An American in Paris
The Oscar-winning film made its Broadway debut in 2015, earning praise for its romanticism and choreography. For the show’s 2019 regional debut at Ogunquit Playhouse, a full-stage turntable enabled fluid staging and effortless scene changes, trading the spare visual approach of the Broadway version for a more opulent experience. Music Theatre Wichita purchased the scenery and properties, and added more than 300 stunning costumes, closer in spirit to the lush designs of the movie than to the geometric patterns of the Broadway version. MTWichita also commissioned ingenious projections which evoke Paris in the post-War era, while also providing a window into the artistic dreams and abilities of its leading character.
The Music Theatre Wichita package for An American in Paris features an elegant stage design by David L. Arsenault, which was originally utilized on a full-stage turntable (at Ogunquit Playhouse and Music Theatre Wichita), although the design will also work on a standard stage floor.
Movement: Flying units / rolling units actor motivated
Offstage space: 14’ SR / SL
Number of Trucks: * 2-53’ air-rides
# Line sets used: 22 (Portal Lines Married)
Load-in crew: 8-carp / 2-elec / 2-props / 3-fly
Load-in time: 10+
Show crew: 2-carp / 2-elec / 2-props
Fly crew: 2
*See Space requirements for Logistic requirements
Supported cast: 7-principal / 13-male / 12-female
Principal size range: Dancer sizes-small to large
# Ensemble Bottoms: Specific to above numbers
# Ensemble Tops: Specific to above numbers
More than 300 colorful costumes — closer in feel to the 1951 MGM film than to the more abstract Broadway / London design — bring the post-World War II era to vivid life, and were designed by George T. Mitchell. The final ballet in this production evokes the feel of Vincente Minnelli’s climactic ballet in the film, with a variety of picturesque French characters supporting the leading lady (Lise Dassin) and her leading man (Jerry Mulligan). To accommodate the ballet, there are also costumes for Jerry’s rival Henri, as well as dance-doubles for both Jerry and Henri.
Offstage space: Minimal
# of road boxes: 2
Furniture: Travels loose, and few boxes
Specialty Items: Piano (non working)
Individual items for rent: None
The design has been vibrantly enhanced with a series of projected illustrations, backdrops, and animated figures designed by Michael Commendatore, which were projected from both front of house and from backstage.