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AN AMERICAN IN PARIS to Open on Broadway Spring, 2015; World Premiere in Paris at Theatre du Chatelet in Dec 2014

A New Musical Based on the Academy Award-Winning MGM Film

AN AMERICAN IN PARIS

World Premiere at Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris, France
PRIOR TO BROADWAY 

Featuring Music and Lyrics by GEORGE GERSHWIN AND IRA GERSHWIN

Book by CRAIG LUCAS

Directed and Choreographed by CHRISTOPHER WHEELDON

The new musical, AN AMERICAN IN PARIS, has targeted Broadway for the spring of 2015 following its world premiere in December, 2014 at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris.  It will be directed and choreographed by Christopher Wheeldon, making his Broadway directing debut. Featuring music and lyrics by George Gershwin and Ira Gershwin and a book by Tony and Pulitzer Prize nominee Craig Lucas, the creative team also includes Tony Award winners Bob Crowley (sets and costumes), Natasha Katz (lighting) and Scott Lehrer (sound) with a musical score adapted and supervised by Rob FisherBartlett Sher is creative consultant.  Based on the Academy Award winning film inspired by the 1928 orchestral composition by George Gershwin, AN AMERICAN IN PARIS brings this classic tale to Broadway for the first time.

Eager to begin his life anew after the brutality of combat, World War II Army veteran Jerry Mulligan chooses newly-liberated Paris as the place to make a name for himself as a painter.  With the assistance of fellow ex-pat Milo Davenport, a wealthy American with a past she wishes to forget, Jerry’s life becomes complicated when he meets Lise, a young Parisian shop girl with her own secret.  Soon it becomes clear that Jerry’s friends—Adam, a Jewish American composer, and Henri, a Parisian aristocrat—also vie for Lise’s love.  This romantic tangle can only be untied through the miracle of dance set to some of the greatest music and lyrics ever written.  A classic American film about young souls in Paris has been reimagined for the Broadway stage of the 21st century.

The producers are The Pittsburgh CLO (Van Kaplan) and Théâtre du Châtelet (Jean-Luc Choplin) by special arrangement with Elephant Eye Theatrical (Stuart Oken, Michael Leavitt and Five Cent Productions).

“We’re incredibly fortunate to present a new adaptation of one of the most iconic movie musicals of all time,” said producers Van Kaplan, Jean-Luc Choplin and Stuart Oken.   “Our creative team, led by Christopher Wheeldon, has taken a fresh approach to a story audiences have enjoyed for generations about life in post-war Paris and come up with something we believe will have surprising depth and resonance,” they add.  “This material also provides an ideal opportunity for US and Paris based producers to share development and production of a show with a unique history and meaning to both countries.” 

“I am thrilled to have been trusted with the great Gershwin property that is An American In Paris,” said Christopher Wheeldon. “We are all looking forward to building on its storied history and bringing a fresh perspective for today’s audiences.  Who could wish for a more glorious first Broadway show to direct, and for a more exciting first opening than in Paris.”

AN AMERICAN IN PARIS will be presented at Théâtre du Châtelet in English featuring the 26-member Broadway cast with a score including the songs “I Got Rhythm,” “S’Wonderful,” “But Not For Me,” “Stairway to Paradise,” “Our Love Is Here To Stay”, “They Can’t Take That Away” and orchestral music including “Concerto in F,” “2nd Prelude,” “2nd Rhapsody” and “An American In Paris.”

BIOGRAPHIES

GEORGE GERSHWIN (Composer) was born in Brooklyn in 1898 and began his musical training at 13. At 16 he quit high school to work for a music publisher, and soon was writing songs himself. The Gershwins’ shows include Lady Be Good; Oh, Kay!; Strike Up the Band; Girl Crazy; and the Pulitzer Prize-winning Of Thee I Sing. George’s classical masterpieces include “Rhapsody in Blue,” “Concerto in F,” “An American in Paris” and “Second Rhapsody.” In the late ’20s George became fascinated by the DuBose Heyward novel, Porgy. The folk opera Porgy and Bess had its Broadway premiere in October of 1935. In 1937 George was at the height of his career. While working on the score of The Goldwyn Follies in Hollywood, he collapsed and died of a brain tumor. He was not quite 39 years old.

IRA GERSHWIN (Lyricist), 1896-1983, was the first songwriter to be awarded the Pulitzer Prize. In 1918 with The Real American Folk Song (Is a Rag), he began a remarkable collaboration with his younger brother, George. Their Lady Be Good, a 1924 hit, became the first of their more than 20 scores for stage and screen (he was nominated for three Academy Awards), including the opera Porgy and Bess. His collaborations with George, as well as with Vincent Youmans, Harold Arlen, Vernon Duke, Kurt Weill, Jerome Kern, Aaron Copland, Harry Warren, Arthur Schwartz and Burton Lane, set a new standard for the American musical theatre.

CHRISTOPHER WHEELDON (Director & Choreographer) joined New York City Ballet in 1993 and was promoted to Soloist in 1998.  He served as NYCB’s first-ever Artist in Residence in 2000/01 and was named NYCB’s first Resident Choreographer in July 2001. Since then he has choreographed at least one ballet a year for NYCB. Outside the ballet world, he choreographed Dance of the Hours for the Metropolitan Opera’s production of Ponchiellia’s La Gioconda (2006), as well as ballet sequences for the feature film Center Stage (2000) and Sweet Smell of Success on Broadway (2002). In 2007, Wheeldon founded Morphoses/The Wheeldon Company. In 2009, Wheeldon worked with Richard Eyre on a production of the opera Carmen at the Metropolitan Opera House and in 2010 his new version of The Sleeping Beauty had its premiere with The Royal Danish Ballet. His new full-length ballet Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland was created for The Royal Ballet and given its premiere at the Royal Opera House in February 2011.  In May 2011, Wheeldon created Thirteen Diversions for American Ballet Theatre and, in January 2012, Les Carrillons  as part of an all Wheeldon evening at the NYCB. His awards include the Martin E. Segal Award from Lincoln Center, the American Choreography Award, a Dance Magazine Award, the London Critic’s Circle Award for best new ballet for Polyphonia, and two Olivier awards, most recently for Aeternum choreographed in January 2013 for the Royal Ballet. Mr. Wheeldon’s recent production of Cinderella won the 2013 Benois De La Danse.

CRAIG LUCAS (Book) is author of the plays Missing Persons, Reckless, Blue Window, Prelude to a Kiss (Obie Award for Best Play; Tony nomination & Pulitzer finalist), God's Heart, The Dying Gaul, Stranger, Small Tragedy (Obie Award for Best Play), The Singing Forest, Prayer for My Enemy and The Lying Lesson. Screenplays include Blue Window, Longtime Companion (Sundance Audience Award), Prelude to a Kiss, Reckless, The Secret Lives of Dentists (New York Film Critics Award for Best Screenplay)and The Dying Gaul. His musical works include Three Postcards (music & lyrics by Craig Carnelia), The Light in the Piazza (Tony nomination; music & lyrics by Adam Guettel), the opera Orpheus in Love (music by Gerald Busby) and the opera Two Boys (music by Nico Muhly). He has provided new English-language adaptations of Strindberg’s Miss Julie, Chekhov’s Three Sisters and Uncle Vanya and Brecht’s Galileo. His directorial work includes the movies The Dying Gaul and Birds of America, the world premiere The Light in the Piazza, the world premiere of Harry Kondoleon’s last play, Saved or Destroyed (Obie Award for directing), the New York premiere of Kondoleon’s Play Yourself as well as his own play (co-authored with David Schulner) This Thing of Darkness. He has also received the Excellence in Literature Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Laura Pels Mid-Career Achievement Award from PEN American Center, NEA Fellowship(s), a Rockefeller Fellowship and a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship.

BOB CROWLEY (Set and Costume Design).  Theatre includes The History Boys (National Theatre; Broadway, Tony Award), Les Liaisons Dangereuses and The Plantagenets (RSC, Olivier Award), Don Carlos (Met), Pavane and Anastasia (RoyalBallet), La Traviata (ROH), Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (Royal Ballet, Canada).  Current/upcoming Broadway:  Aladdin, The Glass Menagrie, Once (Tony), The Coast of Utopia (Tony), Carousel (Tony), Aida (Tony), Tarzan, Mary Poppins (Tony), The Year of Magical Thinking. Recipient of the Royal Designerfor Industry Award and the Robert L. B.Tobin Award for Lifetime Achievement inTheatrical Design.

NATASHA KATZ (Lighting Design) has designed extensively for theater, opera, and dance. Current/upcoming Broadway:  Aladdin, The Glass Menagerie, Once (Tony Award).  Recent Broadway:  Follies, Sister Act, The Addams Family, The Little Mermaid, The Coast of Utopia: Salvage (Tony Award), A Chorus Line (revival), Spelling Bee, Tarzan, Aida (Tony Award) and Beauty and the Beast. Opera/dance/other include: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (Royal Ballet), Cinderella (Dutch National Ballet), Buried Child (National Theatre, London), Cyrano (the Met), Carnival of the Animals (NYCB), Swan Lake (Edinburgh Festival). Concert acts: Shirley MacLaine, Ann-Margret and Tommy Tune. Permanent lighting installations: Niketown NYC and London and the Big Bang at the Museum of Natural History in NYC.

SCOTT LEHRER (Sound Design) received the first Tony Award for sound for the Lincoln Center revival of South Pacific and did sound for Mike Nichols’ production of Death of a Salesman (Tony nom.). Recent work: The Guardsman (Kennedy Center), Richard Nelson’s Apple Family plays (The Public), Lucky Guy, Chaplin (Drama Desk), Cotton Club Parade, Women on the Verge, Finian’s Rainbow, A View From the Bridge (Tony nom.), Joe Turner’s Come and Gone (Tony nom.), the current revival of Chicago and 45 City Center Encores. Music projects include Loudon Wainwright’s Grammy winning High Wide and Handsome, Judy Kuhn’s All This Happiness and Meredith Monk’s Mercy.

ROB FISHER (Musical Score Adaptation and Supervision) is an internationally distinguished artistic director, conductor and pianist, is a leading figure in American music and musical theatre. He was founding music director of Encores! (New York City Center) from 1994-2005 and made numerous recordings including the Grammy Award-winning Chicago cast album. He continues to be a regular guest at Encores! In 2007, Fisher was music director of the Hair in Central Park (and music supervisor for its Tony-winning 2009 Broadway run) and led the New York Philharmonic’s acclaimed revival of My Fair Lady.  More recently, he was music supervisor of the Broadway revival of the Tony-winning Anything Goes and in April 2012, conducted a one-night gala performance of The Sound of Music at Carnegie Hall. Besides Encores!, Fisher has a long association with other New York series. For Lincoln Center’s American Songbook, he served as Producer/Music Director creating tributes to the Gershwins, Bernstein and Cole Porter. This season, he will be presenting a program of John Kander songs. Fisher has made nine appearances on the Lyrics & Lyricists series at NY’s 92nd Street Y, usually with his friend Sheldon Harnick as host, reuniting this season to celebrate the influence of W.S. Gilbert. A regular guest conductor for major US orchestras, Fisher collaborates in concert with Patti LuPone, Kristin Chenoweth, Idina Menzel, Victoria Clark, Brian Stokes Mitchell and David Hyde Pierce. Fisher was music director for Garrison Keillor’s American Radio Company and remains a frequent guest on “A Prairie Home Companion.”

BARTLETT SHER (Creative Consultant) Upcoming Broadway:  The Bridges of Madison County. LCT:  Resident director; Golden Boy (Tony nomination), Joe Turner’s Come and Gone (Tony nomination), South Pacific (Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards), Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, Awake and Sing! (Tony nomination), The Light in the Piazza (Tony nomination). Artistic director of Seattle’s Intiman Theatre (2000-2010), credits there include the world premieres of Prayer for My Enemy and Singing Forest by Craig Lucas (both also Long Wharf Theatre) and Nickel and Dimed; plays by Chekhov, Wilder, Shakespeare, Goldoni and Tony Kushner. Opera: The Barber of Seville, The Tales of Hoffman, Le Comte Ory (Metropolitan Opera), Roméo et Juliette (Salzburg Festival), Mourning Becomes Electra (Seattle Opera and New York City Opera). New York: Prayer for My Enemy (Playwrights); Cymbeline (2001 Callaway Award for Best Director; first American Shakespeare at the Royal Shakespeare Company), Waste (2000 Best Play Obie), Don Juan (all TFANA). He is a member of the TCG board.

PITTSBURGH CLO (Producer), founded in 1946, is one of the nation’s leading professional non-profit theatres dedicated to actively creating, preserving and promoting live musical theater.  Fortunate for the support of more than 200,000 patrons, its year-round initiatives include producing a subscription series of six classic Broadway musicals and roster of smaller-scale musicals and plays for the CLO Cabaret;  developing and producing national tours; producing and investing in new works (18 Broadway musicals to date, including last season’s Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella, Kinky Boots and Matilda), and its nationally engaged Construction Center for the Arts. Pittsburgh CLO enriches its community and reaches new audiences through a range of education programs such as the Gallery of Heroes series of original musicals in local schools and theatre arts training for young performers at the Pittsburgh CLO Academy of Musical Theater, CLO Mini Stars, Gene Kelly Awards for Excellence in High School Musical Theater and The National High School Musical Theater Awards, the subject of the 2012 PBS documentary series titled "Broadway or Bust."   Van Kaplan is in his 17th year as the organization's Executive Producer. www.pittsburghclo.org

THẾÂTRE DU CHÂTELET (Producer).  One of the most beautiful theaters located in the heart of Paris with 2000 seats, the Théâtre du Châtelet, has played a major role in the history of music and performing arts for the past 150 years. The Théâtre du Châtelet is a public theatre, and receives a 17,000 000 Euros yearly subsidy from the City of Paris.  In July 2006 Jean-Luc Choplin was appointed General Manager of the Théâtre. He has not only maintained the theatre’s tradition of excellence in lyric and choreographic creations, but also reached a large public by creating international artistic events with daring and freshness.  Jean-Luc Choplin has presented the premieres of many great musicals in full operatic scale at the Châtelet  including West Side Story, On the Town, The Sound of Music, My Fair Lady, A Little Night Music, Sweeney Todd, Sunday in the Park with George, Carousel and this season Into the Woods and The King and I.  It was a great discovery and a huge success which prompted international media to call the Châtelet “Broadway in France.”

www.americaninparisonbroadway.com 

www.chatelet-theatre.com

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Andrew C. McGibbon

 

 

Andrew C. McGibbon has spent the past thirty years working in live theatre as a stage manager, general manager, producer and leader in the convergence of Broadway and online.

Mr. McGibbon worked as a stage manager and general manager for ten years. In 1994 he created a website devoted to live theatre, BroadwayWorld-Wide.com. The site was subsequently bought by, and became Playbill.com. He continued to manage the site for Playbill for four years. In 2000 he became the website manager for TonyAwards.com. With the 2008-09 season he finished his ninth year on the show. He has also worked as a webmaster for the Broadway LeagueJazz at Lincoln Center, and as the Director of Digital Media for the New Jersey Performing Arts Center.

Since 2015, Andrew has been working as an architectural photographer and virtual tour photographer known for his photography of theatres such as the Kimmel Center, Tanglewood, Signature Theatre Company, Roundabout Theatre Company, Arena Stage and the Goodspeed Opera House. His photography work can be previewed at https://andrewmcgibbonphotography.com.

Mr. McGibbon is a member of the American Theatre Critics Association, the Independent Theatre Bloggers AssociationActors' Equity Association and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, as well as the American Society of Media Photographers

In addition to his work in the theatrical industry, Mr. McGibbon is also a partner in Simple Solutions Distributing, a manufacturer of filtration equipment for the waste-water industry.

Photo: Elizabeth Leitzell

 

 

 

Website: www.facebook.com/andrewmcgibbon