An American in Paris

Ashleigh-Rubenach-Cameron-Holmes-and-the-Ensemble-of-An-American-in-Paris---photo-by-Darren-ThomasThis lively, comedic and passionate production of An American in Paris is what I would call a balleusical. A ballet performed within the genre of a musical.

The score is full of familiar tunes written by George Gershwin and Ira Gershwin. I Got Rhythm, I’ll Build a Stairway and They Can’t Take That Away From Me are some of the recognisable classics performed by a talented, well disciplined cast.

On opening night, the two leads were performed by cast alternates, Cameron Holmes as Jerry Mulligans and Dimity Azoury as Lise Dassin. Whilst not having overly powerful voices, Holmes and Azoury’s dance sequences are passionate and mesmerising.

Azoury is elegant whilst radiating poise and grace throughout the performance. Holmes has a passion and aerobic charisma, as he leaps through the air while executing a triple turn with ease. Azoury also manages to maintain an impressive French accent throughout the entire performance.

Along with Holmes, Sam Ward as Henri Baurel and Jonathan Hickey as Adam Hochberg complete the “three musketeers.” They complement each other with perfect timing and harmonies as they perform some of the showstoppers of the evening.

Ward’s delivery of I’ll Build a Stairway, surrounded by top hat and feathered  dancers, was one of the many standouts of the evening.

Choreographer, Christopher Wheeldon’s pieces throughout the show are themselves a sublime piece of art. There are so many stand out pieces throughout the production that will have you mesmerised, as the cast achieve these with precision, poise and grace.

Another notable dance sequence was Fidgety Feet. This was executed on chairs as cast members kicked their legs and extended their arms with faultless precision.

Ashleigh Rubenach as Milo Davenport has a wonderful presence on stage and her execution of Shall We Dance – a duet with Holmes is an alluring, playful number full of wit. Rubenach possesses a strong and powerful voice.

Sets and costumes, designed by Bob Crowley, are another exceptional standout of this production with some of the finest I have seen in a long time. An American in Paris is an original and surprising musical that will have you leaving the theatre with a spring in your step and a song in your heart.

An American In Paris
Crown Theatre Perth, Great Eastern Highway, Burswood
Performance: Sunday 10 July 2022
Season continues to 24 July 2022

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Image: Ashleigh Rubenach, Cameron Holmes and the Ensemble of An American in Paris – photo by Darren Thomas

Review: Craig Dalglish