Lied Center features Tony Award-winning musical, ‘An American in Paris’

A winner of six Oscars, Vincente Minnelli’s 1951 film “An American in Paris” is hailed as an iconic movie musical. Now, fans of the Gene Kelly-led classic can enjoy a Tony-winning stage adaptation of the film when the national tour arrives at the Lied Center for Performing Arts for two performances this weekend.

Set in post-World War II Paris, the show follows veteran Jerry Mulligan, an American who tries to succeed as a painter. His world is turned upside down when he falls in love with a young French woman named Lise, having to compete for her affections as he tries to start a new life in a new country.

The stage play is adapted directly from the film version and is known for its dazzling choreography and visuals. It also features the iconic music of George and Ira Gershwin, including classic songs like “I Got Rhythm” and “Liza.” The 2015 original Broadway production was nominated for 12 Tony Awards and won four, including Outstanding Choreography and Outstanding Orchestrations.

Matthew Boring, associate director of Marketing and Patron Development for the Lied Center, said audiences can expect a dynamic mix of incredible choreography and soaring music.

“It’s almost like seeing a ballet and Broadway show mixed together,” Boring said. “Fans of the movie will also see many iconic things from that translated onto the stage, with a classic soundtrack that people will really recognize.”

When the Lied Center is putting its seasons together, Boring said a focus is put on bringing in award-winning shows. Two shows from this season, “An American in Paris” and January’s “Bandstand,” both won the Tony Award for Outstanding Choreography — which Boring said fits the center’s vision for attracting the best shows possible to the area.

“Our goal every year is to add Tony Award winners,” he said. “In the spring, we’re having two shows back-to-back that won [Outstanding Choreography]. Having two shows like that in one season is rare.”

“An American in Paris” will be performed on Feb. 8 at 7:30 p.m. and Feb. 9 at 2 p.m. Tickets can be purchased online or at the Lied Center box office.