Phoenix Theatre offers love story in the ‘City of Lights’
Staff Reports | Digital Free Press
One of the most captivating musicals to ever be adapted for the stage, ‘An American in Paris,’ makes its premiere at The Phoenix Theatre Company through March 12.
Inspired by the 1951 Academy Award-winning film of the same name that starred Gene Kelly and Leslie Caron, the lavish musical is set in the ‘City of Lights’ as it emerges from the shadows of World War II, according to a press release.
Full of grandeur and set to the exhilarating music of George and Ira Gershwin, ‘An American in Paris’ tells the romantic story of American soldier Jerry Mulligan who, hoping to start a new life, chooses newly liberated Paris to make a name for himself as a painter. His life becomes complicated when he falls for Lise, a young Parisian shop girl, only to learn he is not her only suitor.
“This show is a love story for the ages,” said director Larry Raben, in the release. “An American in Paris is a story about finding happiness, love and a new lease on life, even after the darkest times. The stunning combination of iconic music, breathtaking ballet, energetic tap dancing, lavish sets and costumes, will wow audiences from across the Valley.”
‘An American in Paris’ is set to some of the Gershwins’ most timeless music, including favorites like, “’S Wonderful,” “I Got Rhythm,” and “You Can’t Take That Away from Me.”
Audiences can expect an emotional journey as the characters come back from the challenges of the war, fall in love, follow their dreams and celebrate the joys of being alive. Mr. Raben promises a modern and theatrical telling of this musical, further strengthened by a remarkable cast of actors, singers and dancers.
“Very few theatres have done this piece regionally, post-Broadway, so to put our own spin on it is very exciting,” he added. “The Gershwins wrote the score with such care and tenderness, with energy and passion, and those are the things I want to bring to this piece for Valley audiences. I was mesmerized with the movie as a kid, and I have no doubt audiences will be just as enamored with the theatrical performance.”
Mr. Raben’s promise of a modern telling is made possible as The Phoenix Theatre Company is a professional theatre, producing shows from start to finish in-house. This allows freedom in creative interpretation for directors, the construction of sets, the design and selection of costumes, and other components of putting together a live production.
“I want people to walk out of the theatre feeling like they’ve seen the most romantic love story ever, and I just know they will be moved,” Mr. Raben added. “I think An American in Paris is one of the most beautiful pieces of music ever written.”
Phoenix Theatre: Select mask-required performances
In an effort to provide those who would feel more comfortable in a fully masked environment with an opportunity to attend our productions, we have designated a select upcoming performance of An American in Paris as “Mask Required:” Feb. 18, 2023, at 2 p.m.
During these performances, masks will be required for all patrons and staff in our lobbies and theatres unless actively eating/drinking. Food and drinks will be allowed in the theatre. We ask that the mask be placed back on between bites or sips. Proof of vaccination and temperature checks will not be required.
Phoenix Theatre: ASL/Audio Describe Night
Audio Description and American Sign Language Interpretation are available for each production. ASL/Audio Describe Night for An American in Paris is 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 16.