An American In Paris Comes To Downtown Boston For A Limited Engagement

Posted November 2, 2016 by Brian Keaney in Theater & Arts
An American in Paris National Touring Company. Photo Credit: Matthew Murphy

With four Tony Awards under its belt, the most awarded new musical of 2015, An American in Paris, has left Broadway and has set up for a limited engagement in Boston. Running from October 25th to November 16th at the Citi Performing Arts Center, the stage production was adapted from the film of the same name which won the Academy Award in 1951. An American in Paris features some of George and Ira Gershwin’s best known, and most beloved music.  The 17 songs in the two act play all build to the climatic title number, a ballet that runs for an impressive fourteen minutes.

The show stars Garen Scribner as Jerry Mulligan, an American ex-pat who escapes the horrors of World War II by seeking a fresh start in the French capital. There he meets Lise Dassin, played here by Sara Esty, an enigmatic Parisian dancer who seems unable to fully return his affections. When the would be painter discovers the true reason for his love’s reticence, he begins to wonder whether he will be able to find the brighter future he has been seeking.

An American in Paris also exists as a book by Craig Lucas, but even those who have never seen the film version are likely to know many of the Gershwin brothers’ musical numbers including “S Wonderful,” “I Got Rhythm,” and “They Can’t Take That Away from Me.” The director and choreographer for the production is Christopher Wheeldon. The cast is rounded out with Etai Benson as Adam Hochberg, Emily Ferranti as Milo Davenport, Gayton Scott as Madame Baurel, and Nick Spangler as Henri Baurel.

Fans of the Gene Kelly film version will find much to enjoy here, but will notice that Wheeldon has updated the play for modern audiences. While still retaining all of the romantic airs one would expect of a production set in the City of Love, the lavish sets and costumes are designed to invoke a more realistic post-war landscape. The New York press had high praise for all aspects of the show which premiered, appropriately enough, at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris. When the United States national tour concludes next year, it will move back across the Atlantic once again for a run in London’s West End.

A special deal has been arranged with several local restaurants to complete the evening with a specially priced meal. The dinner portion of this dinner and a show special can be had at Abby Lane Restaurant or Legal Sea Foods with a pre-purchased combination ticket. The Bristol Lounge at the Four Seasons is also offering a three-course prix fixe meal for theater goers, and by presenting your ticket to your server at the at Bistro du Midi you are likewise offered a prix fixe meal to complete your evening.

In addition to its four Tony Awards, An American in Paris won three Outer Critics Circle Awards, a Drama League Award, two Theatre World Awards, four Drama Desk Awards, three Fred and Adele Astaire Awards, and an Actors Equity Association “ACCA” Award.  It was nominated for an additional eight Tonys, and numerous other awards.