The arts are my passion: drama, music, opera, dance, sculpture, painting, art history, architecture, film, literature... old and new... national and international... and after a period living, writing & performing in Australia and Italy this passion has brought me back to London. 'Blog Julie Arts' is a spin-off after success with 'There's Always A Story' at blogjulie.com

Thursday, 5 October 2017

An American in Paris

I’m coming straight to the point: the London production of An American in Paris at the Dominion Theatre is utterly spectacular.  Quite simply, An American in Paris is all your showbiz fantasies come true.  And if you can resist this production’s charm and artistry then you are like the Tin Man before he meets the Wizard.  

It is nearly a fortnight since I saw the show and still I think about it – replaying images and musical moments in my mind, marvelling at the scrumptious designs, and recalling the incredible staging and choreography.  I see a lot of music, drama, opera and theatre (rarely a week passes without attending at least two events), and in a city as rich as London I am often satisfied and rewarded.  But this production is in another league.  It is glorious.  There are no cracks or joins, no evidence of work or striving, this theatrical extravaganza merely descends upon you, immersing you in something so special you will feel electrified with joy.  The level of sophistication, imagination and artistic skill in An American in Paris is so great it will excite and uplift you like nothing before. 

I adore the film.  I love my memories of growing up watching it with my dear Dad, who was a big Gene Kelly and Gershwin fan.  And not for a moment did I think a stage adaptation could live up to the brilliance of the film.  I was wrong.  This production – the creative team, cast and crew - push every boundary of theatrical expression and achievement so far that the sum of its colourful parts is so magnificent you really do feel that you’ve gone to another world.  The collaboration between music and song, dance and choreography, costume and style, design and staging, light and sound, narrative and character could not be more perfect.  Every detail of An American in Paris is infused with class and brilliance.  The audience cheered so loudly after every number it’s a wonder we didn’t lose our voices.  Remember the best rock concert you’ve ever been to, and imagine that kind of energy and shared-warmth in the auditorium and you’ll have some idea of what I’m talking about.

All my theatrical dreams came true in this production of sheer delight – no retakes, nearly everything you get in the film but LIVE on-stage, visceral, new and polished, being recreated moment by moment by the most talented and inspired of performers.  Bravo!  If there was any justice in showbiz this production of An American In Paris would never close... it would out-do the Mousetrap 

You can’t describe real magic in words, any more than you can describe rhythm or love without feeling it.  It is an experience you have to see to believe.  So get off your backside and get to the Dominion Theatre.  Buy an air ticket if you have to, just get there.  Because if you see one classic musical on stage in your life – this should be it!