A New Mexican in Paris: An American in Paris through the eyes of a 15-year-old (Review)


Sara Esty and Garen Scribner in An American in Paris. Photo by Matthew Murphy.

The touring company of An American in Paris made its way to New Mexico and they did not disappoint. Because of its elaborate, but simple, background sets and beautiful abstract ballet choreography, it was truly a sight to see!

The show follows Jerry, played by McGee Maddox, an American soldier who decides to stay in Paris after the end of World War II. He falls in love with a young ballet dancer who is also the dream girl for the soldier’s two friends. The rest of the play is about the quarrels the three friends have while all working on the same ballet that the woman was chosen to star in. I was very excited with the musical because it had a beautiful score that was composed by George Gershwin and amazing songs written by Ira Gershwin. The orchestra performed beautifully and the actors' voices were amazing. The sets were very simple, but still able to provide an elaborate result that made it special. There weren't any curtains for them to close and open to a new scene. The actors moved in and out of the sets like it was part of the choreography. It was quick and created an amazing interaction with the actors.

The choreography was new to me, I have only been exposed to classical ballet, so this style of ballet mixed with a hint of modern was strange but exciting. This is especially true when talking about the main female role Lise, played by Allison Walsh. Walsh was amazing - her ballet was beautiful, her form was perfect, and her voice was phenomenal. Without her contribution, this musical probably wouldn't be the same. This is the same for the male leading role, who was played by McGee. His form wasn’t as strong as Walsh, but it was still elegant and graceful. He brought a fun and happy tone to the musical with its turmoil atmosphere.

An American in Paris was sad when it needs it to be sad, happy when it needs to be happy - it had a nice balance. This show was a great experience and I want to thank Popejoy for keeping the theatrical arts alive in Albuquerque.

An American in Paris runs from October 17th until October 22nd. You can learn more and purchase tickets at http://popejoypresents.com/2016-2017-season/an-american-in-paris

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