A Chorus Line

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About time I went to see a musical! This show reminded me why I started acting in the first place. A good musical is supposed to leave you with a smile on your face, a skip in your step, and a tune in your head. Something fun to note was when I arrived at the theatre to pick up my ticket, I received a notification saying that my seat had been upgraded. Considering I had booked a really cheap ticket in the absolute back of the theatre, I was really excited. I then come to discover that I’ve been upgraded to the second row! Not to bad! I could actually reach out and touch the stage if I wanted to. Maybe this was a key factor in why I felt so immersed in the play. 

This performance was certainly successful in getting me to tap my toes and smile, but I wouldn’t go so far as to put it up there with the ultimate heavy-hitters like Wicked and Lion King. Like Kopenick, I had a lot of trouble hearing the individual actors. They kept getting mixed in over each other, which would have been a nice harmony but sounded sort of like a jumbled mess at times. Some of the actors also had a characterization to them that made their singing voices, um.. hard to take. If anyone has heard the song “Sing,” you’ll know what I’m talking about.

(If you don’t, check out the link below)

Also, some actors fell flat with their characters. One man, in particular tried to do a New Jersey accent while wearing a lacoste polo that made him seem more like a northeastern private school prepster. Not a great combination.. Also, one of the leads “Cassie” had an absolutely awful, thin voice, which, although was on tune, had a horrible sound to it. She was however, an amazing dancer and almost made up for her lack of vocal talent with her solo performance towards the end of the play. 

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I also didn’t really know how to take the parts in the play where the characters talked about some pretty dramatic and heavy stuff. I’m not really used to emotional baggage beyond lovesickness to be spilled out on stage during a musical. But here characters talk about being drag queens, having cheater fathers, and mothers who call them ugly. I do know that even though I wasn’t expecting the stories, I felt myself pulled in by the individualization that the stories gave each character. When normally I might remember a couple characters, I found myself remembering each and every individual in the chorus line. Which, I think, is the point. They are all striving to be part of one synchronized thing, but they are all different individuals with their own stories and backgrounds. 

My favorite part was definitely the last 20 minutes of the play when they sang “What I Did For Love.” This is a beautiful, haunting song and probably the one that was stuck in my head the longest after the show ended. After that was the finale with the song, “One Singular Sensation” which of course was a fantastic spectacle. Lots of gold, like the original production, with rhinestones even on the tops of the top hats. I also loved the effect the mirror in the back of the stage that reflected the dancers throughout most of the dance scenes. In the finale, it was even better because suddenly the whole stage was lit up with a ton of tiny light bulbs. The sparkle alone was enough to dazzle, but the song and the costumes really left a great lasting effect on me. 

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Oh and to all those HWS readers… Upstate New York got a shout out. I believe the best way to describe it is that one character, admitted he was from Buffalo and then proceeded to say he, “blocked it out” of his memory. Think he’s probably talking mostly about the weather, which thankfully I’m missing this semester! Till next time!

~A

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