London is in for a balletic treat as Christopher Wheeldon's award-winning production transfers to the West End.
S'Wonderful news for musical theatre fans in London: An American in Paris is, at last, coming to the West End for 2017.
Best known as the much loved, Oscar-winning MGM film, with Gene Kelly and Leslie Caron, the Gershwin brothers' musical is a sumptuous love story set against the backdrop of the world's most romantic city. The songbook bursts with stand-out classics, including 'S'Wonderful', 'I Got Rhythm' and 'They Can't Take That Away From Me'. The climax is a 17-minute ballet, set to George Gershwin's music, built around the title piece, 'An American in Paris'.
At the heart of the music and action is a love story that bridges continents. Plucky GI Jerry is seduced by the artistic lure of post-war Paris and dreams of making it as a painter. But then a chance encounter with an exquisite French dancer triggers a romantic adventure through the streets of Paris.
The MGM film has been reinvented for the stage with full balletic vigour by British dance star and Royal Ballet Artistic Associate Christopher Wheeldon, who directs and choreographs. It premiered at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris in 2014 to jubilant reviews and was just as triumphant when it transferred to Broadway. The New York Times described the stage production of An American In Paris as 'a perfect integration of dance, romance and classic Gershwin' and, with four Tony Awards, it was the most celebrated musical of 2015.
The two Broadway leads will reprise their roles for this London transfer. New York City Ballet Principal dancer Robert Fairchild will play Jerry opposite English ballet dancer Leanne Cope. And with a company of more than 50 dancers, actors and musicians, it is set to be quite a stage spectacle.