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A Chorus Line

by Robert Abrams
February 1, 2007
Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre
236 West 45th Street
New York, NY 10036
(212) 239-6200
A Chorus Line website

Roberta Zlokower's review of A Chorus Line
Some revivals work because they are time tested: the familiar is often a safe bet, even if the show also feels a little like an echo. Some revivals work because they are timeless. A Chorus Line gets at the truth of the dancer's life. The clothes read the 70s, but otherwise the show is not dated. It could have been written today. Combine that truth with this production's evenly and highly talented ensemble cast and you have a genuine hit.

Everyone in the cast is beautiful to watch as they dance. Every voice is good or great, except one person playing a character who can't sing. The choreography, which does mostly stay in a typical Broadway style, does have a strong range if you know what to look for. The ensemble repeatedly pulls off the sort of synchronized dance steps that chorus lines are known for, but they are equally good at the random motion machine sequences that are interspersed at various points throughout the show.

There are several ways that A Chorus Line gets at the truth of dance. The show tells personal, individual stories, but these stories often blossom into group numbers in which others echo and then amplify the first story. To be a dancer is to be supported as a part of a group that also has variations. The show asks the sort of basic questions that every dancer eventually ponders: Why did you start dancing?, What do you do when you can't dance? (Career Transition for Dancers would be one answer to the latter question had the show been written today.)

The show finished up with a grapevine in the round and a kick line whose precision and energy signify the quality of the dancing throughout the show.

A Chorus Line does have one flaw. As you probably know, the show takes place at an audition, tells the stories of the dancers, and finishes with one number from the show they are supposed to be auditioning for. This takes two hours without an intermission. The show left me wanting more. I would have happily sat through another hour to see more of the show within the show. It would, admittedly, then be a little long, but they could develop a second act and run them as two shows in rep.

Another interesting possibility would be to recreate the workshops that were the seed bed for A Chorus Line, perhaps focusing on other forms of dance. There are more dancers out there with stories that deserve to be told.



A Chorus Line

Conceived and Originally Choreographed by
Michael Bennett
Book by James Kirkwood & Nicholas Dante
Music by Marvin Hamlisch
Lyrics by Edward Kleban
Originally Choreographed by Bob Avian

With:
Ken Alan, Grant Turner, Michelle Aravena, David Baum,
Michael Berresse, Mike Cannon, E. Clayton Cornelious, Natalie Cortez, Charlotte D'Amboise, Mara Davi, Jessica Lee Goldyn, Deidre Goodwin, Tyler Haynes, Nadine Isenegger, Pamela Jordan, Paul McGill,
Heather Parcells, Michael Paternostro, Alisan Porter, Jeffrey Schecter, Lisa Ho, Jason Tam, Chryssie Whitehead,
Tony Yazbeck, (plus 2 swings)

At
Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre
236 West 45th Street
NY, NY
212.239.6200

Directed by Bob Avian
Producer: Vienna Waits Productions
Scenic Design: Robin Wagner
Costume Design: Theoni V. Aldredge
Lighting Design: Tharon Musser
Lighting Adapted by Natasha Katz
Sound Design: Acme Sound Partners
Music Direction & Supervision by Patrick Vaccariello
Orchestrations by Jonathan Tunick, Bill Byers, & Hershy Kay
Vocal Arrangements by Don Pippin
Choreography Re-Staged by Baayork Lee
Dance Captain: Michael Gorman
Conductor: Patrick Vaccariello
Press: Barlow*Hartman
Charlotte d'Amboise in A Chorus Line

Charlotte d'Amboise in A Chorus Line

Photo © & courtesy of Paul Kolnik


The cast of A Chorus Line

The cast of A Chorus Line

Photo © & courtesy of Paul Kolnik


The cast of A Chorus Line

The cast of A Chorus Line

Photo © & courtesy of Paul Kolnik


The cast of A Chorus Line

The cast of A Chorus Line

Photo © & courtesy of Paul Kolnik


Michael Baresse (center) and the cast of A Chorus Line

Michael Baresse (center) and the cast of A Chorus Line

Photo © & courtesy of Paul Kolnik


Charlotte d'Amboise, Mara Davi, Brad Anderson and Tony Yazbeck in A Chorus Line

Charlotte d'Amboise, Mara Davi, Brad Anderson and Tony Yazbeck in A Chorus Line

Photo © & courtesy of Paul Kolnik


Jeffrey Schecter in A Chorus Line

Jeffrey Schecter in A Chorus Line

Photo © & courtesy of Paul Kolnik


Charlotte d'Amboise in A Chorus Line

Charlotte d'Amboise in A Chorus Line

Photo © & courtesy of Paul Kolnik


Jessica Lee Goldyn, Paul McGill, Jason Tam and Natalie Cortez in A Chorus Line

Jessica Lee Goldyn, Paul McGill, Jason Tam and Natalie Cortez in A Chorus Line

Photo © & courtesy of Paul Kolnik


The cast of A Chorus Line

The cast of A Chorus Line

Photo © & courtesy of Paul Kolnik


The cast of A Chorus Line

The cast of A Chorus Line

Photo © & courtesy of Paul Kolnik


The cast of A Chorus Line

The cast of A Chorus Line

Photo © & courtesy of Paul Kolnik

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