Reviewed by Tatum Stafford
Filled with gorgeous dancing, classic Gershwin tunes and some of Australia’s top musical theatre talent, An American in Paris is a masterclass in golden age musicals that Perth audiences are sure to love.
Set in the heart of Paris, the show’s overlapping storylines revolve around romance, chasing dreams and accepting people for who they are – all much-needed themes during this time. The score includes Gershwin classics like “I Got Rhythm”, “But Not For Me”, “Shall We Dance” and “They Can’t Take That Away From Me”. The show is a collaboration between The Australian Ballet and GWB Entertainment, and offers a gorgeous night at the theatre that audience members of all ages will no doubt enjoy.
Every cast member on the Crown stage did a phenomenal job in evoking the atmosphere of Paris, whether dancing joyfully or crossing the stage during a set change. A massive kudos to the talented ensemble, who performed Christopher Wheeldon’s technical (and beautiful) choreography with effortless ease and lots of gorgeous flair.
The show’s leading duo, Cameron Holmes as Jerry Mulligan and Dimity Azoury as Lise Dassin, were captivating, graceful and wonderful to watch. Their commitment to the craft of ballet is so admirable, and their performances are both exquisite – shout-out to Holmes for his commitment to many comic acting moments, also.
Other leading members of the cast include Jonathan Hickey as charming narrator Adam Hochberg, Sam Ward as an awkwardly lovable Henri Baurel, and Ashleigh Rubenach as Milo Davenport. Having seen Rubenach in many WAAPA shows over the years, it was such a pleasure hearing her gorgeous voice in numbers “Shall We Dance” and “But Not For Me”.
Fantastic work also from Anne Wood as Madame Bourel, and Jeremy Stanford as Monsieur Baurel; they both played off of each other with plenty of charm and relatability which was a pleasure to watch.
Christopher Wheeldon’s direction is slick and fosters some incredibly intimate moments (associate direction and choreography from Dontee Kiehn, and associate choreography from Stuart Winter for this Australian production). Hannah Ryan’s work on this production’s staging was also phenomenal. Every member of the Australian creative team carries Bob Crowley’s original design work beautifully.
As Perth hasn’t welcomed many major theatrical touring productions since COVID began, it was such a joy to watch this fantastic show with such a high calibre of talent on display. Brava to all involved!