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  An American In Paris at Ford Oriental Theatre

An American In Paris

Ford Oriental Theatre
24 W. Randolph Chicago

Inspired by the Academy-Award winning film, AN AMERICAN IN PARIS is the romantic story about an American soldier, a mysterious French girl and an indomitable European city, each yearning for a new beginning in the aftermath of war. Directed and choreographed by 2015 Tony Award-winner Christopher Wheeldon, the show features the music and lyrics of George Gershwin and Ira Gershwin, and a book by Craig Lucas. AN AMERICAN IN PARIS won four 2015 Tony Awards, four Drama Desk Awards, four Outer Critics Circle Awards, the Drama League Award for Best Musical, three Fred and Adele Astaire Awards, and two Theatre World Awards.

Thru - Aug 13, 2017



Price: $27-$103

Show Type: Musical

Running Time: 2hrs, 30mins; one intermission

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  An American In Paris Reviews
  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Chicago Tribune - Recommended

"...But the book, by Craig Lucas, is new and it extends many of the cultural metaphors inherent therein. Jerry (played by McGee Maddox) is still pretty much the Kelly Jerry, an all-American GI whose artistry is secondary to his personality and romantic interests. Adam (Etai Benson) is a stand-in for Gershwin himself, a nebbish genius suffering from his own brilliance and inability to articulate his own desire anywhere than in a score. And the wealthy Henri (Nick Spangler) becomes a cautionary tale for a gay man — he's a wealthy but closeted fellow who has to learn not to lead a girl on and to follow his own path, which, in his era, means becoming the opposite of an American in Paris."
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Chris Jones


Chicago Sun Times - Highly Recommended

"...And then there is the cast, whose leads - McGee Maddox (a principal dancer with the National Ballet of Canada) and Sara Esty (a former soloist with the Miami City Ballet) - are not just classical dancers at the very top of their game, but actor-singers with such Broadway level chops. It is difficult to believe this is the first musical venture for both. Talk about "triple threat" performers."
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Hedy Weiss


Daily Herald - Highly Recommended

"..."An American in Paris" delivers everything you would want from a stage adaptation of the 1951 Academy Award-winning film: glorious Gershwin music, beautiful bursts of ballet and animated scenery celebrating the romance of that beloved French city."
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Scott C. Morgan


Chicago Reader - Somewhat Recommended

"...Lucas's book excavates each character's World War II trauma; Wheeldon's dances isolate and amplify Kelly's balletic impulse. The result is at once dark and beautiful. Though this Equity touring show is very fine in most ways, it's not as satisfying as it might be: McGee Maddox is a marvelous dancer, but his Mulligan comes across as callow-somehow untouched by the wartime experiences he describes. (Ryan Steele plays the role at certain performances.)"
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Tony Adler


Time Out Chicago - Somewhat Recommended

"...But the book by Craig Lucas sketches all of the characters and their connections too lightly; combined with a distinct lack of chemistry among the performers—Maddox and Esty are clearly here for their dancing abilities, not their singing or acting—we’re left woefully underinvested. Even Christopher Wheeldon’s Tony-winning choreography, though wonderfully executed, could use more variety. The movie at least allows Kelly some jazzy, tap-dancing numbers to balance the ballet; here, the 16-minute “American in Paris” ballet near the end, which should feel revelatory, instead is anticlimactic. ’S not so wonderful."
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Kris Vire


Chicago On the Aisle - Highly Recommended

"...One might think it impossible to improve on the 1951 musical film “An American in Paris,” with the inimitable Gene Kelly and Leslie Caron romancing each other to the music of George and Ira Gershwin. But in re-imagining this G.I. love story as a Broadway ballet for a cast of 25, director-choreographer Christopher Wheeldon has given the beloved classic a thrilling energy boost."
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Nancy Malitz


Stage and Cinema - Recommended

"...The familiar plot intertwines the lives and loves of sardonic expatriate narrator Adam Hochberg (Etai Benson), an acerbic wounded vet and budding composer (think Oscar Levant); Henri Baurel (Nick Spangler), at once a scion of French moguls, a frustrated Chevalier-style, song-and-dance man (in the Art Deco extravaganza “I’ll Build a Stairway to Paradise”), and, here, a possible closet case; and, especially, Jerry Mulligan (Ryan Steele alternating with McGee Maddox) as the hard-hoofing ex-G.I. (“Beginner’s Luck”) with art in his heart, designs for sets, and very “Fidgety Feet.”"
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Lawrence Bommer


Splash Magazine - Not Recommended

"...The National Tour of American in Paris, now playing at the Ford Oriental Theatre, comes with the sub-caption, "A New Musical." Calling it "new" might well be appropriate considering anyone familiar with the 1951 Gene Kelly movie-musical by Alan Jay Lerner will need to squint extremely hard to recognize anything even remotely reminiscent of their beloved film."
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Justin LeClaire


ChicagoCritic - Highly Recommended

"...An American in Parisis a new and instant 'classic' musical. It has all the elements: Great score (Gershwin); terrific book; fabulous lead actors/singers/dancers, and the varied and dominant element-those dances! All on the unique lighting and set design -"Who could ask for anything more?" If you only see one show this summer, let it be An American in Paris , Trust me on this. It is one of the best shows of 2017."
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Tom Williams


Around The Town Chicago - Highly Recommended

"...Musical theater is for many, the greatest form of entertainment! For others, it is the movies that they find exciting. Isn't it wonderful when the two are married to re-create something special for both types of audiences? This process often does not live up to what we expect or hope for, but the newest entry of the Broadway In Chicago season, now on the stage at The Oriental Theatre, "An American in Paris" hits the spot and is a play that should be on your "must see" list (even if you prefer movies over live stage performances)."
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Alan Bresloff


Chicago Theatre Review - Highly Recommended

"...For sheer entertainment, this wonderful show can't be beat. It tells an unabashedly romantic story, set against the City of Lights, and made even more magical by the Gershwins' lush score. This multi Tony Award-winning musical is sure to be embraced by every theatre fanatic, as well as all those devotees of classic film. It features superb choreography and singing, performed by a phenomenally talented cast and surrounded by gorgeous sets and costumes. Audiences are guaranteed to leave the theatre humming songs like "They Can't Take That Away From Me," "I'll Build a Stairway to Paradise," "But Not For Me" and "I've Got Rhythm." Who could ask for anything more? This is simply a Gershwin-ner of a production."
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Colin Douglas


Chicagoland Theater Reviews - Highly Recommended

"...Much of the show’s narrative energy comes from Nick Spangler as Henri, Etai Benson as Adam, and Emily Ferranti as Milo. I especially enjoyed Ferranti, who took a character that potentially could have been an off-putting rich girl man-eater, giving us a woman of some complexity and credible feeling. Plus she can sing and dance as well as act (the same being true of Spangler and Benson). Gayton Scott does well as Henri’s starchy and acerbic mother, adding a bit of comic drollery to the dialogue."

Dan Zeff


Chicagoland Musical Theatre - Somewhat Recommended

"...So the question becomes whether it is better to shoot for pure spectacle and paint the world in broad, bright pastel strokes, as the original did, or to inject it with some of the darkness to make the aesthetic beauty shine that much more brightly, even if that added darkness seems to call for a more nuanced conclusion than a musical romance can deliver while staying on theme. The answer is a matter of individual taste, up to each audience member to decide."
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Bryson David Hoff


Third Coast Review - Recommended

"...If you enjoy dance, this show is for you. If you don't, it may still be the best way to enjoy ballet and modern dance without seeing an entire show at the Joffrey. My last tidbit is that I wish the story had a slightly more feminist-friendly outcome. I didn't LOVE that Lise had little say in her future-but I'll let you decide for yourself if this is perhaps my own take, or whether it's just the show remaining true to its original roots and reality of its time period. Overall, head out to the Oriental Theatre and add a little art and culture to your Chicago summer night!"
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Andrea Palm


Picture This Post - Recommended

"...These are lovable characters, but it’s Paris that we come to love more. With a dash of Folies Bergères, a story that reaches back to the valiance of the French resistance during World War II, and caricatures of French snobbishness that we Americans seem to love, we are in France without need for a passport."
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Amy Munice


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