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It’s Bonjour, Broadway For ‘An American in Paris’ Musical

The brewing stage adaptation of the 1951 MGM movie-musical “An American in Paris” has booked its Broadway home, scheduling a spring 2015 opening at the Palace Theater, which is soon to be vacated by Tupac Shakur musical “Holler If Ya Hear Me.”

As the latest stage production from a global team of producers, the incoming show serves as another example of the growing internationalism of the Broadway business model. The musical will have its world premiere at Paris’ Theatre du Chatelet this fall prior to its move to New York.

Ballet dancer and choreographer Christopher Wheeldon will direct and choreograph. Craig Lucas, who also wrote the script for the “King Kong” musical that will eventually swing toward Broadway, pens the book, with music drawn largely from the film score by George and Ira Gershwin.

“American in Paris” hails from a transatlantic producing team led by Pittsburgh CLO (Van Kaplan) and Theatre du Chatelet (Jean-Luc Choplin), by special arrangement with U.S. company Elephant Eye Theatrical (Stuart Oken, Michael Leavitt and Five Cent Prods.). “Rocky,” which premiered in Hamburg, Germany, before landing on Broadway, also came from a global group of producers; even the current resident of the Palace, “Holler If Ya Hear Me,” had the ambitious Korean producer Chunsoo Shin on board.

Broadway’s increasing internationalism comes as producers and presenters abroad have taken note of the global success of musical theater titles including “The Phantom of the Opera” and “The Lion King,” and have started to crave their own piece of the pie.

An American in Paris,” which opens its limited run at Theatre du Chatelet in December, begins its Broadway engagement with a  March 13 start for previews, prior to an April 12 opening. The booking leaves the 1,700-seat Palace dark through the fall, although there’s always a possibility that the Nederlander Organization, which owns the Palace, could schedule a short run of another show there in the meantime.

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