Brandon Uranowitz brings passion to An American in Paris
The city of Paris is known for many things, but two nicknames come to mind: “The City of Lights” and “The City of Love.” When World War II ends, an American war veteran turned painter, a Jewish concert pianist and a French singer all believe the city holds the key to romance and a new beginning in An American in Paris.
Brandon Uranowitz plays Adam Hochberg, the struggling pianist who dreams of performing Gershwin’s music for a hall of people. Like his daydreaming counterpart, starring on Broadway will never seem to feel like reality for the talented actor.
“It’s been, quite literally, a dream come true,” said Uranowitz. “I’ve tried at least 20 times now to answer this question properly, but there truly is no way to articulate it. It’s surreal.”
Christopher Wheeldon, an English international choreographer of contemporary ballet, directed the actors in the show, and according to Uranowitz, any chance one gets to work with Wheeldon is unbelievably rewarding.
“Chris is one of the smartest artists I’ve met and his energy during rehearsal was, in a word, inspiring,” said Uranowitz. “He just instinctively knows what works and what doesn’t, and that instinct was invaluable in helping us to tell this story with specificity, clarity and heart.”
Much of the role of Adam was inspired by George Gershwin, and his experience writing the An American in Paris “symphonic poem,” which Uranowitz said is the music at the heart of the show.
“The majority of my preparation was spent researching George and reading about his life, particularly his time in Paris. Oh, and lots of voice lessons” he said. “I love his [Adam’s] sense of humor. I love that despite the tragedy and trauma of World War II and the Nazi occupation, he can still manage to make people laugh. That, to me, makes him a hero.”
Uranowitz said that he relates very much to the character of Adam, perhaps more than he would like to admit.
“The filter through which Adam views the world might be perceived as cynical, sardonic or jaded. But, I think he simply insists on living life authentically and honestly,” he said. “And, like him, I refuse to wake up in the morning and put on some rose-colored glasses just to protect myself from negativity. That’s not real life.”
What was originally a movie about hope and love is now on Broadway promoting those same ideal virtues. For Uranowitz, he hopes that the audience takes away one simple piece of advice.
“I hope An American in Paris reminds people to love fully, every day,” he said.
For a full review of An American in Paris, see A Parisian Rendezvous.