It is the Tony Award winning stage version of the 1951 multiple Oscar winning film classic An American in Paris and it is nothing short of spectacular. Few moments in history could equal or exceed the overwhelming drama of that time and the end World War Two. More than four bloody years of global horror and anguish had finally come to an end, France had been taken back from the Nazis and the City of Lights, Paris was returning to a spirit of joy, love and happiness absent far too long. In that place, in that time in that moment there was an American soldier who chose to remain in Paris after the war and a mysterious beautiful young Parisian dancer; they met and now let the story begin.
Jerry Mulligan, an American soldier, played by Garen Scribner, walks to the piano center stage and addresses the audience briefly explaining the time and the feelings of the moment. hen the stage magically morphs as song and dance take over and it is game on. In fact that is one of the most compelling elements of this spectacular show An American in Paris the eye popping mind blowing manner in which the physical scenery routinely but mystically transforms. That alone is worth the price of admission, but then there is Lise Dassin.
Lise Dassin, played by Sara Esty, is an absolutely enthralling ballerina who rightly commands and receives unfettered attention with her overwhelming grace and beauty. Prior to my seeing Sara Esty I was fairly neutral on ballet. Now I am a true fan because what she displays on stage is nothing short of true, deep and heart stopping poetry in motion.
And so goes the show peppered with abundant dancing by a large and clearly gifted cast of exquisite performers. There is also an abundance of George and Ira Gershwin’s classic songs including “I Got Rhythm,” “S Wonderful” and of course “An American in Paris.”
An American in Paris is arguably one of the most compelling, exciting and genuinely beautiful shows on stage anywhere right now. See it and you will leave singing and feeling deeply joy and love. It captures a richly compelling moment in history set in the epicenter of one of our world’s bloodiest wars, yet rejoicing at the end of hostilities and a full return to peace, joy, love and passion the very essence of Paris, France. It is a story of people, art and love and it is exquisitely executed by a true five star cast and crew.
Not generally available, here is a brief video clip of portions of the performance.
“An American in Paris” runs now through April 9th 2017 at the Hollywood Pantages Theatre, 6233 Nollywood Boulevard, Los Angeles, California. For show times and reservations just visit their website. You may also call 323-468-1770.
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Photos by Hollywood Pantages Theatre except top photo by Ron Irwin
Ron Irwin was born in Chicago, Illinois a long time ago. He served in the Marine Corps in Vietnam, became a trial lawyer, TV and radio host, CEO of a public company and once held an Emmy. He never won an Emmy he just held one. Ron has written and published twelve books. His most important book to date is “Live, Die, Live Again” in which Ron tells of his early life and his unexpected and very temporary death in 2012. That experience dramatically refocused his life and within the pages of that book Ron reveals how he achieved a much healthier life, ridding himself of Diabetes, Cancer and Heart Failure. Now Ron enjoys writing about many things including health topics, travel [he has circled the globe several times], adventure, culinary experiences and the world of performing art. Ron’s motto is “Live better, live longer and live stronger because it feels great and annoys others.” Contact the author.