Ophidian Entertainment

A Chorus Line
Book by James Kirkwood and Nicholas Dante
Music by Marvin Hamlisch
Lyrics by Edward Kleban
Originally conceived, directed and choreographed by Michael Bennett

Venue: The Waterfront Theatre
Dates: 21 February - 13 March 2004

Reviewer: Jane Penistan



Director/Choreographer Sylvia Hosie Musical Director Heather Darts Costume design Chris Sinosich Lighting design Paul Neumeyer Rehearsal pianist Amanda Allyn-Lince Stage managerRoger Smith




Ophidian's Chorus LineUnemployed, where's the next job? Will I have what they want? Will they have what I want? All the hopes and fears which attend performers at auditions! Here they all are in A Chorus Line, Ophidian's production which opened at the Waterfront Theatre on Saturday February 21st.

A large cast of singers and dancers go through the audition process, with the director and dance captain. On stage both sides of the equation of performers and directors are shown. The director Zach (Neil Minor) is looking for actors who will perform to his standards, and as a company. The actors are looking for engagements. By a process of elimination, eight of the 20 or so assorted hopefuls will be chosen from those who "Hope I Get It". After eliminating those who can dance but not sing or can sing beautifully, but don't know which foot is right, the remainder are put through more rigorous dance routines and then interviewed so that Zach can try to find performers who will meld into a company.

Some of the stories which emerge in the interview process become a little dated and tedious, but the lengthy and impassioned scenes with Cassie (Kiara Leigh), are the most interesting and ring most true. Through one lengthy dialogue between Cassie and Zach, one of Cassie's former employers, the rest of the cast continue dancing. Quite a feat of endurance!


The dancing and singing in this production are very ably backed up by the keyboard playing of Heather Darts, with Jennifer Orme on drums and percussion, Marni Johnson, flute and piccolo, alto sax and clarinet, Kevin Woo, trumpet and flugel horn, Steve Prestige and Candace Novakov on bass guitar. These unseen performers play throughout the nearly two hours of this nonstop performance.

The rehearsal clothes are varied and colourful as the various performers dance and sing their way across the mirror-backed stage. The final costuming is a glittering, delightful surprise.

Ophidian's aim is to produce well dressed, well performed musical comedies, from the past or present. This one from Broadway, almost 30 years old, is not yet a period piece, but is definitely dated. The fault is in the book, not in Sylvia Hosie's direction.

A Chorus Line runs at the Waterfront Theatre, Granville Island, February 20 - March 13, 2004, Wednesday through Saturday at 8.00 p.m. with matinees on Saturday and Sunday at 2.00 p.m. for tickets call Festival Box Office 604-257-0360, For more information visit www.ophidianentertainment.com.

2004, Jane Penistan