A SINGLULAR SENSATION INDEED
To the naysayers who scoff at A Chorus Line criticizing it as a schlocky, kitschy, disposable and outdated entertainment vehicle from the classic Broadway days that ‘our parents’ used to adore, think again.
It’s about dreams, aspirations, motivations and self-discovery. Attitudes, egos, and insecurities cap off the comically edgy but often deeply touching musical that has tickled millions of theatregoers for 15 years on Broadway not to mention countless others as a result of touring productions.
For those not familiar with the show, the centerpiece of A Chorus Line is a daunting audition where 17 performers hope to convince a hard-nosed director that they deserve a spot in a big production. One by one, a rainbow of awkward personalities present themselves with details of their origins as the dancer deconstruction begins. Pasts and truths collide in technicolour all of which is broken up by blissful choreographed moments and wonderous songs.
One of the offering’s luminary secrets of its success is the instantly connectable characters and their portraits of personal aim. Their passion is real, their toil for a big career break is engaging. You feel for them, you cheer for them, you darn well want to make them your friends. And with a jaw-dropping cast to send it all home, the musical find a right place in the heart to deep root itself.
A shape-shifting musical, A Chorus Line still has a pre-dated aura yet feels remarkably contemporary in its design which is proof of its timeless universality. Nothing really looked like it before making its debut all those years ago and respectfully nothing has come along trying to mirror it ever since.
Don’t miss a piece of musical history like this. A Chorus Line won’t make you go out and buy a pair of tights or a muscle shirt but it will make you value the ‘singular sensation’ that it is.
Review by Steven Berketo
A CHORUS LINE by James Kirkwood & Nicholas Dante, music Marvin Hamilsch April 19 – October 30, 2015 FESTIVAL THEATRE, Stratford, Ontario TICKETS $25.00 – $165.00 www.stratfordfestival.ca 1-800-567-1600 CAST Dayna Tietzen, Juan Chioran,Eric Abel, Matt Alfano, Gabriel Antonacci, Matthew Armet, Ashley Arnett, Alex Black, Stephen Cota, Colton Curtis, JJ Gerber, Alexandra Herzog, Galen Johnson, Bonnie Jordan, Bethany Kovarlk, Ayrin Mackie, Chad McFadden, Melanie McInenly, Julia McLellan Nicholas Nesbitt, Matt Nethersole, Cory O’Brien, Jennifer Rider-Shaw, Conor Scully, Genny Sermonia, Jason Sermonia, Cynthia Smithers, Kimberly-Ann Truong DIRECTOR Donna Feore MUSICAL DIRECTOR Laura Burton DESIGNER Michael Gianfrancesco LIGHTING DESIGNER Michael Walton SOUND DESIGN Peter McBoyle