AN AMERICAN IN PARIS More Sugar REVIEWPublished: Tuesday, October 22, 2019 By: Michael J. Muldoon Source: More Sugar
Three guys in post-WW II Paris become friends and fall in love with the same girl: Lise, who looks like Amelie and dances like a dream. But each guy has a secret. Played by the multi-talented Deanna Doyle, it is easy to see why they fall in love with Lise.
If this story sounds familiar, it is; reimaging the Oscar-winning 1951 movie featuring Gene Kelly and Leslie Caron. The stage musical includes songs that have become part of our culture including S’Wonderful, Shall We Dance? and I Got Rhythm.
The story depicts Nazi collaborators and resisters, American soldiers and French civilians, putting together their lives amidst the rubble of post-WWII Paris. It is deep and at times dark, as relevant today as it was in the 1950s.
But who gets the girl? Adam has the initial edge as it is his story to tell. As Lise’s composer/pianist, Adam, begins the play by speaking directly to the audience. As he begins to tell the tale, suddenly dance and movement, rather than words, convey much of the story to us. Fortunately for the WBT, the leads and the ensemble are more than up to the task. Tommaso Antico is Adam, with a golden voice and believable limp (presumably from a war wound) he is, however, slated to be the funny best friend.
Henri is the son of the ballet managers/benefactors and has the edge as he is her fiancé. Played by Jonathan Young as anxious and funny, his talent shines brightly when given the chance to showcase his nightclub act. Both gents are worthy suitors but we are rooting for Jerry, the All-American artist played by the debonair Brandon Haagenson. This accomplished actor is a true triple-threat. Haagenson, an elegant singer and a magnificent dancer, is also an empathetic and convincing actor who binds this beguiling musical together.
Director and choreographer Richard Stafford has done a magnificent job of telling this tale through dance and song with the help of Associate Choreographer Joseph Cullinane and Musical Direction by Ryan Edward Wise and many more.
Erika Amato is suitably stern as Madame Baurel. Lauren Sprague is so good, so very good as the not-so-good girl Milo Davenport, the benefactor for the theater and companion to Jerry, we were almost rooting for her to catch him. This sumptuous production features a dozen set changes and what must be hundreds of costume changes.
The large stage of the Westchester Broadway Theater is filled with graceful performers in colorful costumes, singing and dancing to the tunes of the Gershwin brothers. “Who could ask for anything more?”
An American in Paris runs until November 24. For the holiday season, It Happened One Christmas will be featured November 2th – December 23. In addition, WBT is showcasing numerous concerts, comedy nights and special events before year-end. Make reservations now. Check out the website at www.broadwaytheatre.com for detailed information or call the Box Office at 914-592-2222.