REVIEW: A CHORUS LINE at The Arvada Center
by Emilee Hatfield
“One… Singular Sensation…”
After hearing that very line for years, you would think I would have picked up a copy or have listened to A Chorus Line by now. As silly as this sounds I didn’t. However I am very thrilled to say that I was happy to have my first experience with this musical be at the Arvada’s Center For Performing Art’s on it’s opening night Tuesday Evening.
Upon arrival the set appears very bare, black with just a single white line going across the stage. The scenic designer Brain Mallgrave, used the premise of the show very well in order to create a simplistic yet powerful statement. How much pressure is on your shoulders when performing? With it taking place during the audition process we are able to get a look into what actors experience when hoping to get a job in show business. The use of the white line creates that eerie tension that fills the performers bodies and minds as they stand across it. Each being just a number as they listen to the booming voice of the director. All the while they dance, sing, and rarely leave the stage throughout the entire show.
This is one aspect of the musical I had not seen done and one audiences must be aware of when attending. There is no intermission. The show goes straight through, showing the strength of its performers and their dedication to a project just as their characters are to the audition. You feel a deep respect for the ensemble of actors as they continuously go, revealing stories of their characters with ease, grace and expertise that you only could find within show business. The set balances well with the lighting design by Shannon McKinney, emphasizing each character and the small stories we are given about who they are and what lead them to be at the audition.
I don’t believe I could praise this cast any more when I say they were Broadway quality. Each one had my attention at one point of the show, moving the audience with such emotion that you couldn’t help but shed a tear and wish you could force the director to give each of them the job. This idea however is what I think A Chorus Line does so beautifully, the ending. It is very realistic and that I found very welcoming. Without revealing the results I must say this production directed by Rod. A. Lansberry sticks true to the shows roots in choreography, and style. Even the late Marvin Hamlisch I could see would have smiled at this production and they defiantly respect his score with utter brilliance. A charming yet thought provoking musical about how much work it truly takes to be the one.
A Chorus Line runs at the Arvada Center from September 12-October 1st. For tickets go to https://arvadacenter.org/a-chorus-line or call(720) 898-7200.
PHOTO CREDIT: Matt Gale Photography 2017