'An American in Paris': Not the Same Old Song and Dance

The dancing and choreography in An American in Paris, playing at the Palace Theater, is so stellar that it's an absolute blessing that the music and acting holds up as well. Christopher Wheeldon takes what he knows from the ballet world and adeptly applies it to the Broadway stage.

There's nothing revolutionary about the plot to the show, but it stands apart from others like it thanks to a heightened sense of importance. That's due to the fact that the show is set in Paris after World War II, where there's a spring in people's step for the first time in a long time. Jerry Mulligan (Robert Fairchild) lands there with newfound hope. He soon runs literally into Lise, played by Leanne Cope, who alters his fate.

Designer Bob Crowley adds so much flavor and life to the show, with costumes and sets that leave you speechless and amazed. It's the blend of all of the above that makes even the scenery changes and interludes something to marvel at. The pacing of the production is simply magical.

The music sounds more like a symphony than a score, and that's thanks to George Gershwin's keen compositions, which are there to be performed alongside the action to drive a synergistic performance experience. You don't get the feeling that the music has lost a step with time. None of the songs shine over another, however, it's all quite familiar and particular.

It all comes down to the chemistry that Fairchild and Cope demonstrate. Words cannot adequately express what these two share, and the exquisite beauty of their movement together is something you won't find much of in other places. For an evening, Paris lights up New York City.