An American in Paris review

Theatre, Musicals
 (© Johan Persson)
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© Johan PerssonRobert Fairchild and Leanne Cope
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© Tristram KentonDavid Seadon-Young and Robert Fairchild
 (© Johan Persson)
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© Johan PerssonDavid Seadon-Young, Robert Fairchild and Haydn Oakley
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© Johan PerssonRobert Fairchild, David Seadon-Young and Haydn Oakley
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© Johan PerssonHaydn Oakley and Jane Asher
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© Johan PerssonHaydn Oakley
 (© Tristram Kenton)
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© Tristram KentonLeanne Cope and Robert Fairchild
 (© Johan Persson)
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© Johan PerssonLeanne Cope and Robert Fairchild 
 (© Johan Persson)
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© Johan PerssonLeanne Cope and Robert Fairchild 
 (© Tristram Kenton)
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© Tristram Kenton
 (© Johan Persson)
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© Johan Persson

This sophisticated stage update of the MGM classic should help with your post-'La La Land' comedown

Bright and breezy, Technicolor and toe-tapping, the 1951 Hollywood musical ‘An American in Paris’ was a lushly romantic vehicle for Gene Kelly and Leslie Caron’s dancing and the Gershwin brothers’ superlative tunes. The fêted ballet choreographer Christopher Wheeldon, in his first stab at directing musical theatre, has rebuilt this source material from the ground up (with added Gershwin numbers). From the off, his ‘American in Paris’ is a much darker proposition.

The postwar French capital is drawn in shadows, with violence, poverty and guilt weighing heavy. We’re given an Impressionist vision of this tarnished City of Light through an opening series of dance vignettes and Bob Crowley’s frenetically mobile, projection-led set designs, setting the tone for a show where dance has a strong narrative role, though the whirling, art-reference-packed staging can make you feel slightly car-sick.

Jerry Mulligan (New York City Ballet star Robert Fairchild) is a demobbed GI who decides to try his luck as an artist; our narrator, Adam (David Seadon-Young), is a wounded Jewish-American soldier turned pianist-for-hire; Henri (Hadyn Oakley) is a rich French mummy’s boy who dreams of being a nightclub singer. Unbeknownst to each other, these unlikely friends all fall for the captivating, but mysteriously glum, Lise (Royal Ballet alum Leanne Cope), who becomes The Next Big Thing at the Ballet de Châtelet. Meanwhile, Jerry is pursued by the rich American arts patron Milo (an excellent Zoë Rainey) and Jane Asher wrestles with a French accent as Henri’s tightly wound maman.

Wheeldon knows how to build emotion into a dance sequence and his choreography plays to his two leads’ manifest classical strengths (the only tap you’ll see is a rather desultory shuffle from Oakley during ‘I’ll Build a Stairway to Paradise’). The big numbers can be joyous; the Fairchild and Cope duets are touching sketches of budding desire. And having a 20-odd minute abstract ballet as your climax is a ballsy move for a West End show that works surprisingly well – and allows Fairchild in particular to fly.

There are quibbles, though. Wheeldon brings cohesion to the storyline, but he hasn’t found a musical-theatre pace, and the book writer Craig Lucas’s earnest attempts to plump up the thin original plot make the action stutter too. Not unexpectedly, Fairchild and Cope’s singing is competent and polite rather than transporting. The result is a sophisticated-looking musical that radiates good taste and good intentions, but doesn’t really catch fire. 

By: Siobhan Murphy

Posted:

Average User Rating

3.9 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:26
  • 4 star:44
  • 3 star:27
  • 2 star:4
  • 1 star:0
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1 of 1 found helpful
tastemaker

I didn't look up the story of an American in Paris before watching it and was pleasantly surprised by the mix of narrative, music and dance.

The actors were immensely talented and the set design and costumes worked perfectly with the storyline.

I was expecting a few more catchy, big numbers but felt the focus was more on the dance, which although amazing was a bit sleep inducing after a while, I did actually have to poke the OH in the ribs when I heard a faint snore... Can't take him anywhere!

Not a very imaginative storyline but a great, feelgood show and I would definitely recommend it.

1 of 1 found helpful
tastemaker

I had mixed feeling after watching "An American in Paris", but I finally have a clear idea about it. When I first read about the plot, I couldn't wait to see the musical, and had high expectations, but unfortunately I was a bit disappointed. Certainly set design and choreographies are amazing, you can tell that there has been a lot of effort devoted to the design and to the ballet parts, as actors seem to be very well trained, almost impeccable. But the fact is that as a musical, there should also be a lot of singing, not just dancing and really little musical parts, making "An American in Paris" just "half a musical" (at least for me). You should really love ballet to see "An American in Paris" as there is a lot of it, making it at times quite tiring for someone who isn't really into it. Lastly, the dancing part, obscures the story, which seems to be very light, almost just sketched, and you wouldn't certainly expect this when reading the plot, especially when considering the delicate topic it should have represented. In conclusion, I would advise to go and see the spectacle ONLY if a) you're really into ballet, b) you love romance stories and c) you'd prefer dancing over singing, and wouldn't mind an imbalance of the two. 

1 of 1 found helpful
Tastemaker

If you are fan of ballet, you are going to love it. If not, you will get bored...really bored. Apart from the excellent set design, there is no climax or true story going on. A basic love plot without any events going on to keep you interested. Lengthy ballet performances and minor true musical singing - no songs to remember as soon as the performance finishes. Actors' script is almost absent and main focus is dance. If you expect a usual Broadway/West End musical, this is not the one. I would imagine seeing this kind of musical/dance performance in Sadlers Wells or Peacock Theatre with the corresponding audience, not in Dominion Theatre.

1 of 1 found helpful
tastemaker

Beautiful stage and costumes, everything else bit boring. It started quite nicely with few lighthearted jokes, but as the time went by, the storyline hasn't progressed much, andI realised it will be only a very simple love story. With a lot of ballet, I mean a loot of ballet. No offence, great performance, altho I though some of the moves were out of sync. But it just got to the point when my friend and I looked at each other shaking our heads. I'm sure you'll find it amazing if you you are a ballet fan.

tastemaker

A londoner in Paris...


I fell in love with the poster of the show the first time I saw it. The colours, the clothes, PARIS...I couldn't wait to see it. Unfortunately it left me bittersweet.


I loved the set. Absolutely amazing, clever visual efects, spectacular colours, design. The ensemble took my breath away...the ballet performance during the second act was perfection.

The only thing I didn't like was the story itself. Watching a girl trying to decide who to love (although it's obvious from the beginning) for three hours is a bit too much. The first act was entertaining, because it introduced the characters (who were a bit plain and not much character development happened), but the second act bored me. I wanted Liz to choose already and dance to the sunset.

tastemaker

A really enjoyable theatre production. The stage is beautifully designed - with stage props, projected backgrounds, colours and shapes forming the various scenes. The actors carry out this love story without fault. The bonus was all the dancing. For a show that is more about the costumes, the stage design and mostly dancing (with not too much dialogue!) this is a show worth watching before it ends in January! 

tastemaker

What a wonderful evening out! I felt instantly transported to one of the old Hollywood classics such as singing in the rain - but instead of in black in white, it was all in glorious colour. My friend was really keen for the Gershwin music to which I responded 'Who?' but as soon as all the songs started they were all so familiar and I found my head bobbing along with everyone else's. The long dance number towards the very end did lose me a bit, which is why I haven't given this 5 stars. I am not against dancing at all, I was classically trained for over a decade and so have a love and appreciation for it, but I did struggle to understand what it was trying to convey at that point of the musical. I hadn't seen the film or read the programme so maybe that is where I went wrong :) 


On a side note - we managed to get two £20 'rush' tickets through the TodayTix app which are available through the app at 10am each morning on the day of the performance. They were for the stalls, and we had a wonderful view (mostly because we were fortunate enough to have an empty row in front of us).


Overall a really nice night out, and for not too much expense either. I would almost go again to try and spot some of the spectacularly quick on stage costume changes but I think once is enough. Would definitely recommend though!

Tastemaker

If you are a fan of Gene Kelly, MGM and Hollywood glamour, An American in Paris is right up your street.

This spectacular musical is playing at the Dominion and is an explosion of colour, class and superb choreography. The story line is a little predictable and outdated, but this production does well in bringing the history and characters to life with vivacity and conviction.

While the Gershwin score is nostalgic and classic (not that many songs which will get you leaping from your seats), this musical focuses on the dance aspect of musical theatre which is often more overlooked. The choreography is outstanding, with the group numbers being just as captivating as the beautiful duos by the stellar lead characters.

By far one of the most aesthictially pleasing productions I have seen, An American in Paris adds an old school sophistication the the West End scene.

Tastemaker

Be whisked back to the age of elegance and childhood memories of the old romantic glamour of Hollywood movies with this wonderful stage depiction of An American in Paris. The tale tells the story of an American GI who has chosen to remain in Paris post-WWII where he falls for a French ballet dancer. The set design brings the story to life (I loved it, contrary to some reviews), adding a dynamic fluidity to the stage, giving the impression of a busy vibrant city. The music is joyous, the dancing is sublime and, despite the questionable French accent, the acting is great. What's not to love?!

tastemaker

Gershwin music, well sung, & skillful spot of of dancing (in fact a lot of dancing), with a great set design which is both simple and very clever.


My only issue with the show is that sections of the plot are just a little too silly. One scene starts off in what is supposed to be in a "jazz" club, & soon turns into an all singing "Busby Berkeley" show stopping number which is well staged but rather ludicrous. One scene we are expected to believe that a posh French mum becomes hysterical when she discovers her son is working as a jazz singer. The mum is played by Jane Asher, a fine actress but unable to do much with such a daft role.

There is a touch of nudge, nudge, wink, wink whenever "jazz" is mentioned, which I can only guess is meant to suggest something else.


In spite of my reservations, if you like, Gershwin, & enjoy dance you will enjoy the show.

tastemaker

I wanted to see it for my love of Gershwin and I know each song in this musical. I don't like musicals but I do love Gershwin so I was DELIGHTED to read that Robert Fairchild is starring in this production as Jerry Mulligan, along with Leanne Cope, the Royal Ballet alumna as Lise.


The other reason to watch is, if like me, you love Ballet, this adaptation by Christopher Wheeldon, the notable ballet choreographer promises a lot of invigorating dance moves and modern ballet.

The fourth reason, I LOVED the MGM classic and watched it with my parents so I wanted to live some of the nostalgic moments.

This production is very different from the film - for one, the core is ballet. The other thing is - it's much darker and more nuanced than the film. Wheedon also added more songs than what you get in the cinema.

There are three men characters who are friends going after the same woman - Lisa - all because she gives them something without realising it. Lise gives the narrator Adam (David Seadon-Young) validation for his talent as a composer and he immortalize her talents in his songs. She gives Henri (Hadyn Oakley) confidence and the boost he needs to choose his own path in life, away from his duties. She gives Jerry her heart.


My favourite scene is Henri going from a bumbling performer into a razzmatazz tap dancing twinkletoes at the mere mention of Radio City.


The dance routines were mesmerizing and the set were designed to support and elevate each number and scenes.


I also love the character Milo, an american heiress who uses her inheritance to support the arts. And Henri's Maman whom as he said, always "careful to not say the wrong things at the wrong time or say the right things at the wrong situations,"


This production show how war can damage and enhance someone. How our choices are coloured not jsut by our own experiences but by duty, family and our ideas of love and The Other. I didn't quite expect the darkness in the production since most of the songs chosen for the play are bright, evocative, wonderful and addictive. In fact I find myself and my companion singing along to a lot of the numbers.


It's a production I will watch again and again. If only just to sing along to, "they can't take that away from me..."




Tastemaker

I love musicals. Have enjoyed watching them since I was twelve, even joining my high school's musical theatre department when I was a teen. But this, sadly, I did not find that enjoyable. 


I had not ever since the film either, and honestly did know much about the story. 


Personally, I feel this should have been billed and marketed as a ballet with the occasional song. There was an incredible amount of dancing - ballet, modern and interpretative, in my opinion. Not having any background information on the story, I was confused quite often about what was going on because no one was saying anything or singing, they were just dancing. I realized too, that actually, I'm not that into watching people dance. A few dance numbers went on for nearly 10 minutes and I was getting pretty bored and antsy in my seat. So at least I know that about myself now! 


That being said, the dancing is beautiful (I just get bored with too much of it). What little singing there is is OK, nothing that spectacular. If you're going to watch it, maybe watch the movie first so you understand what is going on and know that it's primarily dancing. 


For the sake of not making this a 2000 word tirade, I will only mention that I also had some serious feminist qualms about this, including that the main female character allowing the main male character to CHANGE HER NAME BECAUSE HE WANTS TO?  

Tastemaker

The most beautiful, heart warming musical - American in Paris really ticks allll the boxes.

A good storyline? Tick. Classic songs? Tick. Beautiful ballet? TICK! Good acting/singing? Tick.... tick, tick, tick, tick, TICK!!!

The on-stage musical follows the same story as the Oscar winning 1951 classic starring Gene Kelly; An American ex-Pat falls in love with Lise, a ballet dancer, in post WW2 Paris. The story is obviously not as simple as that with ups and downs, trials and tribulations, which I will leave you to find out for yourself.

A perfect feel good musical!


Tastemaker

I guess I should start saying that I might not be the right audience for this play. I’m able to enjoy musicals, but only when the music serves the story – not the other way around, as it’s so common, and it’s the case here. I also can easily embrace (again, when I’m enjoying it) the ‘spontaneous singing’.... but I do have a hard time with spontaneous dancing. There is SO MUCH dancing; I was definitely not expecting it. And the music, because mostly familiar, is pleasant, but the connection between the songs – what is supposed the story – is profoundly weak. I guess fans of the film might enjoy it, I could see the a lot of people were truly enjoying it... but I don’t think I’d recommend it to anyone...

tastemaker

A classic musical about an american artist in Paris after the war, filled with humour and romance. The music and choreography are superb as are the cast. Perfect escapism - I would highly recommend it. 


The Dominon Theatre is a great venue for this show - I've never had a bad view and it is conveniently located by Tottenham Court Road tube station, perfect for a quick trip home on the central line. 

tastemaker

An American in Paris is a classic musical. Classic songs. Classic story line. Classic dance ensembles. Unfortunately, it was just a bit too 'singy dancey' for my liking. It seems a bit mean to say that (it does what it says on the tin, right!?) but it was just so.... so.... tah dah!!!! 


The talent in the production is exceptional, and it is a joy to see such wonderful choreography. It's just a very long show and very singy dancey! The production really does take you away from the London streets for a few hours, and you'll come away singing 'S Wonderful for sure. 

tastemaker

An American in Paris a must see musical in my opinion. From the very first moment you sit down and are presented with an empty stage (apart from a sole piano) to the final curtain call, it will captivate and enchant you.

Without giving too much away, An American in Paris is based in post-war France and centres around 4 central characters from different walks of life, who all have a passion in the arts. It is a story of love, loss, politics and war that draws you in and makes you feel as though you are on stage with them.

The music is fantastic - jolly in the right moments and the orchestra capture the essence of the mood fantastically.

I didn't know a huge amount about the musical when I went along, and the sections where words are not needed but emotions, feelings and the story line are portrayed through ballet only, came as a slight surprise to me at first. However, they were incredibly enjoyable - almost like ballet for beginners.

If you are looking to escape from the real world for a few hours and be transported back in time, I would thoroughly recommend An American in Paris.

tastemaker

One word: obsessed. I absolutely adored every minute of An American in Paris and couldn't wipe the smile off my face. The ballet was truly magical with the dancing telling a huge part of the story as well as being used to transform the stage as pieces of set were moved on and off. Speaking of the set, did I mention it was AMAZING?! It was comprised of projections and few versatile pieces that really transported you to Paris. The storyline covered a lot of bases from unrequited love to the struggles of war to sexuality and family expectations. I felt that there was really great character development for a musical and you really connected with each character and their struggle. The only part that bothered me was when it was suggested that the character of Lise change her name to Liza because apparently Liza is a "happier" name. Other than that, I thought it was absolutely beautiful. The songs were catchy, the accents understandable, the dancing was superb, the set was stunning, the singing was above par and the acting was really fun. I have been recommending this musical to everyone as I loved it so much. 

tastemaker

I so wanted to love this. Don't get me wrong the production is beautiful, transforming an old London theatre into 1950's Paris completely effortlessly. Likewise the choreography is stunning and there's no denying that the musical numbers are entertaining and showcase the extremely talented cast well. 


That's kind of where it ends for me. I thought the storyline (not much they can do about that I know) was slightly dated for a modern audience and I failed to engage with it any real way. I go to the theatre looking to be totally transported and, if im honest, i didn't really believe any of the relationships between the characters. Maybe it caught me on a bad day but I didn't believe that the two main characters were in love. As far as I can tell he decided he loved her because he saw her on the street and fancied her and she just went along with it. If there was supposed to be more to it, it wasn't communicated. Essentially i need to care about the characters to immerse myself in a performance and they didn't establish that connection for me. Maybe it was the heavily stereotyped roles of perfect all american boy and simpering french ballerina that put me off a little. Who knows. 


A good night out, but didn't knock my socks off. 

Tastemaker

Do you like West End Musicals? Do you like dancing or Gershwin or the film An American in Paris?


If you've answered yes to any or all of the above, you will enjoy the show. It does what it needs to do but never any more, failing to ever really fully engage, just happy zipping along through it's transparent out-dated storyline. That's not to say it isn't fun. The perfomances are solid, the atmosphere is suitably light and it has a slight air of nostalgia that it can't ever quite lose. 


The set design and direction deserve a mention as it is all so delightfully simple yet effective, much like the play itself. It doesn't try to push any boundaries or address any particularly exciting issues but it's enjoyable enough throughout and if you're in the mood for a traditional West End Musical, this could be the ticket. 

tastemaker

Romantic story set in the 50s, bringing up some of the most important themes from that period. The war was just finished and people were trying to go back to their normal lives, in a still bleeding Paris. The shadows of what the country had just gone through were still present, but at the same time some optimism was starting raising back up and artists, even if struggling, were starting retaking possession of the capital of the art.

The production of the show is amazing: it reflects very well all these feelings and it is perfectly set back in the past, throwing the spectators in the France post-war without even making them realise. 

Costumes and scenes very well done, with loads of panels moving around the stage every few minutes and changing the set completely in a very quick and natural way.

The main character being a Ballerina, all the play is much more about the ballet than expected. If you love it, you'll adore the musical. If not, well....you'll probably find it boring, mainly in the second part, when the dancing is performed for the most of the time. 

In general terms, the negative point is that all the play develops very slowly. If you are tired and sleepy after a long day of work, you might risk to fall asleep.

Although, actors are very talented, dancing is great and there is not too much singing (which sometimes is good!).

The best character is probably the pianist, an injured former soldier who struggled to get back to normal life and who reflects a forgotten part of the society of the time.

Overall judgement more than positive!

Tastemaker

I wanted to love this, and in some ways I did, but in other ways, I was left mildly raging. Firstly I must say that production wise, this show is spectacular! The costumes, the lighting, the dancing - it is all splendid and visually stunning. The ballet is incredible - the talent is undeniable and it is a vision to watch (though in some places, it goes on a bit if truth be told!) The singing is great; though I only knew of one of the songs it was great and entertaining... where my problem lies is the storyline itself!


So I know it was written decades ago, for an audience that didn't quite have feminism as we do now so my frustrations perhaps aren't fair, but I found myself just a smidge enraged by the blatant sexism throughout the show - How could a woman respect a man who decides her name isn't pretty enough so he changes it?! Why, when there are three men to choose from, would she choose that guy over the chap who has loved and helped her for years? Why didn't the woman who had a strong personality and helped out the man she loved end up with his affections? So many questions! Perhaps I listen to too many feminist podcasts these days but really, I just found it frustrating rather than romantic!


If you love the ballet then you'll love this, but if you also love strong female leads this probably isn't really for you!

tastemaker

Really enjoyed this play! it was so much fun, a lot of dancing and ballet dancing in particular! Loved the story as well, very emotional and would recommend this play for anyone wanting to experience feast! :))) Enjoy1

Tastemaker

Fabulous dancing, fabulous music and an overall fabulous experience. I usually find theatre a drag but the two halves whizzed through as I couldn't take my eyes off the stage. A wonderful production from start to finish and loved all the activity on stage at any one time! A glorious feast for the eyes!!

Tastemaker

An American in Paris is such a treat! Upbeat, cheesy and just so easy to fall in love with. Every single performance was just fantastic, the actors really put their all into it and they gave us a fantastic show. The dancing was faultless too - i think I have a new found love of ballet! In the second half there is one scene were the ballet could be shortened. It was quite intense watching what felt quite samey for a while but it didn't ruin anything, just that scene in particular dragged, just a tad. I thought the set was very imaginative and set the scene very well for the audience. I left completely gutted that I am no ballerina but ever so happy that I got to enjoy such a beautiful production - do go! 

tastemaker

A lovely ballet inspired romantic story. Elegant Parisian themed set and glamour costumes you can't look away from. If you like ballet this is the musical for you!

tastemaker

What a pleasant surprise an American in Paris is! I didn't know much about the story before going to watch the show but in essence it's a love story with a fairly predictable ending, but that doesn't take anything away from the brilliant performance!

It starts with a dance scene set in post-war Paris and the dance spectacles just kept on coming. Ballet is featured a lot in the show, which I really enjoyed as I find it very intriguing to watch!

The costumes are all very Parisian and the sets are all colourful and elegant. They glide around the stage as though they're part of the dances.

However, the fake French accent wasn't that engaging and needed a little more work.

It's not the typical musical you'd expect but is a brilliant production.

Tastemaker

I vaguely remember the original 1950s movie, but I was expecting it to me more of a traditional production than most of the West End shows I've seen so far. I was familiar with Gershwin's score and it was one of the reasons I wanted to see the production. What I didn’t know was that it’d be so heavily filled with ballet and that was a beautiful surprise. 


The story of struggling artists in the post war Paris is building up slowly and the love story easy to predict. But the costumes (I loved the 50s dresses!), especially the colourful Mondrianesque costumes in one of the final dancing scenes made me want to storm the stage and steal them all! The whole stage design was wonderful. The projected backgrounds, reflecting Jerry’s drawings of Paris, were truly unique.


If you like ballet, you’ll love the show, if you don’t, you can still enjoy it, there are no bad musicals in West End after all.

tastemaker

I didn't really know what to expect from An American In Paris. Other than the obvious love story plot. The pleasant surprise came in the form of the choreography, which was heavy on the ballet, but the thing that's making this production soar is its impressive set design. A true technical marvel that will have you reclining back in your seat to try and make the most of all that's on display. The musical numbers are delightful, but the plot isn't anything remarkable so relies a lot on the spectacle to carry this show forward. An overall pleasant evening out

tastemaker

I was a little unsure how I was going to feel about this production. Despite the great reviews I was hoping it wasn't going to be too cheesy but I was completely wrong. The shoe was a musical delight with beautiful and fun varied dance numbers. The costume design was a delight channeling beautiful French fashion. Wether your an avid theatre goer, or your in town for the weekend, this show is a great option to start with!

tastemaker

An American in Paris was so well scripted and the staging was magical and so well crafted. It definitely wasn't what I expected, the ratio of singing to dance for a musical was in the favour of the latter.

It's the first musical I've ever been to which is focused of the art of dance, in particular - ballet.

The story is simple and pretty predictable so you don't miss much if you're easily distracted.

An American in Paris is not your usual musical, but definitely worth watching!

tastemaker

This musical about two American army men who decided to remain in Paris after the war and then fall in love with a french ballerina, wasn't at all what I was expecting.

It's quite different for the West End and won’t be for all audiences because it requires some patience and also an appreciation of dance. In fact the dancing to singing ratio is firmly in the former’s favour. There were a few dance scenes that went on a bit too long for me, as technically brilliant as they were.

However I did enjoy it - some parts of it reminded me of those classic movies from the 50s, with the dazzling dancing and dream-like scenes.

There are great central performances. The main lead, Liz, has a petite, Audrey Hepburn-like beauty and is stunning to watch.

The clever use of projection and lighting is the best I've seen on stage, and at times is quite hypnotic.

If you love dance, this one's a must-see.

Tastemaker

I didn't really know what to expect when I sat down, but once the curtain was drawn and the show began I was completely enchanted. The design and colours were amazing - although I am not a huge fan of ballet I really enjoyed the dancing.

The storyline is simple and foreseeable so you don't have to keep track or miss anything, which is great, as it's not all about it.

At this point kudos to the musical director and the orchestra for transporting the audience back to the 50s. It definitely added up to the magic of the night.

An American in Paris is not your typical musical, but definitely worth considering for your next girl's night out.

tastemaker

An American in Paris is a decent musical. 

The sets, costumes and the staging are truly beautifully done. The score is obviously s’marvelous. Zoe Rainey is excellent as Milo Davenport. However, the show is let down by its two main actors. Leanne Cope as Lise is not a good enough ballet dancer to pass for a prima ballerina star. She looks uncomfortable when dancing on pointe. 

Ashley Day, although a good dancer, seems to want to make it all about him and does not manage to actually dance with his partner during the few pas-de-deux of the show, but rather next to them – as if maybe they had just started rehearsing and where not yet used to dance with one another. 

During the second part of the show, the dance part is quite long and could be shortened in my opinion. Overall, if you like musicals and don’t look too closely at the details of the acting/dancing, you will enjoy the show, but there’s a lot of room for progress.


tastemaker

This beautiful show was full of amazing ballet dancers, strong vocals and well thought out stage design. I thoroughly enjoyed my evening captivated by the leading lady and gentleman as they glided across the stage. Although the story line is simple, it is still a very well written show which allows the audience to feel immersed in the story but can happily drift off to glaze at the dancers without missing the story. I highly recommend a girls evening out to see this beautiful show. 

tastemaker

Beautiful stage design and a real wow moment at the opening sequence. Lovely costume for the finale dance. I didn't quite get swept away by the love story (I thought she had better chemistry with the partner that she didn't chose), and thought the themes probably resonated better in the 50s than our modern time (money vs. freedom to love, prestige of ballet vs. doing jazz). It's better to think of this as a ballet instead of a musical/play.

tastemaker

An American in Paris is not your typical musical, it is more like a cross between a ballet and old movie. (SPOILER) The story line is simple: three men who are friends accidentally fell in love with the same beautiful girl. It also explores different themes such as recovery from war, class, artistry etc. The backdrop is stunning, with inspirations taken from great artists like Picasso, Monet, Matisse etc. As a Gershwin fan, I also love how the show interpreted his music. 


However, despite the incredibly talented cast and carefully crafted choreography, I found my mind wandering off once in a while during the acting scenes or long dance numbers. I agree with some other viewers comment that the performers are probably much better dancers than actors or singers. The fake French accent was also a bit distracting. 


Overall, an enjoyable and beautiful show. Better to think of it as ballet with a good twist.

Tastemaker

‘An American in Paris’ is a beautiful show. Stunning to look at with a colour palette that streaks from cotton candy skies to glittering New York to dimly lit Parisian bars, it’s truly a testament to the magic of what can now be created on stage. It’s also charming and lovely and to say anything vaguely critical about it does feel somewhat like kicking a puppy but I have to say it never feels like it goes anywhere further than surface deep for me. Compared to ‘42nd St’, another traditional, dance based musical currently in the West End, it lacks a certain energy and passion; if that tap focused musical is a flute of champagne spilling over with fizz & sparkle, this balletic show is more of an elderflower spritz – very nice in its own way but not quite as impactful as that glass of bubbly.


There are some excellent performances; as our romantic, slightly tragic narrator Adam, David Seadon-Young is dry, rumpled and empathetic whilst Ashley Day’s Jerry, arguably the show’s hero, is strapping and strong and a joy to watch as he leaps across the stage. He’s no Gene Kelly, a legend who could act as well as he hoofed but then again, no-one ever could be. Leanne Cope is effortlessly stunning as petite ballerina Lise and Haydn Oakley’s Henri gets some of the best lines of the evening. Overall though, there’s a distinct lack of strength behind some of the scenes; there’s no doubt that tremendously talented dancers have been cast but I’m not sure their acting chops are as strong as their ballet slipper clad feet in some cases which is a shame as it doesn’t really do justice to what I know has been called a perfect musical. 


There are some familiar gems in the score – ‘I Got Rhythm’ is especially strong – and some new songs to me that brought to life truly dazzling dance numbers that slapped a smile on my face a mile wide – ‘I’ll Build a Stairway to Paradise’. The final ballet is a brave and bold 20 minute set piece & dance number that will sing to the hearts of any true dance fans watching but those in search of something a bit more upbeat may find it a tad slow. The set moves beautifully around the stage, there are some amazing illustrations that spring from one screen to another and the opening scene of a solo piano on a vast stage is gorgeously simple.


If you’re looking for a dreamy spectacle that harks back to the heyday of the golden musical, you’d be hard pressed to find a better show than this…but if you want one that does just that but also effervesces with dynamism and oomph, I might skip over Paris and head for ‘42nd St’.


tastemaker

I was sceptical of this show before I went as I'm not a huge fan of musicals but heard it was good so wanted to give it a go! After a stint of disappointing West End shows, I was hoping this one might restore my faith a little...and it really did!

Firstly, it is worth a visit for the set design alone! It is absolutely stunning and completely transports you into the beautiful city of Paris. Some of my favourites were the bridge and ballet studio sets - so cleverly put together and amazing use of digital effects. The whole show is like a moving painting and the fabulous costumes compliment it perfectly.

The impeccible dancing in the production is utterly faultless and the songs (some of which you will sing along to) are seamlessly weaved into the story to avoid the 'cheesy musical' cliche.

Although I felt the story was quite slow to get started and the second half went on for about 10 minutes too long, An American In Paris is a light-hearted, uplifting and entertaining show that will definitely leave you with a smile on your face and totally worth a watch.

tastemaker

Thanks to TimeOut, I had the opportunity to watch An American In Paris last night. As a highly acclaimed musical, I was looking forward to it. 


What struck me the most was how elegant yet powerful the dance moves were in each piece. This was the most dance-based musical I've seen, most of it ballet. I liked how graceful all the dancers looked as they performed on stage. Even the dancers who came to change the set were great! I liked that they danced their way onto and out of stage, rather than just walking on to place the props for each scene. There were even some scenes that were completely dance-based, with little to no dialogue. It was beautiful to watch and to understand the plot through a different medium, making it unique and enjoyable. 


Although I was impressed with the dancers, the choreography, and the plot, it was a rather slow musical in my opinion. The first and second half were much longer than the musicals and plays I've seen before, and the plot develops at a much slower pace. It was a sweet story, filled with a combination of emotions and somewhat historical, and a pleasure to watch. However, it was too long for my liking. It is quite perky, especially with the live orchestra at the front, which played some incredible tunes! They were always in sync with the dancers and accompanied serious/sad scenes well. 


Overall, it was a joy to watch - my favourite aspect being the gracefulness and talent of each and every dancer!


I went in expecting a typical musical, complete with big dance numbers, and fantastic costumes. I left a little underwhelmed, and a little disappointed. While the themes of love, war, and the purpose of art all captured me, I found most of the dance numbers were too long and uninterested. 

Now for the biggest highlight: the set. I have never seen a musical make such creative and unique use of projections. The constant shifting and spinning made the set feel like one of the dancers on the stage, always moving to the music. 


tastemaker

I love great choreography and this musical has it in spades, but I left feeling a little underwhelmed. The story was nice and the singing was pleasant but I didn't really connect with the characters, I thought the French accents needed a lot of work and the back projection felt a bit 'Microsoft PowerPoint' at times. The set for this show is incredible, the mirrors, photo frames and props glide across the stage with elegance (mostly because they are danced). That being said, this musical does transport you to a bruised but none the less romantic post-war Paris, where you question if you should do what you are dutifully bound to, or follow your heart? I think you can guess which prevails.

tastemaker

As a musical theatre fan and lover of Gershwin's music, I was very excited to see An American in Paris. I have to admit that I hadn't seen the original so can't compare, but I loved it. The ballet was a welcome addition to the standard musical theatre expectations, and the set design was great with very clever use of the performers and lighting to add another dimension.

I usually sit in the Stalls but my Circle seats still made me feel part of everything so I'd definitely recommend if you want to get cheap seats for a show (although I'll still go back to the stalls in the future!).

The only flaw I would have is the accents of some of the characters that perhaps held them back in their performance but despite this I still thoroughly enjoyed it all.

The ending had me in tears. Twice.

An American in Paris is a happy go lucky musical with a lovely whimsical plot and score.

Would definitely recommend!

tastemaker

I was in a dreamlike state throughout, mesmerised by the hypnotic dancing and digitally projected and abstract scenery. It's no surprise Salvador Dali was involved in the original design. Set in a charming era of tap dancing and courting with familiar songs and a love quadrangle known only to the audience, this was a visual feast. Where the dancing and production was absolutely phenomenal, the acting scenes, story telling and finale were underwhelming.

tastemaker

I was quiet excited to see this show, because i had no expectations. My boyfriend had some tickets.  I have to say i was surprise, it was unbelievable. The people in the show , was talented, amazing dancers and singers. The whole love story was very sweet. The main characters was playing it well, they really put out their feeling throughthe singing and dancing.  The Dominion Theatre is a great venue, we sat a bit up, away from the scene, but we could still see and hear what they were saying.  A show where you as an audience can see the talent and the feeling of the characters. 

tastemaker

Got some cheap tickets to go and see this show with some friends and thought it was well worth the money. The  Dominion Theatre is in a great location right next to Tottenham Court Road and is itself and amazingly big theatre which is surprising given it location. Even in cheap seats we had an amazing view with no restricted view allowing us to fully enjoy the show. This love story showing cases some amazing dancers who really show off their talents. 

tastemaker

This was a favourite film of mine growing up so to be lucky enough to get 'rush tickets' from TodayTix to see this show was very exciting. 


Unfortunately I had done a double shift at work before attending so I was a bit tired already and therefore found it a little bit long in parts. But overall would highly recommend, I brought my boyfriend who had never seen a ballet before and said he was delighted this was his first experience with one, because it was a beautiful mix between classical and modern ballet/dance/musical. The choreography was sublime and stunning, the characters was engaging and very likeable, the dancing was the strongest part of the show for me and the lead didn't disappoint, especially with the big shoes of Gene Kelly he had to fill! 


The set and production was very impressive and had you wowing to yourself the whole time a new set change appeared, so it was a fantastic feat for the eyes indeed. 


A wonderful evening at the theatre. 

tastemaker

Do you ever get so caught up in the moment that you forget to blink? That was me last night when I was luckily enough to see this Gershwin musical. 


This isn't your average crowd pleasing musical. The storyline is flimsy (three friends fall in love with the same girl blah blah blah) so 0 points for originality but its the way the whole musical is portrayed which is why it works. There is a lot of singing, dancing and sassy American accents intermingled with French accents. All the actors are of mega high calibre and you find yourself wishing you had just a smidgen of their talent. 


The actor that plays Gerry (I kept hearing his name as Mon Cheri) deserves a special mention as it was like the role was made for him. I was astounded at his dancing, acting and singing skills. 


Other things that really stood out for me was the set, the conductor and the costumes. The set was amazing and constantly changing. You see a piano and then next minute you don't. One minute youre in a cafe next youre in the park. Youre in the Ritz, oh no, now youre in Henri's apartment. One minute youre in dingy dark cafe in Paris into Radio City Hall in NY in a space of a split second (this is probably why i forgot to blink because I didnt want to miss a thing). Another big call out is at one point you have a view from the back of a stage looking out to the audience. It was so well done! There are numerous costume changes and just wow. I wouldnt mind having a dress that fit so well let alone one that lets the cast dance in them! Finally the conductor has so much energy. Just before the start of the second half have a look at how he just feels the music so much. 


And one final observation from me..... After the Lady Gaga fiasco of her having a pot belly at the Superbowl and how people trolled her about this (silly in my mind), there were two dancers that werent stick thin and I found that really refreshing. These dancers are fit and talented so it was refreshing they all werent waif like. 


This isnt for everyone as theres lot of contemporary dancing and 'dream scenes' but for me it hit all the right notes.

tastemaker

There is just one word I can use to describe this musical - ‘beautiful’.  It is a mesmerising piece of art and you can’t help but smile at the end.  It’s a mix between a ballet and a musical so may not appeal if you’re not a ballet fan.  However, as someone who generally finds the ballet hard work after the first half, this was a perfect compromise as it breaks up the ballet element with songs and dialogue.  The dancers are exquisite to watch and you can’t take your eyes off them.  The set design is a technical masterpiece and the costumes are delightful.  This musical is exactly the sort of escapism that people may need at the moment.

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