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An American in Paris is a Show Stopper at its Texas Opening Night

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The classic story debuted decades ago, but this recreation keeps all the ingredients that made the original such a wild success. Opening night of the Austin production of An American in Paris was ushered in by a packed house at the Bass Concert Hall, and ended with the roar of a standing ovation. Presented by the University of Texas at Austin Texas Performing Arts, Lexus, and Broadway in Austin, this production is not to be missed.

Set in Paris in 1945 just after the Second World War ended, the characters find themselves in a new world of peace and prosperity while still unraveling the ugly realities of a war that robbed them of so much. Themes of choosing obligation or following one’s heart, as well as the sticky mix-ups and motivations that romantic love can create are all explored. We follow a veteran just returned from war, a ballerina with a sorrowful past, and a composer that finds a muse through unrequited love, along with several other animated characters that perfectly personify time, place, and culture.

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Photo: Pixabay.com

The audience on opening night was tapping and humming along to “I Got Rhythm,” “I’ve Got Beginner’s Luck,” “Shall We Dance?” and “Fidgety Feet.” The costumes were a nice touch, and the dancing was well done. The actors played their roles with integrity and commitment and stuck every jump and twirl, pulling off a number of beautifully choreographed dances.

Though the actors and songs were the stars of the show, the backdrops were a major highlight of the production. Many scene changes took place, and each one transported the audience into that specific moment and time. Whether it be a perfect replication of the Paris cityscape at night, or a flowing river under a sunset, the settings created a stunning backdrop to the flawless singing and dancing.

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