The first national tour of An American in Paris makes its Philadelphia premiere at the Academy of Music for a one-week engagement Nov. 22–27.
Inspired by the Academy Award-winning film, An American in Paris is the romantic story about an American soldier, a mysterious French girl and an indomitable European city, each yearning for a new beginning in the aftermath of war.
The show won four 2015 Tony Awards, four Drama Desk Awards, four Outer Critics Circle Awards, the Drama League Award for Best Musical and others.
With a lush musical score, including such standards as I’ve Got Rhythm, But Not For Me, S’Wonderful and many more, this multi award-winning show features a cast of 35, including Nick Spangler, who takes the role of Henri Baurel.
ldquo;Henri is from a wealthy merchant French family who seem to be playing host to the Nazis, but in reality are fighting with the resistance,” says Spangler, who had never seen the show before he auditioned for a role. “So the day I got a call back, I decided to finally see it and was blown away. I saw it and I knew I definitely wanted to be part of it.”
He adds that the play is funny and poignant, “and speaks a lot about what people were going through in the 1940s and World War II, but I think it also speaks a lot about what’s going on in our country today. During the show, all sorts of messages pop out and catch people by surprise.”
Spangler says he knew he wanted to be part of show business from the time he was 5 years old and played a munchkin in his school’s rendition of The Wizard of Oz.
“I come from Mountain View, California, and by the time I was in junior high school, I realized this is what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.”
And it didn’t take long for Spangler to realize his dream.
Attending New York University and majoring in musical theater, Spangler was tapped for a spot in the off-Broadway production of The Fantasticks in his senior year. That role garnered him the Theater Hall of Fame Elaine and Jerry Orbach Fellowship Award.
And he’s just kept climbing the ladder of success ever since. Other than being declared the winner of the reality series The Amazing Race in 2008, Spangler’s list of credits include appearances in the original Broadway casts of The Book of Mormon, Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella and It Shoulda Been You.
And now this “wonderful show. It’s been an incredible experience, and truthfully, I’ve never been happier in my work. Every time the curtain comes down, I can’t wait until it goes back up again. All of us, the whole cast, acknowledge how very lucky we are to be in this show.”