Chorus Line set to rehearse
The musical with an uncanny resemblance to America’s Got Talent is set to become one of the Regent on Broadway’s major attractions for 2017.
A Chorus Line, musical theatre’s answer to reality TV, has enjoyed great success on Broadway and the West End but has rarely been performed in New Zealand because of the demand placed on performers.
However, when director/ choreographer Dean McKerras and musical director Stephen Fisher held auditions over Labour Weekend, a host of people from the Manawatu region and beyond put on their best dance shoes and pirouetted to perfection.
While dance is an integral part of the show, the genre extends from jazz to tap to hip hop with a few traditional ballet steps thrown in.
The musical is about the audition process and unmasks the lives of those auditioning for a show and what motivates them to push themselves to the point of performance and beyond.
‘‘It’s a rare insight into what goes on in an audition which, in turn, becomes the musical itself,’’ Dean says.
The show opens with a mass audition number and then the dancers are whittled down to the final troupe that the dance director wants.
With only eight places to be filled, Zach, the director, tells them ‘‘I need people who look terrific together….it would be better if I knew something about you, about your personalities.’’
That’s the plot for the show and, over the next two engrossing hours, individual stories, their heartbreaks and triumphs, are unfolded.
When the final eight are chosen, there’s a slow fade and the whole cast appears, dressed in spangled glitter suits and golden top hats, to reprise One, the song that leads to the musical’s sensational finale.
As well as record breaking seasons around the world, A
Chorus Line became a successful movie, starring Michael Douglas. It was written by Oscar winner Marvin Hamlisch who composed such songs as The Way We Were, Looking Through the Eyes of Love, Smile, Alfie’s Girl and Break It To Me Gently.
A Chorus Line is considered his greatest achievement. He’s written such iconic numbers as What I Did For Love, I Can Do That, Hello Twelve, Hello Thirteen, Hello Love
and the powerful One.
Dean has chosen 19 main characters, a dance company of 31 and an off-stage chorus which brings the dazzling line-up to about 50 people.
‘‘Chorus Line is a show about true lives where the cast can be themselves and, in doing so, create the drama, passion and spectacle of a Broadway production,’’ he says. Rehearsals begin in January.
A Chorus Line, presented by Regent on Broadway Promotions, runs from April 19-24.
Bookings can be made at TicketDirect.
Photo: SUEWILSON A Chorus Line principals and dancers assemble for their 2017 show.