An American in Paris


Writers: Craig Lucas George Gershwin Ira Gershwin


Show Information

Number of Acts
First Produced
Multiple Settings, Spectacle
Time & Place
paris france, 1945, the end of wwii
Cast Size
Orchestra Size
Ideal for
College/University, Community Theatre, Diverse Cast, Large Cast, Professional Theatre, Regional Theatre, Star Vehicle Female, Star Vehicle Male
Casting Notes

Includes young adult, adult, mature adult, child, early teen, late teen, elderly characters


An American in Paris is a story of finding love, happiness, and a new lease on life. The musical is set in the City of Lights, Paris, as it emerges from the shadows of World War II. As the weight of the Nazi Occupation begins to lift, the city’s inhabitants come alive and rediscover life’s grandest possibilities. An American veteran and aspiring painter, Jerry, is still reeling from the war when he discovers the girl of his dreams: Lise, a captivating young dancer at the ballet. Jerry falls in love with the mystery girl as soon as he spots her in a crowd on the street. By chance or fate, Jerry and Lise are brought together at a ballet rehearsal, where Jerry has come to visit his friend Adam, the company’s composer. While there, Jerry catches the eye of Milo, an American heiress and Adam’s patron. To add more confusion to this love triangle, Lise is already engaged to marry Henri, a rich young business man, who dreams of being a performer, himself. But does Lise truly love Henri? Or is Jerry, the American stranger, the man she is meant to love? And even if she loves Jerry, can Lise find a way to move on from the fact that Henri’s family saved her life during the war? Set to some of the George and Ira Gershwin’s most timeless music, An American in Paris brings both complexity and joy to the journey of Lise, Jerry, and their friends, as they fall in love, follow their dreams, and celebrate the most wonderful joys of being alive.

**Note: this stage musical’s plot differs greatly from the 1951 film of the same name starring Gene Kelly and Leslie Caron.

Lead Characters

An American in Paris guide sections