As you all are aware, I am a huge musical theatre lover. My obsession for musicals and performing was really elevated when I watched “Singin’ in the Rain” for the first time when I was around 12 years old, seeing Gene Kelly’s talent and passion for dance enlightened me. So this quickly followed with me watching every Gene Kelly musical, and I have been obsessed with him ever since. So when I heard that the classic “An American in Paris” was coming to the West End, I was filled with excitement and apprehension to see if it could live up to the standard of the film.
Somehow we managed to get last minute tickets for opening night, so the aura of anticipation filled the Dominion Theatre. As soon as the curtain rose, it was already obvious that the staging was impressive. Using huge panels, projected images and detailed props, each scene came to life completely and it made you feel as though you were actually in post war Paris.
The second Jeremy Mulligan (played by Robert Fairchild) started dancing, it was clear that the casting was spot on. He completely embodied Gene Kelly’s talent, style and swagger as he danced and moved about the stage. The stunningly beautiful love interest and female lead Lise Dassin (played by Leanna Cope) completely entranced the audience with her flawless and passionate ballet combinations and classic singing voice.
As someone who has been doing ballet since they were 10, I was of course looking out for a lack of technique in places, but I failed to find a flexed foot or bent leg out of place throughout the whole show. So, I must say, if you’re not someone who really appreciates dancing, then this is not a musical for you! The tragic but uplifting storyline of unrequited love, friendship, loyalty and a passion for the arts tugged on my heartstrings so much so I was brought to tears in the final scene. Whilst I was still in tears, the whole audience gave the cast a standing ovation. The atmosphere of a standing ovation at the opening night of a new musical is an unforgettable feeling being in the audience, I cannot imagine the elation the cast members would have felt.
This new musical has quickly become one of my top 10 musicals I have seen. So if you get a chance to see it, I couldn’t recommend it more, a truly magical evening.
What is your favourite musical?