Martin D.

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Martin D. Goodkin
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Arts & Culture > "An American in Paris"--review of Touring Show
 

"An American in Paris"--review of Touring Show




There were times last night that the stage of the Ziff  Ballet Opera House in the Adrienne Arsht Center in Miami didn't seem it could contain the artistry, the talent, the love of dance that Garen Scribner brought to his role as Jerry  in "An American In Paris". Whether dancing solo or doing a pas de deux with Sara Esty or
dancing with the ensemble of 19, or the whole cast, his body takes
amazing twists and turns and extensions that no body should be able to
do. For a certain generation in the audience he even makes them forget
the originator of the role in the Hollywood movie that the Broadway
musical is based on.


"An American in Paris" is a story of 3 men in love with the same girl. Jerry (Scribner) and Adam (Etai Benson) are American soldiers who decided to stay in Paris at the end of World War 2 and Henri (Nick Spangler)
is a Frenchman who is expected to lead a certain life already mapped
out by his parents but who dreams of singing and dancing in New York at
the Radio City Music Hall and the men are in love with Lise (Esty), a lithe ballerina wanna-be.


Add
to this the memorable music and lyrics by George and Ira Gershwin, an
unending change of costumes and constantly moving set and projections by
Bob Crowley all under the direction of, and choreography by, Christopher Wheeldon and
you are spending an enchanting evening in the theatre. One has to add a
special acknowledgement to the Music Director/Conductor David Andrews Rogers and his 14 piece orchestra who back the cast superbly!


Whether
it is tapping your feet to "I Got Rythm" or getting hit with the razzle
dazzle of "I'll Build A Stairway To Paradise" or laughing at Jerry
singing and dancing to win Lise in "I've Got Beginner's Luck" not to
forget such standards as "The Man I Love", "But Not For Me" or throwing
in the mind and body bending by the whole cast in "Fidgety Feet" the
music is always there to make the show feel " 'S Wonderful".


To
top it all off there is the show's title ballet number that pairs
Scribner and Esty is that pas de deux where they compliment, mirror,
meld into each other becoming one beautiful moving defintion of what
dance can show.


The
whole cast, especially the leads, are triple threats not only with
strong dancing, good acting but also singing with Sara Esty and Etai
Benson being standouts, the latter being so good singing "But Not For
Me", and in the number with Nick Spangler, that I wish he had a couple
of solos. Don Noble and Gayton Scott as Henri's parents and Emily
Ferranti as a diletante of the arts not only sings, dances and acts with
aplomb but nails all her comedic lines along with showing the
vulnerability of her character.


The
bottom line is that there are many excellent reasons for seeing this
touring production of "An American In Paris" you will not see a better
dancer and entertainer than Garen Scribner and the memory of seeing him
will have you singing "They Can't Take That Away From Me" the last song
you will hear as you leave the theatre.


Running time: 2 hours and 40 minutes including a 25 minute intermission


"An
American In Paris" will be running through New Year's Day--be sure to
go to www.anamericaninparisbroadway.com to see when it is coming to your
city.


Coming next to the Adrienne Arsht Center in Miami "Beautiful" February 14-19



(Garen Scribner & Sara Esty--photo by Matthew Murphy)




posted on Dec 28, 2016 9:00 AM ()

Comments:

As much as I don't like to get out amongst crowds, sounds like I would have been happy I got to see that performance. The great review helps - you make me feel like I was there.
comment by troutbend on Dec 28, 2016 10:01 AM ()
I am not 'into' ballet but I would like to see any champion sports figure do what he does---and 8 times a week. He must be in pain 24/7!! ARGH!!!! AND NOT A OUNCE OF BODY FAT!!!
reply by greatmartin on Dec 28, 2016 12:13 PM ()

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