(Brian Seibert’s article appeared in The New York Times, 4/17; via Pam Green.)
The conversion of famous movies into stage musicals is business as usual on Broadway these days. But the adaptation of the 1951 film “An American in Paris” that opened at the Palace Theater on Sunday has attracted unusual attention from the world of ballet because of who is involved.
It is directed and choreographed by Christopher Wheeldon, one of the world’s most celebrated ballet choreographers but one with no experience directing musicals. It stars Robert Fairchild, a star at New York City Ballet with no experience appearing in musicals, and Leanne Cope, a Royal Ballet dancer also new to this form. How would they do, and would they succeed in bringing ballet values to Broadway? They did well on both counts. The greatness of the Gershwin music can be assumed, but the abundance of high-quality dance, which has been mostly absent on Broadway in recent years, is worth celebrating.