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REVIEW: An American in Paris ". . . an enjoyable evening at the theatre"

By Harrison Fuller
Wednesday 04 October 2017

The art deco features of the Dominion Theatre provide a fitting home for 1940s musical An American in Paris. Based on a Gene Kelly film of the same name, the show delivers everything you would expect from a musical of that period. The costume, choreography and music provide a nostalgic feel – something that will appeal to fans of La La Land.

The story itself is relatively straightforward. There are three guys, all of whom love the one girl, the prima ballerina. An element of confusion and secrecy follow with true love winning through and all being well in the end. 

Rather than the plot, the star of the show for me was Bob Crowley’s designs. The clever use of projection combined with elements of physical set, made the piece visually engaging and the perfect backdrop for the large-scale dance numbers. The projections were reminiscent of Parisian watercolours, the kind peddled by street sellers in Montmartre with ballet mirrors and staging conjuring up images of Degas masterpieces. 

Overall, I felt the production was nice but that’s all. It was an enjoyable evening at the theatre and I am pleased to have seen the show, but nice isn’t enough to leave a lasting impression. The show is elegant in style and nostalgic in feel but it feels as though there is something missing. 

Perhaps it is the music. Only the half memorable I Got Rhythm seemed to strike a chord (as it were). I am sure many others will disagree with me and so I implore you to go and discover the show for yourself and draw your own conclusion. It is certainly worth it for the ballet in Act II alone.

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Harrison Fuller

Theatre manager, writer, maker.

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