When An American in Paris premiered in 2015, there was nothing quite like it on Broadway in terms of how the show used dance as a central storytelling device. Renowned choreographer Christopher Wheeldon skillfully wove together dance, narrative, and scenic design to create the visually breathtaking show that will make its Austin debut May 30-June 3 at Bass Concert Hall.
Allison Walsh plays lead Lise Dassin, an aspiring dancer who becomes the love interest of three men after World War II. “It may seem a bit of a stretch to have three different men fall in love with her, but it makes sense with what all these artists have just experienced in the war,” Walsh explains. “They’ve seen that life can be cut short and that love is the most powerful force.”
Because dance is the driving force behind this production, Walsh says about half of the ensemble is classically trained in ballet. “Our show is extremely hard to cast because the caliber of dancing is so high, while requiring excellent singing and acting — we have total triple threats,” says Walsh.
The versatile cast puts its best jazz, tap, and ballet foot forward throughout the show. Walsh, who has watched the production evolve from its original workshop, through its Paris and Broadway debuts, and into a national tour, says she is extremely proud to be part of its talented cast.
“This show requires hard work and dedication from the entire touring company, forcing everyone to be at their best," said Walsh. "I love how we all rise to the occasion.” The result is a stunning show that leaves audience members humming Gershwin tunes and tapping their toes.
While An American in Paris takes place post-WWII, its message remains both contemporary and relatable. “I think our show appeals to a modern audience, while retaining the charms of a classic musical with full production values,” says Walsh. “It’s wonderful!”
Tickets for An American in Paris are currently on sale here.