Arts & Entertainment

REVIEW: An American In Paris

An American In Paris

Robbie Fairchild & Leanne Cope. Photo: Darren Thomas.

Sydney, get ready to be entranced by An American In Paris, which was inspired by the 1951 motion picture starring legendary Gene Kelly. The full scale Broadway musical is now playing at the Theatre Royal

The classic story is set during the liberation of Paris from the Nazis at the end of WWII and delves on a group of young artists who meet and are inspired by one another. The drama ensues when three men fall in love with the same French girl.

Robbie Fairchild plays the role of American GI Jerry Mulligan, who falls in love with a girl he sees before going home on the train. Compounded by the beauty of Paris he decides to stay.

The underlying themes of this special, exquisite, and highly energetic musical include love, hope, beauty, and resilience. Ballet is vital to the storytelling, but jazz and tap are also dance styles utilised to add versatility and enjoyment to the musical.

The music and lyrics are by George and Ira Gershwin and the musical arrangement is beautifully played by a full orchestra. Once the music starts there’s constant movement on the stage and the sets are slid around by the ensemble cast. Intensified by lighting this is a visually stunning feast for the eyes.

Fairchild is electrifying as Mulligan. He sings, dances and acts and incredibly is rarely off stage. His performance is complemented by the casting of Leanne Cope as his love interest.

This is the Australian Ballet Company’s first association with musical theatre and hopefully not the last as the collaboration has heightened the quality of the production.

There’s music, dance and dialogue driven storytelling, but the only segment where there are no vocalizations is in the mesmerising final 18-minute Last American In Paris ballet sequence which was originally choreographed by Gene Kelly.

This dazzling and highly entertaining musical is an exceptional theatre going experience for all ages. It’s literally a feast for the senses and is one of those rare musicals where each patron in the theatre can feel the intoxicating joy emitted from the audience combined, as they sit and absorb the charm of this five-star production.

Until Jun 12. Theatre Royal, 108 King St, Sydney. $59-$229+b.f. Tickets & Info: www.americaninparis.com.au

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