Christopher Wheeldon, Ross MacGibbon (director)
2hr 40mins (length)
16 May 2018 (released)
If you think everything that needed to be said about An American in Paris was put into the 1951 film with Gene Kelly and Leslie Caron, you'd be mistaken.
Although it won six Oscars and was the inspiration for this stage version which debuted on Broadway in 2015 and won four Tony's, the original film now seems rather dated and contrived.
The new film couldn't be fresher and features the London cast who made such a memorable impression at the Dominion Theatre in 2017.
Robert Fairchild and Leanne Cope are the stars and, appropriately enough started their careers at New York City Ballet and the Royal Ballet respectively. Their contrasting styles are entirely appropriate here and particularly memorable in the main ballet which is done as an abstract staging, rather than the Parisian dream sequence in the 50s film.
David Seadon-Young plays the composer with appropriate awkwardness and Jane Asher gives a memorable cameo as Madame Baurel. The supporting cast and orchestra are excellent. It's hardly surprising that Bob Crowley's sets are outstanding and that Christopher Wheeldon, who also directed, provides truly inspired choreography.
The filming is wonderfully sympathetic and the overall impression is, surprisingly, far less stagey than the Hollywood version.
If you want a souvenir of a splendid production, this will certainly not disappoint. If you want a pick-me-up musical, this will be hard to beat... It's definitely time to move over La La Land: this one has a far better score!