Monday, September 16, 2013
A Chorus Line at the New Candlelight TheatreAnyone who has ever had dreams of becoming a performer someday can certainly relate to A Chorus Line. There's a room full of people, and they're all desperate for a job, except in this line of work their job is dependent on who has the best dance form, the best feet, the best look. The New Candlelight Theatre's production of A Chorus Line puts the audience in the perspective of the director, Zach, played by Bob Miller. While he starts on stage teaching a combination, for most of the show we only hear his voice, and it's as though we, the audience, are the ones who make the final decision as to who makes the cut.
Robert Harris as Richie singing about his love of dance in "Gimme The Ball." Photo by Kelsey McDowell
From the very first moment, it's clear that a lot of very talented dancers have been cast in this show. "I Hope I Get It" sets the tone for the rest of this show. There are only 8 open slots in the chorus of the Broadway show that Zach is directing, and a lot more than 8 people want it. Angela Bates Majewski, who plays Judy Turner, stands out in the chorus as someone who is a trained dancer. Her dancing is the highlight of her performance in A Chorus Line. Eventually the larger cast is cut down to only 17, but there are some great moments with the dancers who don't make the first cut.
Zach makes it clear that he doesn't just want 4 male and 4 female dancers who will dance on stage 8 times a week. He wants dedicated performers, and he makes them dig into their souls and tell him about their lives, why they started dancing in the first place. Sometimes the stories are funny, like Mike Costa, played by Alexander Ose, hijacking his sister's dance lessons. One of the prettiest, yet sad, stories is in "At The Ballet," performed by Sheila (DeeDee Mann), Bebe (Erin Waldie), and Maggie (Kristen Romero Sheehan). I wish that we could have heard Kristen sing more, because her voice is incredible.
Although there are really no "starring" roles in this show, it is very much an ensemble cast, Kelly Boeckle as Diana Morales stands out. She sings two of the most well known songs in A Chorus Line, "Nothing" and "What I Did For Love." Kelly is a power house performer, and she portrays the protective dancer from Puerto Rico beautifully.
Bob Miller as Zach shows the remaining 17 Broadway hopefuls the final combination. Photo by Kelsey McDowell
Overall, A Chorus Line is everything that this show should be: funny, heartfelt, a just a little heart breaking. Not all 17 hopefuls get a part in the big Broadway show, after all. But they all come together in one seamless chorus line at the end in a spectacular display uniform dancing and Broadway charm. In that moment, they are "One (Singular Sensation)."
A Chorus Line runs at the New Candlelight Theatre until November 3. For tickets, call 475-2313 or visit http://www.nctstage.org.
Posted at 2:28pm on September 16, 2013 by Gina Poletti
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