Review: AN AMERICAN IN PARIS at Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre

Dancing Takes Center Stage at Beef & Boards

By: Apr. 05, 2023
Review: AN AMERICAN IN PARIS at Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre
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If you love dancing, have I got a show for you! An American in Paris is on stage for the first time at Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre. Many will recognize the story from the Oscar-winning 1951 film of the same name. The familiar Gershwin score and songs are lovely and "They Can't Take That Away From Me" is a particularly beautiful moment in the show.

The love story hasn't aged as well as the music. Three different men claim to be in love with the lead, Lise, but not even one of them seems to make any effort to get to know her. Each one sees her as an exquisite creature but never seems to care about what she wants. That's a plot flaw, but not a problem with this specific production.

Ron Morgan pulls double duty as both the director and the choreographer and his focus is clear. Each scene is filled to the brim with dance numbers that cover every inch of the stage. Both the plot and musical numbers take a backseat. Jill Kelly Howe and Kathy Henry's costume design is excellent. The many evening gowns brought a gorgeous layer to the production.

So much of the story is about restraint and grief clouding each character's ability to follow their passions. Because of that much of the show feels like it's missing something. It's not until the final scenes that we see the Parisians let those barriers down and embrace the things that make their hearts sing. That's when the real spark happens. The exception is the overly confident American, Jerry Mulligan, played by Jon Rose. You're never in doubt that he's following his bliss. Tiffany Gilliam gives a standout performance as Madam Baurel. She conveys the character's strict reserved nature while giving her layers of warmth underneath.

There's a line towards the end of the show about art being a celebration of life. An American in Paris certainly embraces that. Though some of the plot feels dated, it is full of joy and beauty and so much dancing!

Don't Miss the Show

Performances: An American in Paris runs until May 14th.

Tickets: To purchase tickets call (317) 872-9664 between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. Prices range from $52 to $79 and include the show, tax, coffee, tea, and the buffet.

Up next at Beef & Boards is Beauty and the Beast, opening May 18th.

Photos courtesy of Beef & Boards


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