A Chorus Line by GEOIDS
A Chorus Line by GEOIDS
A Chorus Line is a seminal piece of musical theatre, formed from taped workshops with dancers. It tells the story of a number of dancers who have attended an audition, run by director Zach, for a job on Broadway. Along the way the audience gets to know the dancers through song or monologue as Zach asks each auditionee to talk. For example we meet Sheila, sassy and streetwise but underneath the tough exterior we learn that ballet was actually her escape since a young age. We go on to meet Val who pays for a boob job after discovering that she was given ‘dance 10 looks 3’ in audition and Cassie, Zach’s ex-girlfriend and someone who has had previous success as an individual dancer. Each character in the show very much has their own individual story and their own history which Zach is at pains to discover. This is flipped on it’s head at the end when they are asked to move as one….’One Singular Sensation.
This is a challenging show to perform, especially for an amateur company. The whole cast need to be triple threats handling solo songs and dance solos, all in character, without breaking a sweat. Luckily GEOIDS seem to have managed to amass a cast that can do just this. My personal highlight and example of this was Corin Miller as Sheila. Her sass and attitude oozed from her meaning she was incredibly watchable in this part. Ricardo Castro as Paul was also a stand out performance. His monologue was touching and his dancing was a pleasure to watch.
On occasion it was clear that dance skills had been favoured above singing ability. Kristine (Vaughan Watts) and Al (Kaleel Anwar) have a humorous duet in the form of ‘Sing’ where Al, Kristine’s husband finishes off her sentences, highlighting the fact that she is tone deaf. Whilst it was clear that Anwar has a nice voice the humour would have been amplified if his voice had that wow factor compared to his tone deaf wife.
The choreography was well executed and understood the driving force behind the show. In the opening sequence individuality shone through. This potentially made it look less ‘together’ than it may have otherwise looked but this was needed to contrast against the finale where they were in unison. Becky East, the choreographer of Chorus Line dealt ably with all the styles of dance needed in the show, from tap to ballet to jazz. Each cast member has clearly worked incredibly hard on their dance, both individually and collectively. Vanessa Forte as Cassie has a huge solo dance number and the choreography suited her dance style and helped show her off. This is hugely important to the plot that we believe that she previously made it out of the Chorus Line and compliments must go to Becky East for her choreography suiting each individual dancer during their solo moments.
The set was very simple yet effective – a series of mirrors across the back wall and then the single white line running diagonally across the stage. The diagonal take on the line, compared to the traditional line between the proscenium was a clever one as it not only allowed more space across the line but added some interested perspectives.
Amateur theatre can often be a funny old thing but the penultimate number of this show, ‘What I did for love,’ rings true in the amateur world as much as the professional dance world. Productions such as this are done purely for love and the amount of hard work that has gone into this show must make this a poignant song to perform for this cast. As they observe in A Chorus Line the show can’t run forever and unfortunately this show only runs for the week. I would recommend getting down to the Bridewell while you can and seeing this classy production which really understands the heart of this classic show.
Thanks to GEOIDS for inviting me to review. To find out more about GEOIDS visit their website.