American in Paris Stage Musical Still in Development Following December Reading

News   American in Paris Stage Musical Still in Development Following December Reading Following a December reading in New York City, the planned stage version of the famed movie musical "An American in Paris" remains "a work in progress," with no full production yet on the horizon.

Following a December reading in New York City, the planned stage version of the famed movie musical "An American in Paris" remains "a work in progress," with no full production yet on the horizon.

Jerry Zaks directed the 2001 reading and is likely to have another go at the text in the coming months. Playwright Wendy Wasserstein continues to work on the book, according to a spokesperson for the writer.

At one time, the show was tentatively projected for the 1999 2000 season. According to the current Theatrical Index, the producers include Clear Channel Entertainment, Jujamcyn Theaters and The Frankel/Viertel/Baruch/Routh Group.

Christopher Wheeldon is attached to the project as choreographer. Wheeldon's work can currently be seen in Broadway's Sweet Smell of Success.

Marc Gershwin, co-trustee of the Gershwin Family Trust — and the son of Arthur Gershwin and nephew to George and Ira — previously told Playbill On-Line that the musical would draw its inspiration from the original musical composition and not the 1951 Gene Kelly-Vincente Minnelli movie. Presumably, songs from the Gershwin canon would be incorporated into the show. "The history of going from movie to stage is not always great," said Gershwin. "And the story is somewhat dated. Definitely, we want to create a new book. The idea would be to update it."

George Gershwin wrote the jazzy instrumental piece, An American in Paris, in 1928 while visiting friends in the City of Light. He would often stroll the streets listening for just the right taxi horns to incorporate into the piece. The composition was first performed on Dec. 13, 1928, at Carnegie Hall, conducted by Walter Damrosch.

— By Robert Simonson