Alex and I were lucky enough to be given a pair of tickets for An American in Paris from his mum a couple of weeks ago to see the performance live in the West End. And so date night was decided upon.
Currently showing at the Dominion Theatre, it’s super central and an easy location for a midweek theatre trip (and there are plenty of dinner options nearby too!). On the Monday evening we went, we picked up the tickets early from the box office so we could venture off to eat before returning. It wasn’t overly busy, even as we made our way back to find our seats, with just a little queue for the tickets at that point – we made our way almost straight through.
I will say it, again and again, there’s something quite magical about sitting in the stalls. You’re almost in amongst the action, and as long as you still have a good view (I.e. no-one super tall in front of you), it’s a pretty incredible experience. Alex and I didn’t know we were going to be sat in the stalls on this occasion, and it really did add to the evening.
The story follows four characters; American World War II veteran Jerry Mulligan who is trying to make a living as an artist, A pianist and songwriter Adam Cook, french singer and son of a wealthy family Henri Baurel, and Henri’s girlfriend and ballerina Lise Bouvier, as they try to fulfill their dreams in Paris, and fall in love.
The production started with a contemporary and ballet scene. No talking. And I could see from the corner of my eye that Alex was getting fidgetty. As we’d both never seen the 1950s film, I knew he was hoping we weren’t at a ballet rather than a musical. But after the initial scene, the story started coming to life, as the first spoken part was performed.
The stories of all four characters ran side-by-side and interlaced as you watched people fall in love, come across obstacles in the path to their success/dreams and find out secrets behind families/relationships. The story itself is really engaging. It makes you want to know how it will all end for each of the main people.
The story carried on intertwined with catchy songs and contemporary and ballet dance numbers.
The dancing itself was incredible. Both the contemporary and ballet were elegant and spectacular. The timing on point. The group moved naturally in rhythm, like they were all made to move together. The songs were great too. Not quite as catchy as other musicals (perhaps because we didn’t know the songs all too well beforehand), there were some fab solos which really built emotion. I really started feeling for Adam Cook at one point!
I did really enjoy it. It doesn’t quite make my top list of theatre productions. But is worth a trip to see, especially if you’re a fan of contemporary or ballet!
Have you been to the theatre recently? What are your favourite shows right now?
Photos from the official ‘An American in Paris’ website due to the fact you can’t take photos during the show