Cho­rus Line set to re­hearse

The Tribune (NZ) - - YOUR EVENTS AND ENTERTAINMENT GUIDE -

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.

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