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Christopher Wheeldon Takes On Gene Kelly and Leslie Caron"An American in Paris" - new Broadway production


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#1 Buddy

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Posted 08 July 2013 - 10:50 AM

An American in Paris
 
"Now, Christopher Wheeldon and the playwright Craig Lucas are adapting the movie for a stage production, with Wheeldon to be both choreographer and director."
 
I love the idea !
 
"The big casting decision for Wheeldon will be choosing who will play the acting/dancing roles of the two leads, Jerry Mulligan, a struggling American artist in Paris (Gene Kelly in the movie) and Lise Bouvier, the young French woman he loves (Leslie Caron)."
 
Any suggestions, anyone, for Casting ?
 
**** Gene Kelly ****
 
For me it's obvious.
 
**** Marcelo Gomes  ****
 
Ekaterina Kondaurova ?  flowers.gif   
 
After what I saw her do at this year's Mariinsky Festival, she could handle this and maybe Garbo as well !
 
(And she even speaks english, something I never thought of all the times that I struggled to get out a sentence in russian telling her how great I think she is.)
 
Natalia Osipova and Ivan Vasiliev -- worth a try.
 
 
(thanks to BalletcoForum)


#2 abatt

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Posted 08 July 2013 - 10:56 AM

The idea of doing a Broadway revival of American in Paris has been kicking around for years. In fact, I think that the Wheeldon production of An American in Paris that he did for NYCB started out as Wheeldon's potential draft of the choreography for the show.I'm not sure what kind of shape Damian Woetzel is in at this stage of his life, but he would seem like a strong candidate for the Gene Kelly role.



#3 Buddy

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Posted 08 July 2013 - 11:21 AM

I still go with Marcelo, abatt, and I raise you one -- Carlos Acosta ? 

  

Damian could be fine. I've only seen him once. 

 

 

 

Added:

 

and more Leslie....

 

Alina Cojocaru  flowers.gif

 

Maria Kochetkova, but she'd need a not tall partner.

 

 

and

 

Sylvie Guillem ?

 

 

Gene?

 

and of course   tiphat.gif 

 

 

 

 

or

click lower right for starters:

http://www.rolandosa...dpress/videos/#!/rolando-sarabia



#4 vipa

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Posted 08 July 2013 - 03:22 PM

Robert Fairchild - he was terrific in Who Cares!



#5 ABT Fan

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Posted 08 July 2013 - 04:48 PM

What a fantastic idea!

Gomes and Fairchild definitely. No to Vasiliev. How about Angel Corella? (Even though he's trying to run Barcelona Ballet.)

Osipova yes. Tiler Peck and Sarah Lane too. I think Guillem is too senior.

#6 ABT Fan

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Posted 08 July 2013 - 04:51 PM

Also - Woetzel would have been great a few years ago. I think he may be too senior now and not in tip top shape. But 10 yrs ago, I'd say definitely yes.

#7 bart

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Posted 08 July 2013 - 05:14 PM

Wheeldon would have to reinvent the choreography to a huge extent to make it work for a ballet dancer, even the esteemable Damian Woetzel at his prime.  Assuming that this dancer would also be doing the acting and singing, a decision to hire any of the male ballet dancers mentioned so far would require a major reinvention of the story.  
 
If I were a casting agent I'd be more likely to be thinking along the lines of -- Does Hugh Jackman dance?   Does Rasta Thomas sing?  Does Savion Glover act?
 
As for the female lead, a ballet dancer seems more possible.  (Leslie Caron was one,).  Foreign accent would be a necessity, not a liability.  And they could always fall back on that hoary dance cliche: the culture clash between an American hoofer and a prim but classy ballet girl.  Something like the plot of the pop song "Sk8er Boi" -- "He was a punk; she did ballet" etc. etc.  But that girl didn't get the boy.

#8 Buddy

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Posted 08 July 2013 - 06:09 PM

Hi Bart.
 
You bring up the obvious practical matters. I would guess that this would be about Dance, Wheeldonesque Dance perhaps, and a versatile ballet dancer might be fine. I think that Dance was Gene Kelly's strongest feature. The rest could maybe be finessed. Rex Harrison talked his singing in My Fair Lady.
 
I haven't seen the movie in maybe twenty years so I should really look at it again to comment accurately on what you are saying.
 
Abatt, I had no idea that Christopher Wheeldon did a production of this for NYCB. Maybe you have some ideas about this ?


#9 vipa

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Posted 08 July 2013 - 06:09 PM

Also we are looking at it from the ballet world. There are lots and lots of musical theater performers that I don't know about.



#10 Buddy

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Posted 08 July 2013 - 06:32 PM

Bart and Vipa, I was able to watch the first several minutes of the key, lengthy (15-20 minutes?) dance scene from the movie on internet video. That's all I could find. It looks pretty 'balletic' to me.
 
"His [Gene Kelly] many innovations transformed the Hollywood musical film, and he is credited with almost single-handedly making the ballet form commercially acceptable to film audiences." [I would have to include Fred Astaire in this]
 


#11 ABT Fan

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Posted 08 July 2013 - 06:38 PM

Keith Roberts. Don't know if he can sing but he's got the ballet and Broadway experience.

#12 Jayne

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Posted 08 July 2013 - 07:50 PM

An American in Paris and none of you are casting any POB dancers???



#13 Buddy

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Posted 08 July 2013 - 09:23 PM

From many choices, Myriam Ould Braham. I don't know if she speaks english.



#14 pherank

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Posted 08 July 2013 - 09:31 PM



An American in Paris and none of you are casting any POB dancers???

 

I feel your pain - I kept waiting for an actual US dancer to be mentioned.  ;)

At least one of the casts should be US and French to get the right spirit going. That said, I'm going to nominate the Aussie Steven McRae, for his great Broadway feel.

 



#15 dirac

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Posted 09 July 2013 - 09:51 AM

Professor Higgins' numbers in "My Fair Lady" are designed for a non-singer, though, Buddy. The Gershwin score will require someone with pipes. Wheeldon will probably redo most or all of the choreography, perhaps with a nod or two here and there to the original.  The Kelly role doesn't require a ballet dancer, but much will depend on the demands of Wheeldon's choreography.  Jerry definitely needs to be played by an American if at all possible, unless, as bart says, they rework the story considerably. The big ballet at the end of the movie was created for the cinema and not the stage, and the visual effects are at least as important as the dancing, which is in short segments with frequent cuts - not necessarily inappropriate for Gershwin's score, which lacks unity. 

 

Another potentially important singing/dancing role is that played by Georges Guétary, who had the big "Stairway to Paradise" number in the movie. No ballet dancer required there, either. (French accent, yes.)

 

A link  to what some Ballet Alerters had to say about the Wheeldon choreography for NYCB.




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