A Chorus Line a real musical feast
A Chorus Line is a highly visual, musical feast, says an authority who should know. Stephen Fisher, who’s been musically directing in Palmerston North for 47 years, has loved the hit musical since it was launched on Broadway in 1975. He has seen the show and the movie, has his own score and now he’s musically directing the Regent on Broadway production which opens on April 19.
But as well as Property Brokers’ A Chorus Line having catchy, immediately likeable music and characters the audience will easily identify with, the musical achieves something else very unique. It goes behind the scenes and explores the world of auditioning and the people who put their bodies, voices and personalities on the line to achieve a role in the next big Broadway show.
‘‘ A Chorus Line is a series of intimate vignettes about dancers who seek that moment of stardom by auditioning for a new musical,’’ Stephen says ‘‘Some are experienced, some are new, all are vulnerable as they face the director.’’
It’s their stories that are told by one of the greats of popular music, Marvin Hamlisch. Stephen explains Hamlisch skilfully creates wonderful narratives around the people who’re ultimately successful at the audition. ‘‘Each has their own personality which is reflected in the songs they sing,’’ he says.
For example the enduring number What I Did For Love expresses Diana’s dream to be in a show. I Can Do That is sung by Mike about setting his goals and achieving them while in Sing, Christine bares her soul about not being good enough to being included in the line-up. She makes it because she has other gifts that are vital to the show.
All of these songs reach a climax in the ensemble number One that comes at the show’s end and represents the opening chorus of the musical that they’ve auditioned for.
‘‘It’s a spectacular song that will send the audience away impressed and completely overwhelmed,’’ Stephen says.
A Chorus Line has never been performed before in Palmerston North and rarely in New Zealand because of the demands placed on the cast.
Stephen is looking forward to starting rehearsals this week. ‘‘We have a cast that will meet the challenges of the show and give it full justice,’’ he says.
Stephen Fisher, Ashleigh Blummontand Michael Doody rehearse forAChorus Line.