Drama Talk & Drinks: An American In Paris – “who is this musical for?”

We have kicked off the Fall theater season with seeing the Tony Award winning musical, An American In Paris at SHN’s Orpheum Theatre. It’s a musical inspired by the 1951 film, which is full of George and Ira Gershwin songs. Brittany couldn’t make it, so she was replaced with our backup theater lover, Garrett.

Photo Credit: Matthew Murphy
An American in Paris Touring Company

Katie: So much dancing.

Garrett: Yeah, but the dancing is what I liked about it.

K: Really? There were great dancers and dance sequences for sure, but for me when I’m not interested in the story, the dancing feels like a filler. The dancing was beautiful, but there was just so much of it, and the show dragged on for me. The other aspect that made it drag for me was the weak male romantic lead (Jerry Mulligan, played by McGee Maddox), who was far from believable.

G: I think the show started off strong, but then the story didn’t hold up and it never quite took off for me. It felt like a forced love story and very old fashioned for a newly adapted script.

K: It felt like a super old American musical, which I can appreciate but don’t seem to have as much patience for anymore, I’m just over this style of storytelling. I mean, who is this musical for?

G: It feels like it’s for grandparents or someone who loves the nostalgia that you get from the old classic Gershwin songs, or maybe a very young person who loves to be visually stimulated and doesn’t need a complex well developed storyline.

K: I guess. I think we are just not the audience for this musical. I was underwhelmed. It felt stale and unimaginative. I wouldn’t recommend this to anyone between the ages of 20-50.

The Verdict: This old time feeling musical could be a great night out with parents or grandparents. The nostalgia from classic songs like “I Got Rhythm” and “They Can’t Take That Away From Me” is enjoyable. Don’t go to this show expecting something new and unexpected.

The Drama Talk: This Tony winning musical fell short when it came to imaginative, well developed storytelling, but didn’t disappoint in terms of music and choreography. Everything about this production, from the set to the costumes and actors, were just, well….fine, but nothing really stood out as exceptional. This felt like a big budget Broadway musical going through the motions and checking the standard boxes of what used to wow people. There is nothing new to see here.

The Drinks: Less than a block away there is a new beer and wine bar called Fermentation Lab. It wasn’t crowded or loud which made it a great place to grab a drink and talk about what we had just seen.

An American In Paris runs through October 8th at the Orpheum Theatre. There are $40 both virtual and in-person rush tickets available. You can check-out the SHN website for rush instructions. Goldstar also currently has tickets for $50-70.

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