This S’wonderful, S’marvellous show was too short-lived in its West End run. The Broadway production of the musical opened in the Dominion Theatre in March 2017 to great acclaim. If you need a couple of hours to realise that although the world and the arts industry are in a terrible place currently, we’ve gotten through worse and we shall overcome this!
Based on the film from 1951, starring Gene Kelly and Leslie Caron as Jerry Mulligan and Lise DeSan, Robert Fairchild and Leanne Cope take on the lead roles, with Haydn Oakley as Henri Baurel, David Seadon-Young as Adam Hochberg and Zoe Rainey as Milo Davenport and a strong supporting ensemble this show is bound to put a smile on anyone’s face. If you’re a fan of old school musicals, big show stopping numbers and large-scale productions, then this is definitely the show to see.
Not only are the cast all as strong as each other, with not a weak link amongst them, the sets are truly out of this world. Bob Crowley really makes you feel like you’re in Paris one minute and the next you can see what is inside the characters heads, but without detracting at all from the storytelling. It’s also set so well that you can tell which parts of the story are ‘real’ and which are just figments of the characters’ imaginations, which is also helped along by Crowley’s costume designs. Although I’m not someone who is in to fashion and trends, I definitely have dress envy whenever Zoe Rainey’s character, Milo, is on stage. She’s definitely a style icon!
Christopher Wheeldon has directed and choreographed this masterpiece and it’s so easy to be mesmerised and taken in by the stunning routines. It’s hard to believe that the ballet in act 2 is really 14 minutes long – time just flies whilst you’re watching. Not one member of the cast is out of sync at any point and it is fascinating to watch a cast work so well together.
I am a self-confessed lover of old school musicals (and movie-musicals, as this started out as one) but the way that some of these productions have been made to fit the stage over the last few years is beautiful and we definitely need more of them on the West End in the future! However, this is one that I feel needs to be seen by everyone, just to witness the spectacle of the performance as a whole.
An American in Paris continues on The Shows Must Go On’s YouTube page until Sunday evening at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RkYg80kjIAI
Reviewer: Jenn McKean
Reviewed: 27th November 2020
North West End UK Rating: ★★★★★