The incomparable Gene Kelly, this Loon’s dance idol, choreographed and starred in the film version of An American in Paris in 1951. He received an honorary Academy Award “in appreciation of his versatility as an actor, singer, director and dancer, and specifically for his brilliant achievements in the art of choreography on film.” for his efforts, not to mention that the film won six Academy Awards, including Best Picture.
Skip ahead to 2015, when a stage version of An American in Paris, choreographed and directed by one of this generation’s most renowned choreographers, Christopher Wheeldon, opened on Broadway. It garnered 12 Tony nominations, including for Best Musical, and went on to win Best Choreography for Mr. Wheeldon as well as three other awards.
Since its inception, An American in Paris has featured top-notch dancers performing the top-notch choreography. Robert Fairchild, at the time a principal dancer with the New York City Ballet, originated the Gene Kelly role onstage. In the touring production playing at the Princess of Wales Theatre through April 29, former National Ballet of Canada principal dancer McGee Maddox takes the lead. If you loved the movie, you’ll probably love the stage production.
April is a good month for fans of musical theatre in Toronto. Fun Home, which also garnered 12 Tony nominations in 2015 and ultimately beat out An American in Paris for Best Musical, opens at the CAA Theatre mid-month.
And the Canadian musical phenomenon, Come From Away, continues playing to sold out houses. Note that Mirvish now offers 16 standing room tickets at the back of the orchestra for each performance. They are available to purchase in person only on a first-come, first-served basis at the theatre’s box office for that day’s performance. If you’re lucky enough to score standing room tickets, tell us what you thought of the view here.
Opera Atelier is at the Elgin Theatre with Monteverdi’s “tale of tragedy and love for the ages”, the deeply moving The Return of Ulysses.
Onstage at the Four Seasons Centre, The Canadian Opera Company is reviving The Nightingale and Other Short Fables this month. “A blending of exquisite visuals, whimsical puppetry, and emotional storytelling”, this program sold out during its original world premiere run in Toronto.
The Toronto Symphony Orchestra is presenting a wide variety of concerts, including The Animated Orchestra. Part of the TSO’s Young People’s Concerts series, it was created especially for children ages 5-12 and looks like great fun. Which seats at Roy Thomson Hall do you recommend for kids? Leave a review here.
The listings above provide just a very small sampling of the great theatre, music and dance happening in Toronto in April. Which show(s) did you enjoy seeing? Please share your thoughts and recommendations below and if you were at one of Toronto’s large theatres, don’t forget to review your seat on our Homepage.