Thursday, September 28, 2006

A Singular Sensation

It was like seeing an old friend after many years and picking up where we left off. A Chorus Line was energizing and endearing, familiar but with enough new elements to keep it young. I was worried they'd try to update it, but they didn't. It's still set in 1975, when we were more naive about divorce and homosexuality and abuse, so the stories of the individual dancers mostly hold up. It is harder to be shocked about Paul's gay/drag queen past, but since his injury (on top of his gut-wrenching story) is the catalyst for "What I Did for Love," you have to go with it.

The dancers are dressed in pre-G-string/leg-warmer dance clothes - very Saturday Night Fever-ish - a reminder of how modest things were then. Sexy, but not the hoochi-mama stuff of today. And the orchestrations kept that great 70's funk sound, lots of Shaft-like riffs.

Cassie's 20-minute singing/dancing tour de force, "The Music and the Mirror," still blows the roof off the theatre. Charlotte d'Amboise completely rocked. She did the part and Donna McKechnie proud. And I thought Val's "Dance 10/Looks 3" (the "Tits and Ass" song) was better than I'd ever seen it (though I never saw the Broadway original). The part of Sheila (originated by Kelly Bishop of Gilmore Girls and Dirty Dancing) was played by a fabulous black woman who brought a different edge to the role.

My feeling that the show is fundamentally about working and sacrificing for something you love did not change after seeing it thirty years after I first saw it. In fact, that feeling resonated more strongly than it did when I was 25.

Face it, a whole lot of us fell in love with A Chorus Line when we were in our 20's - still plenty of time to make those dancing (writing, building, teaching, insert-your-dream-here, etc.) dreams come true. Now, there's not so much time. Were we able to do it - work and sacrifice for what we love/d? Has it been "one singular sensation" or one big ol' mess? Age put a whole new light on the show for me.

And though A Chorus Line isn't my favorite musical of all time (but definitely in the top 10), it reminded me of a poignant connection between myself at 25 and myself at 55. Good show.

Won't forget, can't regret what I did for love.

1 comment:

Joy Des Jardins said...

It sounds wonderful Mary! Thanks for the review...has it been 30 years already? YIKES!