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An American in Paris

Members say: Enchanting, Delightful, Romantic, Entertaining, Great staging
45 reviews
2514 reviews

A new dance musical based on the classic 1951 film, telling the romantic story of a young American soldier, a beautiful French girl and an indomitable European city.

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'An American in Paris' is the story of World War II Army veteran Jerry Mulligans, who chooses newly-liberated Paris as the place to make a name for himself as a painter. Jerry's life becomes complicated when he meets Lise, a young Parisian shop girl with her own secret. Soon it becomes clear that Jerry's friends are also vying for Lise's love. This romantic tangle can only be untied through the miracle of dance set to George and Ira Gershwin's classic score.


Reviews (2559)

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews
Avg Score

The New York Times

"The city of light is ablaze with movement in the rhapsodic new stage adaptation of “An American in Paris.” This gorgeously danced — and just plain gorgeous — production pays loving tribute to the 1951 movie, to the marriage of music and movement, and to cherished notions about romance that have been a defining element of the American musical theater practically since its inception. Just about everything in this happily dance-drunk show moves with a spring in its step." Full Review

New York Post

"An airy, gentle caress of a show, “An American in Paris” is a welcome oddity on Broadway. Based on the 1951 movie, this musical stars two classically trained dancers — directed by dancer-turned-choreographer Christopher Wheeldon. What those three bring is often swooningly beautiful...The downside of this elegance is that when the production needs pep and razzmatazz, it’s in short supply...But when those two are onstage, they make you believe in love — and the power of dance — all over again." Full Review

The Guardian (UK)

""An American in Paris" is a fine and fanciful entertainment...It has sublime songs and dexterous dancing. ’S wonderful? ’S marvellous? ’S nearly. Where Wheeldon falters is in pacing and storytelling...At times, the action stalls while the actors move. But if you can ignore the stops and starts, there’s so much to enjoy in between, not least some of the Gershwins’ greatest hits." Full Review

DC Theatre Scene

"Why does "An American in Paris" feel so fresh? First-time Broadway director Christopher Wheeldon has turned it into a modern’s mesmerizing, unlike anything I’ve witnessed on Broadway before...While this is what makes An American in Paris special, it’s not the whole show. There are also traditional razzmatazz song-and-dance routines. There are scenes full of dialogue. There’s a plot. Some of playwright Craig Lucas’s choices are intriguing (some aren’t.)" Full Review

Talkin' Broadway

"If "An American in Paris" fails as an integrated musical, it soars as choreography, and ought to be seen, admired, and appreciated as such. By marshaling dance as few others have on Broadway in recent memory, Wheeldon has provided us a jolting reminder of the incomparable, incalculable power of dance to speak of our deepest longings and agonies when words and even lyrics cannot." Full Review

The Huffington Post

"Christopher Wheeldon's choreography for "An American in Paris", is so spectacular that you have to forgive anything else wrong with the production--and believe you me, there's plenty to forgive--and I mean plenty...As I say, you see this An American in Paris for the dancing. You don't see it for Craig Lucas's libretto...He's tossed aside almost everything else to do what he so often does in his plays: Wax pretentious while believing he's being deep substantive." Full Review

The Wall Street Journal

"This is what musical-comedy dance can look like when it’s made by a choreographer who knows how to do more than just stage a song...Not since “West Side Story” has dance been used to such overwhelming effect on Broadway...“An American in Paris” is in no way for ballet buffs only: It is, first and foremost, an old-fashioned, big-hearted spare-no-expense Broadway romance. That it is also a masterpiece of theatrical dance is sweet icing on an already tasty cake." Full Review

AM New York

"What also sets it apart are its intricate ballet sequences, exceptional music supervision, a dazzling design scheme and an unusually somber book by playwright Craig Lucas...Lucas stresses the cultural tensions in postwar Paris, bringing up the painful stains of Nazi occupation...Though heavy-handed and drawn out, he deserves credit for trying to add depth to the film...Regardless of the book, the music is glorious, the visuals are innovative and the performances are top-rate." Full Review

The Hollywood Reporter

"If playwright Craig Lucas' book scenes at times seem over-complicated, and some of the songs feel shoehorned in rather than integral to the plot, that's a small price to pay. When the music is this glorious, who's complaining? And perhaps it's inevitable that when the many and varied dance interludes convey such soaring romance, dialogue scenes can sometimes seem an impediment. But an awkward transition or two can't diminish the pleasures of a show that's one long sustained swoon." Full Review

New York Magazine / Vulture

"With its odd combination of dour outlook and joyful movement, and its very tasteful corralling of the giddy Gershwin songs from disparate sources that constitute its score, the show is a Broadway unicorn...The attempt to merge dance storytelling with musical-theater storytelling may not always be satisfying but especially at a time when more conventional musicals aspire to the condition of high-speed sledgehammers, it is a delight to relax into a show with a dreamier pace." Full Review

New York Daily News

"Guiding his first musical, Wheeldon shows a vibrant vision and buckets of imagination, transforming the 1951 film that inspires the show...“An American in Paris” is at its best whenever it’s in motion, which is often. Occasionally the show stubs its toes on corny jokes and book scenes that could use a bit more finesse, such as Jerry’s clunky wartime reflections. That’s nitpicking — just a bit of minor turbulence during this lighter-than-air ride." Full Review


"Visually sumptuous and musically rapturous – and really, what more could you ask for? – the show has so many charms. And yet, "An American In Paris" is fabulous looking but vacant. It’s a dance show that features some wonderful dancing yet never takes flight. It’s lifeless at the center." Full Review

New York Theatre Guide

"There is nothing self-conscious about "An American in Paris." It’s dazzling and noisy in the best sense of an American musical. At the same time it puts a canny, majestic lift beneath the patter and pas de deux, as Paris is redeemed." Full Review


"There are some shows where you linger a moment after the actors' curtain calls, reluctant to part company after sharing a swell evening. That was the feeling at "An American in Paris," a colorful, charming, dazzlingly danced adaptation of the great 1951 Gene Kelly movie. With its score of eternally lovely Gershwin songs, the show is a celebration of movement as an equal partner to song and dialogue in telling a story...In every way, "An American in Paris" offers a marvelous journey back in t... Full Review

The Wrap

"Wheeldon turns the movie’s spectacular “American in Paris” ballet into an abstract ballet, as if designed by Mondrian, and as if Gershwin’s music didn’t make specific references to individual sights and sounds as experienced by an American in Paris...Perhaps Wheeldon opted to go abstract for the finale because his storytelling in act one often makes you want to rewatch the movie to understand what’s going on." Full Review

The Associated Press

"This season on Broadway features multiple musicals that are based on iconic films. One of the most sublime among them is surely "An American in Paris," helmed with panache by top director and choreographer Christopher Wheeldon. Gloriously inventive and balletic, it has an intriguing new book...Beneath the considerable pizazz, Wheeldon conveys with grace and style the heartfelt romance and emotional colors that keep us enchanted until the last beautiful note has been sung." Full Review


"The dancing s'wonderful; the music s'marvelous; I was dazzled by the scenery, even if it was a little too busy. But I didn't feel the love. And that's a problem for a show that's billed as a romance....Though very nicely acted by a supporting cast of stage veterans, Craig Lucas's book gets bogged down with too many complicating subplots...on its toes, "An American In Paris" is glorious. But when the dancing stops, it falls disappointingly flat." Full Review

Stage Buddy

"In most cases the songs don’t make much sense and sometimes feel like they’ve been forced upon the scenes only to feature as many of them as they could... While it’s impossible to dislike 'An American in Paris,' it must be said that the show coasts on the familiarity of the songs and the stunning choreography which sometimes makes one wonder if it would’ve worked best as a full on ballet rather than a Broadway musical." Full Review

USA Today

"Wheeldon has crafted a show that looks and sounds sumptuous throughout..."Paris" fares best when its talented cast is singing and dancing — which is, happily, a good deal of the time...The ballet sequences, not surprisingly, are the soaring high points. The number can't match the cinematic detail of the original, of course. But overall, it's a dazzling achievement in its own right." Full Review


"There is an airy and dizzying quality to Christopher Wheeldon’s wonderfully imaginative production of "An American in Paris." It feels something like a first gasp of air after holding your breath for a long, long time. Broadway is currently awash in questionable movie-to-musical marquees, but a stage version of the 1952 Oscar-winning picture starring Gene Kelly feels like a foregone conclusion held in suspension. And over half a century later, the wait was worth every minute." Full Review

As Her World Turns

"I did my best to focus on what was happening on-stage, but it was hard to find any of it compelling. Perhaps it deserves another chance given the circumstances but time and money are limited and there are other shows I’d rather give a shot. It was eye-opening in terms of how elements outside the actual production of the show can influence someone’s theater-going experience — if this was the ONE show I saw a year, or the first time I was taking a chance on Broadway, I’m not sure I’d go back." Full Review


"The fusion of the Broadway musical and ballet, set to the sublime music and lyrics of the Gershwin Brothers’ songbook, is an evening of pure enchantment. Forget what you know about the movie, because Christopher Wheeldon, the director and choreographer, has truly reinvented a new, old-fashioned-style musical…The one drawback of the musical is the book by Craig Lucas, and the forced obligatory humor that has to be injected into a serious musical." Full Review

Off Script with Dan Dwyer

"'An American In Paris' presents a new and remarkably effective book and new, breathtaking choreography...Lucas’s narrative succeeds so well because it’s dramatically character-driven...It’s all a thoroughly effervescent delight...The production design only enhances the emotional destinies of the characters and dramatic peaks of choreography. These elements, like every aspect of 'An American in Paris,' are sustained in perfect balance by Wheeldon. C’est magnifique." Full Review

Entertainment Weekly

"Any one of Wheeldon’s dances packs more content, smarts, and finesse than practically all the book scenes put together...When you can convey so much through pure physical expression—with a slight assist from Gershwin’s “Second Rhapsody” and “Cuban Overture”—words seem somehow insufficient. And Craig Lucas’ plodding, paint-by-numbers-style script is, regrettably, especially insufficient." Full Review

New Jersey Newsroom

"Ravishing visuals, beautiful dancing, classic Gershwin songs, dandy performances and a pretty good story; this is a blessedly unfaithful Broadway version of the M-G-M film musical...The entire show truly dances along in Wheeldon’s exceptionally graceful staging. The generally dreamy quality with which Wheeldon imbues the production results in a thoroughly enchanting attraction that offers a refreshing change from the hard-driven nature of concurrent Broadway musicals." Full Review

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews
Avg Score

Delightful, Overrated, Slow, Great dancing

See it if you want to see some of the best dancing around. The skill presented by the entire cast, especially Leanne Cope, is phenomenal.

Don't see it if you are looking for anything really original. New arrangements or not, it's still old Gershwin songs.

Delightful, Enchanting, Romantic

See it if you love exquisite dancing and a Gershwin score. Beautiful set design.

Don't see it if ballet dancing bores you or if you need a show with a fast pace.

Absorbing, Enchanting, Exquisite, Entertaining, Great staging

See it if You want to see amazing dancing.

Don't see it if You don't like post-war romances.

Delightful, Great dancing, Gorgeous, Poetic

See it if A gorgeous integration of musical theatre and ballet. You will fall head over heels in love with the actors and the music, simply stellar.

Don't see it if You don't like ballet or classical music.

Enchanting, Exquisite, Romantic, Great choreography, Gorgeous staging

See it if you love dance and design -- this was one of the most visually stunning shows I've ever seen. Its Tony wins for design were well-deserved!

Don't see it if you're looking for a show with a peppy plot and contemporary music.

Delightful, Enchanting, Exquisite, Entertaining, Great dancing

See it if You've lived in Paris. You want to see gorgeous sets. You know the songs. You liked the film. You want to be wowed by the dancing.

Don't see it if You will fall asleep without a lot of dialogue. You want to see a traditional musical (this has more dance and music than usual).

Romantic, Cliched, Entertaining, Enjoyable, Fluffy

See it if You like musicals or need to entertain out of town guests who want a traditional or nostalgic trip to Bway

Don't see it if You dislike fluff and conventional gender roles

Disappointing, Overrated, Slow

See it if You love ballet. You want to see a somewhat pretty show with no substance.

Don't see it if You want to see a well written show. You are expecting to hear the songs you love sound good. You want to see inspired set design.

Romantic, Great dancing, wonderful score

See it if You loved the movie and or you are a sentimentalist.

Don't see it if Extended ballet, no matter how well executed, bore you.

Enchanting, Overrated, Entertaining, Fluffy, Terrific dancing

See it if You love Gershwin and great dancing.

Don't see it if Are wanting a cutting edge, creative production.

Disappointing, Cliched, Overrated, Slow, Dated

See it if you love ballet. There isn't much story, & it's s-l-o-w-l-y presented.

Don't see it if you want to get involved in a story with characters you could care about.

Enchanting, Must see, Great staging

See it if you like the Gershwin's music. Great acting and dancing. Unique story.

Don't see it if you prefer a lot of dialogue. Much of the story is told through song and dance.

Banal, Insipid, Slow, Dated, Great staging

See it if If you like beautiful dancing.

Don't see it if If you want more to a show than good dance.

Delightful, Enchanting, Entertaining

See it if a terrific show I loved it

Don't see it if no reason not to see it

Absorbing, Great acting, Masterful, Great singing, Great staging

See it if You can in the next 3 days. A marvelous production

Don't see it if You like plays more than musicals

Romantic, Cliched, Entertaining, Great singing

See it if you love ballet, if you love revivals of old standards.

Don't see it if you're bothered by dated female characterizations.

Disappointing, Overrated, Dated, Great staging, Fluffy

See it if You love ballet. The story comes to life through dance

Don't see it if You don't like Gershwin songs thrown into a plot and hope it fits... some of the worst tapping and acting I've ever seen on a Broadway stage

Entertaining, Great staging, Great dancing, Great score, Terrific performances

See it if you love a Gershwin tune and enjoy the kind of brilliant choreography rarely seen on a Broadway stage!

Don't see it if musicals in the classic style don't appeal to you or you don't enjoy dance heavy productions.

Romantic, Banal, Overrated, Slow, Beautifully danced

See it if You love a light romantic comedy and beautiful dancing. The dancing is the very best element of the evening.

Don't see it if You love the movie and expect it to be as gorgeous as that. The new book really drains the energy out of the show and expands it poorly.

Enchanting, Romantic, Overrated, Amazing choreography, Beautiful design

See it if you're looking for a visually stunning show. The set design and the choreography are outstanding.

Don't see it if you actually want to see a real musical. This was much more of a ballet with the occasional dialogue....

Romantic, Entertaining, Fluffy

See it if you love elegant dancing and Gershwin

Don't see it if you don't want the same old Gershwin songs or you enjoy an extensive dance vocabulary

Delightful, Romantic, Entertaining, Great singing, Great staging

See it if You like musicals and dance. You like romance

Don't see it if You don't like musicals

Delightful, Exquisite, Romantic, Great dancing

See it if you enjoy Gershwin, ballet dancing, and Paris - all beautifully done / portrayed

Don't see it if storyline a bit thin

Delightful, Masterful, Great staging

See it if You love dancing and classic Broadway.

Don't see it if You are not a fan of Broadway. It's that good.

Delightful, Entertaining, Great staging

See it if you love movie musicals reimagined for the stage which are not just carbon copies of the movie

Don't see it if you don't like movie to stage musicals