I have probably seen every Fred Astaire-Ginger Rogers movie at least 10 times, probably more. The King and I, South Pacific, On The Town, Singing In the Rain, Can Can, The Music Man, The Sound of Music...I could go on and on and on. Coming home from school my first thought was what was playing on the 4 o'clock movie, hoping for a musical. During the Summer when there was no school, my friend Maria and I would stay up until all kinds of hours watching the late night movie on PBS, which a lot of times turned out to be a musical. I never ever tire of them. Nothing could transport you for a couple of hours to a magical place where people just broke into song and dance on a whim and there was always a happy ending.
For some strange reason I always resisted "An American in Paris". I think I thought it was some dreary movie about some guy trying to speak French and it was in black and white and it had something to do with war. Then one day there it was on PBS in the late Saturday night movie and my lonely little night owl 10 year old self was wide awake and bored and so I watched...and fell in love. It is perfect. The music, the setting, the cinematography, the costumes, the singing, the dancing, the dancing, the dancing. It is magic.
So imagine my pure delight when poring over my Sunday New York Times a few months ago I read that "An American in Paris" was being mounted into a Broadway musical! I immediately signed up for ticket alerts and once they came bought two for a preview performance which was this past Friday. All day long I fidgeted, couldn't wait to get going, then once in the theater I couldn't believe how perfect our seats were and I was nervous. What if it wasn't any good, what if they couldn't sing (the principals are ballet dancers), what if they couldn't act, what if my perfect fantasy would be deflated forever? And then it started.
Immediately my face broke into a smile, which stayed there during the entire show and I was 10 years old again watching it for the very first time and being transported to another place...
...just where I want to be.