Vincente Minnelli shot the bulk of his 1951 movie “An American in Paris” on soundstages in Culver City. For the long-gestating stage-musical version of the classic film, producers have chosen Paris itself for the big premiere.
“An American in Paris” is scheduled to debut at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris in December 2014, organizers have announced. The English-language production -- which will be directed by ballet veteran Christopher Wheeldon -- is aiming for a Broadway run in the spring of 2015.
Gene Kelly starred in and choreographed the original movie, which featured songs by George and Ira Gershwin. The new version will also features songs by the Gershwins. The estates of the famous songwriters have licensed their music over the years to such notable productions as “Crazy for You” and the recent “The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess.”
“An American in Paris” won six Academy Awards, including best picture. (It turned Leslie Caron, then an ingenue from France, into a box office star.) The new version, adapted from the movie by Craig Lucas, will be directed and choreographed by Wheeldon, with the assistance of Broadway veteran Bartlett Sher, who is being credited as a “creative consultant.”
The Théâtre du Châtelet, under the leadership of Jean-Luc Choplin, has been attempting to bring more American-style musicals to France, which traditionally has not embraced the musical art form.
Other backers of the musical are the Pittsburgh CLO and Elephant Eye Theatrical.
Caron was scheduled to appear later this year in a production of the play "Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks” at the Laguna Playhouse. But the production has been postponed until 2014 due to scheduling problems, the company said.