Put on your tap shoes and your toe shoes, just not at the same time, to experience the sheer joy of the dance. Thanks to George and Ira Gershwin, prepare to be transported to the city of lights, the residence of romance, the place where love blooms behind every bush and begonia. World War Ii has ended and the world is ripe for dreams to come true.
Come get ready to be enchanted as the national tour of "An American in Paris" with book by Craig Lucas, begins its engagement at the Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts from Tuesday, November 15 to Sunday, November 20.
Jerry Mulligan (Garen Scribner) is happy to shed his soldier's uniform and take up residency in Paris now that the war is over. He wants to paint just as much as his friend and fellow veteran Adam Hochberg (Etai Benson) desires to write music and wealthy Henri Baurel, (Nick Spangler)a Frenchman, would like to be a famous song and dance man. The trio have high hopes for a happy future, now that the atrocities of war are finally over.
For Jerry, a chance meeting with two women is about to change his life in remarkable directions. He is intrigued by the lovely French ballerina, Lisa Dassin, (Sara Esty) whom he is immediately attracted to on sight. With bittersweet regrets, Jerry soon realizes that he and Adam have been encouraging Henri to propose to Lisa, now forcing her to make a difficult decision.
Lisa loves Jerry, but she feels an obligation to marry Henri because it is his family who saved her life during the conflict. At the same time, Jerry becomes an object of fascination for a rich and determined art patron, Milo Davenport, (Emily Ferranti). who wants to help him succeed by advancing his career in the right corners of the city. How will Jerry balance the needs and wants of the two women in his life? Will Henri win the woman of his heart or will he yield his place to another? Will each man achieve his personal dream of achievement?
With glorious tunes like "I Got Rhythm," "S'Wonderful," "But Not For Me," and "I'll Build a Stairway to Paradise," plus a fully staged and brilliant ballet, this award winning musical has bouquets of bountiful beauty to offer. Christopher Wheeldon directs this homage to hope and triumph of spirit.
For tickets ($25.50 and up), call the Bushnell, 166 Capitol Avenue, Hartford at 860-987-5900 or online at www.bushnell.org. Performances are Tuesday to Thursday at 7:30 p.m.,Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. and Sunday at 1 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.
Your feet will clearly have wings as you take this flight of fancy on that fascinating stairway straight to paradise.