I saw “A Chorus Line” on stage for the very first time last night. However, I had been a fan of the songs for a long, long time because when I was in high school, almost every girl I knew sang “Kiss Today Goodbye” for her Junior Miss talent and every guy I knew sang “I Can Do That!” for his musical theatre audition piece and…well, more about my high school memories of “A Chorus Line” later.
In any case, finally seeing the actual show for the first time was a little like meeting Elvis in person or something except that the dancers last night were very much alive. Many, many strong emotions and images came up for me.
I am looking forward to writing about the experience in more detail, but it probably won’t be until after the Broadway Across America tour leaves Clowes Hall and Indianapolis, so I wanted to give you a quick heads-up about this show right away and quickly say three, no, six things about it:
a) The live show is light-years better than the movie – more engaging, more poignant, more beautiful – because it doesn’t try to force an overall plot on what is a completely satisfying collection of connected short stories.
b) The dancing is SO MUCH FUN to watch! Many of the dancers are good singers and storytellers as well.
c) The lighting design is special, too: it is on the side of the dancers, helping them tell their stories in a bold yet supportive way.
d) The man who plays Zach, the god-like director, is good-heavens-hot.
e) There is a lot of good food for thought about how these very specific stories from dancers apply to the rest of us as well. For example, I know I am not the only non-dancer who has ever asked, “Who am I anyway? Am I my resume?”
f) There is also a lot of good food for thought about how differently audiences receive this show now from when it was first produced in the 1970s. I want to do some more background reading about the show, but wasn’t it first conceived before people started baring their souls on talk shows? I know it was before we all started sharing the minutiae of our daily lives on Facebook. Now, when I watch “A Chorus Line” as a middle-aged person in 2010, the show feels iconic rather than ground-breaking, but iconic is equally worth watching.
More later, with links and credits and photos and so on…
Hope Baugh – Indy Theatre Habit
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