A Chorus Line Shines
By R.M. Pink
The return of the much prized musical A Chorus Line to Vancouver after several years was a welcome sight and sound .
The famed production, created by Michael Bennett with music by Marvin Hamlisch, is a mature undertaking that calls upon the audience to look behind the stardust to glimpse the emotion, triumph and tragedy of the performer set against the backdrop of an audition.
The set design, deliberately stark, almost menacing, forces the spotlight on the performers and their emotions, as the dancers line up for the shot at a spot in a major musical production. Like all great art, the gift is to convey emotion and empathy, and A Chorus Line achieves this high mark.
One feels the pain, the loneliness and the rejection of the dancers as they are examined in the audition. Then, one by one, they are eliminated from the roster until only a chosen few remain. It is an intense roller coaster ride of emotions for both performer and audience member alike.
Standouts in the production included Kimberly Neumann as the talented blond dancer, Val; and Jill Slyter in the role of Jill, a hungry actress recently back from Los Angeles, desperate for work.
The greatness of A Chorus Line can be found in the sophisticated mixing of brilliant music with a mature and poignant story that audiences around North America are delighted to share.