Member Spotlight – Jane Dubin

February 2015

Producer and LPTW Member Jane Dubin

When I knew I would be in Paris in December to see An American In Paris, I asked Maxine, the Co-President of The LPTW, if anyone from the League might be involved.  Max shared right away that Jane Dubin was a co-producer and put me in touch. I was intrigued by the fact that this was a show developed with the Pittsburgh Light Opera that somehow managed to be opening at the exquisite Theatre du Chatelet in Paris.   There had to be a story.

Jane was very gracious and agreed right away to meet with me, not in Paris, but here in NYC.  It was a snowy, windy, cold day in February when we finally got together at a convenient spot in the theater district. By this time her show had finished its scheduled 6 plus weeks in Paris and was about to go into rehearsals for its upcoming run at the Palace Theatre which begins mid-March.  Filled with enthusiasm about An American in Paris, she was delighted to tell the story of her journey with it.

As an experienced producer with lots of theater hits under her belt, Jane has a wide network and explained that she was introduced to the show by one of its lead producers, Broadway veteran Stuart Oken,who invited her to a workshop presentation in December, 2013. She fell in love with it in its early but surely beguiling form (some might say “love at first sight”) and soon after, agreed to come on board as a co-producer. Jane expressed that she had rarely seen such a fine integration of story, music/lyrics, and dance. She was excited to work with such a high caliber producing team, starting with leads Oken and Van Kaplan, Executive Producer of the Pittsburgh CLO, who were joined by one of Broadway’s finest, Roy Furman.  Add to this mix Jean-Luc Choplin, the Director General of the Theatre du Chatelet , who for the past ten years has made the Chatelet the center for musical theater in Paris and who signed on early to produce the show there.

Christopher Wheeldon is both director and choreographer, a favorite from the world of classical ballet and one of the most gifted, dynamic and versatile choreographers working today.   Previously with his work on Broadway’s Sweet Smell of Success and recently at Lincoln Center with his full length story ballet Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland, Wheeldon has demonstrated his range and storytelling abilities   International auditions were held, according to Jane, and the best performers selected for the original workshop in December, 2013, many of whom continued on to the Paris production and who will be part of the Broadway cast.   Robert Fairchild is Jerry Mulligan, the lead, a part originated by Gene Kelly in the movie. Robbie is a triple threat with dance, acting and singing talent and a current position with the New York City Ballet. (Prior to the run he married Tiler Peck, who starred as The Little Dancer in Ahrens and Flaherty’s new musical of the same name at the Kennedy Center. His sister Megan stars in On The Town, currently on Broadway).

The Leslie Caron/Lise role is played by the enchanting and charming Leanne Cope– who has singing and acting experience but comes now from the Royal Ballet Company in London.  Also featured are theater veterans Veanne Cox (Madame Baurel), Max Von Essen (Henri), Jill Paice (Milo) and Brandon Uranowitz (Adam)

For the world premiere, it seemed only natural to do the show in Paris, arguably the most beautiful and romantic city in the world.  The Theatre du Chatelet not only provided the venue, but contributed much more, including costumes and sets designed by Broadway veteran Bob Crowley.  It was a chance to bring Parisian authenticity to the production.

Knowing how beloved the film is, Jane expressed the importance of bringing a fresh, unique take on the story for the stage.  Pulitzer finalist and Tony-nominated writer Craig Lucas came in to write the new book, setting the time frame immediately after the occupation of Paris came to an end in 1944.  This allows for a more complex story of love, friendship and art set against the backdrop of the newly liberated city.  “A time of hope. A city of dreams.  A love story for the ages.”

Jane is excited to promote this production currently garnering excellent advance sales and looking quite promising for a long run.  For her, it is always about the material and she loves the idea of being on Broadway with something of which she is obviously so proud.   I know that all of the League members join me in thanking her for her generosity in sharing her story and wish her well with An American In Paris on Broadway.

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