NEW YORK – A classic movie musical from the MGM vaults is about to dance its way onto the stage.
Based on the 1951 film An American in Paris, the new musical has announced its world premiere in the French capital at Theatre du Chatelet in December 2014, prior to a planned Broadway bow in spring 2015.
Featuring songs by George and Ira Gershwin, the show is being adapted by Craig Lucas (The Light in the Piazza), with distinguished former New York City Ballet soloist Christopher Wheeldon set to make his Broadway debut as director-choreographer.
The story follows a World War II U.S. Army veteran looking to start a new life as a painter in Paris. A wealthy patroness takes him under her wing, but complications ensue when he falls for a young French girl with her own romantic entanglements.
Directed by Vincente Minnelli from a script by Alan Jay Lerner, the movie starred Gene Kelly, Leslie Caron and Oscar Levant. It won six Oscars, including best picture.
Produced by The Pittsburgh CLO and Theatre du Chatelet, by special arrangement with Elephant Eye Theatrical, the stage project has assembled a strong design team of Tony winners, including Bob Crowley (sets and costumes), Natasha Katz (lighting) and Scott Lehrer (sound). Bartlett Sher will serve as creative consultant, with Rob Fisher adapting and supervising the musical score.
Songs featured in the show will include such standards as “I Got Rhythm,” “‘S Wonderful,” “But Not for Me,” “I’ll Build a Stairway to Paradise” and “They Can’t Take That Away From Me,” interspersed with Gershwin orchestral music.
“This material provides an ideal opportunity for U.S. and Paris-based producers to share development and production of a show with a unique history and meaning to both countries,” commented lead producers Van Kaplan, Jean-Luc Choplin and Stuart Oken.
Casting will be announced at a later date.