Tuesday I attended the opening night for the Tony Award®-winning musical, An American in Paris. Tickets were provided through my relationship with Tampa Bay Bloggers by the Straz Center. I’ll always provide my honest review and thoughts and it is in no way influenced by that relationship. Full disclosure.
I admit that I wasn’t very familiar with the story of An American in Paris. I knew it had music from Gershwin and I knew it was originally a movie. Since I plan to visit Paris next spring I was really interested to see how they depicted the city and how it would tie into the musical.
The story is about an American soldier that decides to stay in Paris after the war. He forms new friendships and encounters a beautiful yet mysterious girl. The plot thickens quickly when we realize there’s a love rectangle at play.
I loved the sets and the way they transformed sketches to full scale 3 dimensional backdrops. It was visually stunning. They did an impressive job of making us feel like we had been transported to the city of light.
The dancing in this production blew me away. There was ballet, tap, modern, and even an old school big band number with showgirls. This was one of the highlights of the show and it put me in the mind frame of some of my favorite I Love Lucy episodes. I really can’t praise the actors and actresses enough, especially the female lead Sara Esty. Watching her dance was mesmerizing.
One of the really cool features you should make time to see is the sketchbook from Andrea Shelby at the merchandise table. She’s a very talented sketch artist that documented the musical from rehearsals all the way to the debut on Broadway. The sketches truly capture the whimsy and magic that you feel when watching the musical on stage.
I was already excited about planning my trip to Paris but after seeing the musical, An American in Paris has me really excited to BE an American in Paris (ha, you see what I did there?)
An American in Paris is here at The Straz Center through December 25th. Visit the website for tickets. It’s definitely an activity you should add to your holiday plans.