Tony-nominated playwright Ken Ludwig – who confirmed casting for the new musical – is currently at work adapting the 1951 Academy Award-winning film for the stage, in a treatment which takes a behind-the-scenes look at the making of a fictional 1950's MGM movie entitled "An American in Paris."
In Ludwig's adaptation, Parisian music hall star Michel Gerard (Groener) fails to arrive for filming of a new MGM musical in which he is set to star. As filming in Paris is halted, Louis B. Mayer sends his reluctant Hollywood secretary, Rebecca Klemm (Dilly), to Paris in order to locate the missing star.
Ludwig has created new characters for the stage work, which will also star Felicia Finley and Jeffry Denman. The musical introduces Finley as Hermia Chase, who Ludwig describes as "a tough, glamorous Hollywood starlet who was born in Brooklyn and tries to sound like Greer Garson." Denman, according to Ludwig, will portray a character akin to Cosmo from "Singin' in the Rain."
Many of the film's original songs have been retained, with Ludwig adding the Gershwin tunes "They All Laughed," "The Man I Love," "Let's Call the Whole Thing Off," "Love Walked In," and the film's centerpiece, the 18-minute "An American in Paris" ballet.
Alley Theatre artistic director Gregory Boyd stages the new musical, with a Tony-nominated creative team including choreographer Randy Skinner (42nd Street), set designer Doug Schmidt, lighting designer Paul Gallo and costume designer Carrie F. Robbins. City Center Encores' Rob Berman serves as musical director with orchestrations by three-time Tony Award winner Doug Besterman (The Producers, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Fosse). Rehearsals for The Gershwins' An American in Paris begin March 11 in New York City, prior to an April 26 world premiere at Houston's Alley Theatre. The production officially opens May 18 and plays a limited engagement through June 1.
Tickets are available by visiting www.alleytheatre.org or by calling (713) 220-5700.
The Alley Theatre is located at 615 Texas Avenue in Houston, TX.