An American in Paris: What to Expect in Philadelphia

Executive Director of PhillyGayCalendar

Colby Q. Lindeman  has appeared on the cover of Next Magazine, and has worn only underwear for an advertising campaign in winter in Times Square, as well as being a dancer. We had the opportunity to chat with him about opening in Boston that very night with An American in Paris, the hit Broadway musical now touring and scheduled here in Philadelphia over the Thanksgiving holiday. Colby also talked about how he came to dance and what will happen in his life in the next year.

Ralph Malachowski: Tell us about An American in Paris.

Colby Lindeman: It’s a beautiful show completely reimagined by Christopher Wheeldon, filled with dancing, and songs by the Gershwins, set in post-World War II Paris. It’s a tale of love and rebirth. I may sound like a press release, but it really is a great, fresh new look at the story. I think it’s great. If you loved the movie, you should see this version, because while it is inspired by the movie, it is different. I think it is more engaging. People have changed in sixty years, and so there is contemporary movement for a contemporary audience to enjoy.

RM: There weren’t high hopes for An American in Paris when it first was about to open on Broadway. There seemed to be hopes that it could be another Hairspray.

CL: That’s so funny! It just closed last month on Broadway after two years. It is a visually stunning production, not at all a revival.

RM: Tell us about the tour.

CL: We’ve just started the formal tour. Schenectady, NY, was our first stop for technical tryouts after several weeks of rehearsal in New York City. We’re opening tonight in Boston, so this is a really exciting day for all of us in the show. After our Boston run, we will travel to Hartford, then Philadelphia for the Thanksgiving weekend. We’re really at the beginning of our tour, since we’re scheduled for months to come. Depending upon demand, we may run well into 2017.

RM: A long run usually means that you’ll be wearing the same costumes. One production which played here recently had only one change of costume for their nine-month tour. I hope that isn’t the case here?

CL: Oh, no. Not at all. (Laughing) We have a rotation of costumes, many of which require dry cleaning since they are so detailed and expensive. We also use undergarments which we wear to protect the costumes.  These often reach from our wrists to our legs and are washed daily. We also have removable liners which are laundered often. So, no, we don’t just rely upon vodka sprays to keep the costumes fresh. Most of us have anywhere from six to ten costume changes a show, so there are a lot of backstage changes. There’s a lot going on behind the scenes to create the magic an audience sees.

RM: A few questions: How did you land a role in the tour? Can you tell us what was involved? How did you find dance?

CL: Well, I go to the audition calls. I use a talent agency in New York City, so I go to auditions where I sing and dance. I had several call backs to audition for Christopher Wheeldon over a few weeks. I was fortunate to be one of the dancers chosen. I began dancing around age five, when my mother first signed me up for dance classes. I danced at local studios until I attended the High School for the Creative and Performing Arts in Philadelphia. I lived in Norristown, but being in Philadelphia instead of a local high school was a truly great experience. It broadened my horizons. My dancing teacher, Miss Nancy, was instrumental in finding the best place for me to attend college, which was in Oklahoma.

RM: You mentioned that you were a Norristown native. Tell us about your family.

CL: I have two brothers. My older brother is an actuary, I’m the middle one, and my younger brother lives in Virginia. He’s focusing on being a chef. I suppose I’m the only performer in the family. My parents aren’t musicians, but my mother always had an interest in the arts.

RM: Your An American in Paris tour will last perhaps another year. Which cities do you most look forward to visiting?

CL: My mother is overjoyed that I’ll be spending Thanksgiving at home, since we’ll be in Philadelphia. The city I most look forward to is San Francisco. It’s so different from the cities on the East Coast.

RM: An important question for our readers is Married, Engaged, or Single?

CL: Oh, wow. I’m engaged to a wonderful guy. We hope to marry next year. We’ve been together for ten years now, and since marriage equality is now the law, we’ve decided to tie the knot.

RM: Any honeymoon plans?

CL: We were thinking of the Greek Islands for our honeymoon.

RM: Thank you for letting Philadelphia know. Don’t be surprised if envelopes begin being left at the stage door with checks to fund your honeymoon. Not to mention all of your fans leaving messages at your website. Break a leg!

An American in Paris will arrive in Philadelphia on November 22 and will run through November 27. To purchase tickets, visit

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