Thursday, June 12, 2008
Both are filled with actual story lines, terrific music and lyrics and most important, the dancing. A CHORUS LINE is a way to show off dancers at their finest and what they go through to get on the stage.
This musical was created while I was in college. My friends and I spent as many hours in leotards and jazz shoes in dance class as we did in our street clothes listening to lectures. Yes, my major was telecommunications, but my minor was dance. I wanted to be the first dancing journalist. Neither really happened, but at least I am still writing.
My friends and I could hardly wait until the original cast came to the Schubert Theater in Los Angeles to see the show. My parents wanted to see it as well so off our family of four went. A few months later I returned with my sister and a good friend and her sister. Then came a touring company about two years after that and well, you get the point-someone should have given me a lifetime pass.
But this version has a 20 year lapse. The last time I saw it my husband came with me to a community light opera performance. It was barely fair. Poor guy-couldn’t see what I saw in the show.
I felt for him. I tried to explain what this show was really like and this was simply not the version I wanted to share with him.
So here we were, closing our season tickets at the Music Center with what I hoped would be a wonderful experience for my husband. One of our bridesmaids is an administrator at the center and a friend/dancing co-hort from college-we met for coffee before the show.
She said “I’m anxious to hear what you think-they haven’t updated the show one tiny bit. It’s like we’re back in the mid-seventies and they dress and dance, like well-US!”
We laughed. Dance has come so far since then-believe me, I don’t think we would have even tried some of the moves these fine young men and women do today-no one had the courage to create them!
The show went on-the audience loved it. Whooping and applauding, crying and laughing.
Alas, what we were all enraptured by was what we all remembered fondly from our own lives and what this show meant in those early years.
They were great dancers, the story more than held up and you went out humming the songs and saying it was great. My husband enjoyed it WAY MORE THIS TIME!
But was it really good? Yes. Was it as great as I had remembered Donna Mckeckie and Sammy Williams being? No.
Did these dancers capture the original intent of the cast and their desperation to get a job or be on the stage? Cassie’s need to dance, Paul’s sad view of himself and Zach’s shaky arrogance?
Maybe, it really is just a dancer’s thing. I was so happy to see my favorite musical again, even if it was just to stir up old memories.