Americans In Paris — Making A Come-Back
Remember the film “American in Paris?” — it’s a 1951 Gershwin musical starring Gene Kelly and Leslie Caron. Kelly plays Jerry Mulligan, a penniless young artist who stayed in Paris after his stint as a GI in World War II. He explains the lure of Paris: “And for a painter, the Mecca of the world for study, for inspiration, and for living is here on this ‘star’ called Paris. Just look at it. No wonder so many artists have come here and called it home. Brother, if you can’t paint in Paris, you’d better give up and marry the boss’s daughter.” And he says, too: “Back home everyone said I didn’t have any talent. They might be saying the same thing over here, but it sounds better in French!”
Well, the theme remains the same after all these years for many creatively-inclined Americans…artists, writers and actors. Over the years, it’s been my great fortune to come to know many of them. In spite of the struggles, Paris is their inspiration. Paris is their “star.”
One of these right-brain Americans (from New York) is about to make a come-back as an actress in an exciting and challenging event. “The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams” is an incredibly beautiful classic play full of humor and tenderness, volcanic explosions and tragic pathos. The role she plays is Amanda Wingfield, one of the most complex in American dramatic literature. Played to legendary perfection by Lorette Taylor in the original production, this role has been played by Katherine Hepburn and Helen Hayes among other fine actresses. Amanda is a human kaleidoscope, a cornucopia of strategies providing audiences with a delicious bounty of emotional experiences.
Many people believe that Tennessee used his own familial relationships as inspiration for the play. Elia Kazan (who directed many of Williams’ greatest successes) said of Tennessee: “Everything in his life is in his plays, and everything in his plays is in his life.” The Glass Menagerie won the New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award for best play of the season.
Thanks to Kim Broderick and One World Productions, Madeleine Barchevska, an American living in Paris since 1993 who developed a body-and-mind, art-and-science approach to teaching and learning communication skills and behavioral relationships (“BioArt Theatre Laboratories“) is making her acting come-back as Amanda Wingfield with fellow strong, dynamic and talented cast members Elena Kaufman, Joel Reuben Ganz, Brian Quinn and Andrew Shemin.
It’s been over 10 years since she carried a major role (as Hedda Gabler in New York where Charlene Bletson died in her arms on stage). Now, she says, “It’s like riding a bicycle; it all comes pouring back, but you need the bicycle, which is the public!”
Not to be missed are upcoming performances — Wednesdays November 19 and December 3, Saturdays December 6 and 13, and Thursdays January 15 and 22, 2004, 8 p.m. at One World Actors Theatre, UNESCO, 7 place Fontenoy, 75007 PARIS, France, Métro Ségur. Tickets are 15 Euros each and there is a special rate of 10 Euros for groups of 10. For reservations, call: 01.48.28.09.46 or email and for more information, visit the site
For more upcoming English language theater in Paris…
Comedy with The Improfessionals, Friday, November 28, 8:30 p.m., American Church, 65 Quai D’Orsay, 75007 Paris, Métro Invalides or Alma-Marceau, 9 Euro or 7 Euro. For more information
Play readings in English by Moving Parts with the kind permission of Carr’s Pub & Restaurant, always on Sundays, always at 7:30 p.m., November 23, Christopher Mack’s “Grime.” For more information, visit the site or call Stephanie Campion: 06.14.67.18.58 or 01.44.93.59.72 or email
A la prochaine…
Editor, Parler Paris
E-mail: [email protected]
P.S. Americans in Paris can keep your Paris calendar full. To learn more about upcoming events in English, I know of no better way then to subscribe to newsletters such as this (soon we’ll be launching a new publication that will alert you regularly to these kinds of events). And if you didn’t already mark Sunday, November 16th at 7:30 p.m., do it now! I’ll be speaking about “Finding Your Dream Apartment In Paris” at Patricia Laplante Collins’ Paris Soiréess — in a new location: Eurocentres, 13 passage Dauphine, 6th. To reserve, please contact Patricia at at 01.43.26.12.88 or email her
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* Further resources:
* Foreigners can borrow up to 80% on a home loan. Find out how easy it is.
* Many people don’t have the time nor the resources to look for their own little piece of Franc
e, especially if they’re located in the States or other foreign country.