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Leslie Caron to star in ‘Six Dance Lessons’ at Laguna Playhouse

Leslie Caron in 2003.
(Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times)

Leslie Caron has danced with some of Hollywood’s greatest performers, including Gene Kelly and Fred Astaire. It’s been years since the French film legend has danced on the big screen, but Caron, who starred in “An American in Paris” and “Gigi,” will take to the dance floor again this fall in a production of “Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks” at the Laguna Playhouse.

Caron will play the role of Lily Harrison, a retired woman who hires a dance instructor to give her private lessons. “Six Dance Lessons” is scheduled to run at Laguna Dec. 7-29, with preview performances beginning Nov. 26.

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The two-person play, written by Richard Alfieri, debuted in 2001 at the Geffen Playhouse with Uta Hagen and David Hyde Pierce. It has since been produced by theater companies around the world.

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The Laguna Playhouse’s production will be directed by Michael Arabian, who helmed “Waiting for Godot” last year at the Mark Taper Forum. Casting for the role of the dance instructor hasn’t been announced.

Ann E. Wareham, artistic director at Laguna Playhouse, said in a phone interview that she had met Caron socially when she worked at Center Theatre Group. She said Arabian has a friend in Paris who also knows the actress.

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“We approached her through this friend. and she was very enthusiastic about it,” Wareham said.

Caron began her career in ballet before making her feature film debut in “An American in Paris” in 1951. She went on to receive Oscar nominations for “Lili” and “The L-Shaped Room.” In 2010, Caron appeared in a Paris production of “A Little Night Music.”

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