An American In Paris

Kirsten Scott and Matthew Scott perform in An American In Paris; photo by Matthew Murphy

An American In Paris comes to Austin for a limited engagement starting Wednesday, May 30th running through Sunday, June 3rd. An American In Paris opening scene shows a Nazi flag torn down and replaced by France's Tricolor flag. The war is over and the people of Paris are reconnecting and celebrating as the set changes with them. You are introduced to an American soldier, Jerry Mulligan, and a French woman, Lise Dassin, as they both want a new beginning after the war. Winning four 2015 Tony Awards with 12 nominations, four Drama Desk Awards, four Outer Critics Circle Awards, the Drama League Award for Best Musical, three Fred and Adele Astaire Awards, and two Theatre World Awards, you know this musical is something to see.

CBS Austin talked with Matthew Scott (pictured above left), who plays Adam Hochberg in An American In Paris. "Adam Hochberg is a Jewish-American composer and soldier who decides to stay in Paris after the Liberation. He wants to create art that reflects the darkness of the war. He falls in love with Lise, a beautiful French Ballerina, and his world is turned upside down," Scott says.

Even though this musical is based on the Academy-Award winning film, Scott says it is different from the film. "Our story takes place immediately after the Liberation. There is a strong sense that the city is just beginning to come back to life. People are emerging from the shadows, beginning to piece their lives back together. Our characters are really grabbling with the struggles of the past four years. Additionally, my character is completely different from the film, though we do tip our hat to Oscar Levant (who played Adam Cook). A love triangle has been added, and of course, the choreography, which is the real star of our show, is entirely different from the film."

"The dancing is beyond anything you will see on stage. Our brilliant Director/Choreographer Christopher Wheeldon has created some of the most stunning ballets for An American In Paris. He is a storyteller by nature, so every bit of dancing advances the plot.

Not only is Scott in this production, but his wife is too, both above. He always didn't get the role right off. Scott told us, "I had been in the mix to play Adam in the original workshops which took place several years ago. The show then did its out of town debut before coming to Broadway. I did not get the role. It of course went to Brandon Uranowitz, who was an absolute genius in the part! When I saw it, it made total sense to me that Brandon was the guy. But I knew I had a different take on the role and was hopeful it might come my way some day in the regional theater. Well, low and behold, I was asked to replace Brandon on Broadway and had the best time of my career bringing my Adam to the NY stage. Nearly a year after closing on Broadway, our producer, Stuart Oaken, asked me and my wife, Kirsten Scott, if we would like to join the National Tour. We of course jumped on the opportunity. Kirsten is amazing in the role of Milo, the American heiress who comes to Paris to be a part of the burgeoning art scene."

Like the movie, the production follows the heart of the timeless music of George Gershwin, drawing on more of his concert music and more of the songs that he wrote with his brother, lyricist Ira Gershwin. Scott commented, "An American In Paris is beyond beautiful. You will be swept up in the story and sit on the edge of your seat watching this thrilling choreography. The music of George and Ira Gershwin has endured for over a half of a century, and you will leave the theatre singing these songs you've known all your life."

Bass Concert Hall

May 30 - June 3, Weekdays at 8pm except on Monday and Tuesday, Saturday 2pm & 8pm, and Sunday 1pm & 7pm

For tickets, call (512) 477-6060 or click here:

Join Texas Performing Arts Campus & Community Engagement and An American in Paris company members for a lunch hour meet and greet on Thursday, May 31st at 11am at the Atria at the Arboretum. It's free and open to the public. Outside food and drink are allowed at this event.

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