Our family life in Paris would not be the same without the joyful, dedicated and exciting organization: American Musical Theatre LIVE! Truly, they have been a lifesaver and creative safe-haven for my two daughters, in a city where this type of artistic expression is only beginning to get a foothold.
Raised by a jolly, crooning father and theatre loving mother, I grew up addicted to American musicals. While most of my peers were crushing on Bobby Sherman and David (and Sean) Cassidy, I was pining for Gene Kelly in his tight sailor jazz pants. Don’t even get me started on Yul Brynner in the King and I. Even today two of my favorite performers are Hugh Jackman and Neil Patrick Harris not because I like them in Wolverine and How I Met Your Mother, but because, at heart, they are truly song-and-dance men.
Not surprisingly, I have passed my love of musical theatre on to Kitcat and Button. Before her second birthday, Kitcat had memorized Madonna’s Evita, Don’t Cry for Me Argentina…really. And, I’m a bit embarrassed to admit it, but by the time they were 8 and 5, they could sing the entire Cell Block Tango from Chicago with all the passion and anger of the original cast. At 10 and 7 they were regularly performing the Elephant Love Song Medley from Moulin Rouge for family and guests. So is it any surprise they are both actively pursuing their dreams of performing on Broadway or the West End?
Thankfully for both of them, but especially Button, we stumbled upon American Musical Theatre LIVE! on our second go-around in Paris. Co-founded by Miranda Crispin and John Florencio, two amazing artists and performers with a passion for American Musical Theatre, AMT LIVE! has been a godsend. They are the place to see contemporary off-Broadway musicals and cabaret concerts in Paris. And if you have the gumption and talent, they offer a musical theatre open mic soirées once a month. They are also available for professional, private coaching.
The group’s mission “is to introduce and promote musical theatre, notably contemporary works, and to provide a forum for exchange between French and international performers.” It’s a great mission and one they work extremely hard at accomplishing.
AMT LIVE! regularly hosts talented and highly regarded Artists-in-Residence from around the world. Button has been fortunate enough to participate in several, the most exceptional being a master class with Tony nominated Benj Pasek and Justin Paul (Edges, A Christmas Story, the Musical; Dogfight, and James and the Giant Peach, A Musical). She was also cast in AMT LIVE!’s production of Edges in Paris last summer. It was a life changing experience and yet one more thing to love about our time in France.