World premiere of An American in Paris to open in French capital

The Vincente Minnelli film has been adapted into a musical, and will premiere in Paris before it heads to Broadway, making it the first co-production between a state French theatre and Broadway since 1957.

The romantic tale in both the film and stage was inspired by a poem of the same name written in 1928 by George Gershwin. The stage production has been choreographed by British-born Christopher Wheeldon, with all musical arrangements and scenes approved by the Gershwin heirs who wrote the film score.

Stage adaptation debuts six decades after film release

Starring Gene Kelly who also directed and starred in Singing in the Rain, the original film won six Oscars, and follows the story of an American soldier who is trying to win the affection of a French woman, making it a fitting play to debut in the ‘City of Love’. The success of the film has produced high expectations for the stage adaptation, which is reported to use the same music, but also tells a new version of the story.

The cast includes Leanne Cope of the Royal Ballet in London who will play the Parisian love interest Lise, and Robert Fairchild from the New York City Ballet who will take on the role of Jerry, the former soldier. A team of 70 people, including 34 singers and dancers moved to Paris at the beginning of November following six weeks of rehearsals in New York.

Until the 4th January shows will be hosted in the 150-year-old Parisian Châtelet theatre, popular with many on cultural river cruises of France, with previews taking place this week before the grand opening on Saturday. The shows will then move to Broadway for showings at the Palace Theatre from 13th March next year, which can be attended by those visiting New York on escorted tours of America.

Image Credit: Russ2009 (

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