and chemistry with Cope was inspired.
With a huge company of over 50 actors – this show is perfect for an older or dance crowd, but, for me it was just a 3.5* musical disappointment. I wanted to fall in love with it.
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This musical is set in Paris and tells the story of Jerry Mulligan, an American GI trying to make it as a painter in post-war Paris.
Robert Fairchild who plays Jerry is a stunning dancer and has a terrific charisma & magnetic stage presence. Without question he steals the show, and quite rightly so.
Leanne Cope is adorable as Lisa & Jane Asher brings class as Madame Baurel.
The entire cast are vocally & physically at the top of their game.
With music by GERSHWIN you get timeless hits like: I Got Rhythm, I’ll Build a Stairway to Paradise, The Man I Love, They Can’t Take That Away From Me and ’S Wonderful – you can’t fail to be moved my this golden score.
There were glorious moments but at other times I was confused. I wanted to ‘feel’ more. It’s a very simple story that felt dragged out over 2.5 hours.
I left disappointed. This musical felt dated from my perspective which was surprising considering the clever visuals and 2017 staging.
The choreography in places is sensational & delivered with precision by a superb cast.
Not for me, but, if you like vintage MGM and dance – you, like seemingly everyone else, will love An American In Paris.
Review by Alex Belfield for Celebrity Radio 4th March 2017.