By Adam Hetrick
30 May 2008
Three-time Tony nominee Harry Groener (Crazy for You) stars opposite Kerry O'Malley (Into the Woods) as the central couple in Ken Ludwig's theatrical adaptation of the 1951 film.
Ludwig (Crazy for You, Lend Me a Tenor) previously informed Playbill.com that the stage adaptation is "a new American musical in its own right," describing the work as a behind-the-scenes look at the making of a fictional 1950's movie entitled "An American in Paris." In Ludwig's adaptation, Groener stars as Parisian music-hall star Michel Gerard, who fails to arrive for filming of a new Hollywood musical in which he is set to appear. As filming in Paris is halted, the film's producer sends his reluctant secretary, Rebecca Klemm (O'Malley), to locate the missing leading man.
The Gershwins' An American in Paris boasts a line-up of Broadway musical regulars including Felicia Finley (The Wedding Singer) as Hollywood starlet Hermia Chase; Jeffry Denman (The Producers) as Preston, the young Hollywood movie executive; Meredith Patterson (42nd Street) as Yvette; Stephen DeRosa (Hairspray) as Hamish; Alix Korey (The Wild Party) as Hilda; and Ron Orbach as film producer Louis Goldman.
The American in Paris ensemble includes Jeremy Benton, Sara Brians, Sae La Chin, Erin Crouch, Lianne Marie Dobbs, Michael Thomas Holmes, Drew Humphrey, James, Matthew Kirk, Tony Lawson, Alison Levenberg, Joseph Medeiros, Shannon M. O’Bryan, James Patterson, Wes Pope, Benjie Randall, Kristen J. Smith, JD Webster and Kristen Beth Williams.
The stage production features many of the film's original songs, while incorporating such Gershwin gems as "They All Laughed," "'S Wonderful," "Let's Call the Whole Thing Off" and "Love Walked In."
While future plans are not yet solidified, Ludwig has hinted that The Gershwins' An American in Paris is looking toward a Broadway bow following its Houston premiere.
The creative team includes Alley artistic director Gregory Boyd at the helm, as well as choreographer Randy Skinner (42nd Street), set designer Doug Schmidt, lighting designer Paul Gallo and costume designer Carrie F. Robbins. Rob Berman — of the City Center Encores! series — serves as musical supervisor with orchestrations by three-time Tony Award winner Doug Besterman (The Producers, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Fosse) and Larry Blank (Drowsy Chaperone).
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.