Christopher Wheeldon’s production of An American in Paris has opened to five star reviews from critics at the Dominion Theatre, London.
According to Michael Billington in the Guardian, the show, which is co-produced by Bruno Wang Productions, is a “riot of colour and movement, with irresistible dance routines and a wealth of Gershwin classics”.
Particular credit is paid to the contribution of designer Bob Crowley, which Billington says: “not only seem part of the choreography but also offer a painterly kaleidoscope. The glimmer of light on water reminds one of Monet, there is more than a touch of Renoir’s rainbow palette in a masquerade ball and the bustling boulevards, while the geometric shapes and vibrant colours in the final ballet evoke Picasso and the paper collages of late Matisse. If you were to freeze the action at any point, you would be left with a powerful image.”
The Daily Telegraph calls the set design: “A marvel a minute: fast-moving projected-on screens conjure twinkling boulevards and the flowing Seine as if they’re Jerry’s swooning handiwork writ large. This technical wizardry culminates in a Mondrian-inspired back-drop for the climactic ballet-sequence that’s ravishingly hallucinogenic.”
And the big numbers are visually ravishing, says the Evening Standard: “Bob Crowley’s sumptuous, often witty designs are crucial, incorporating projections that evoke the spirit of Paris and the boldness of modern art.”
The production features its original, award-winning Broadway stars, and an exceptional company of 50 actors, dancers and musicians – who helped it win four Tonys including Best Choreography – to tell the story of a young American soldier striving to make it as a painter in the aftermath of war. Following a chance encounter with a beautiful young dancer, the ‘City of Light’ becomes the backdrop to a sensuous, modern romance of art, friendship and love.
The production runs at the Dominion Theatre, London.