I am always thrilled when we get to head to Fort Worth to see anything at Bass Hall. I have never been disappointed. I was a bit more excited than normal on this occasion, because as I was reminded daily in the week before the performance, I am the only gay person in my circle, or possible the greater Dallas area, to have never seen A Chorus Line.
A Chorus Line is the longest running American born Broadway musical in history, the winner of nine of the twelve Tony nominations it received in 1976. The original production also received the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. I quickly understood the shock of my friends that I had never seen this show. It is very current today for its inclusion of serious gay subject matter, this must have been cutting edge theater in 1976.
The first thing that struck me upon arriving in the hall was the set, or lack of it. The set is a stark Broadway rehearsal space, the back wall is mirrored, that is the set. I was taken aback by this in the beginning, I found it an asset as the show progressed. The starkness of the set forces focus on the characters, there are no distractions.
The concept is a several hour audition for one of four male and four female spots in a Broadway Chorus Line. In an unusual and in some cases unwelcome twist the director of this chorus line wants to know more about these dancers, what lead them to dance, and what happens when dance is no longer an option. This allows us deep into the psyche of the dancers, learning the sometimes painful pasts that have lead them here, and why they so crave the escape that dancing on a Broadway stage offers.
The message that I received loud and clear is no secret to most that know the entertainment industry. People seeking work in this industry are typically very insecure, people who are seeking the recognition of an audience to cover the pain of a past they would just as soon forget. The great irony of A Chorus Line, is after spending nearly two hours (without intermission) getting to know each of these characters in the end they all blend together, in the amazing finale of One. During this perfectly choreographed number they lose the individuality created over the course of the show.
The great message of I took from this musical is one that I struggle to remember everyday. We all have a backstory, I don't know yours, and you don't know mine. But it is there, it reminds me we are all just people with feelings and emotions and we should remember that more often. It all comes down to the golden rule. I need to treat people the way that I would like to be treated.
A Chorus Line plays Bass Hall in Fort Worth through Sunday. Tickets are $33.-$71.50 and available at www.basshall.com. Coming to Bass Hall: An Evening with Shirley MacLaine, Craig Ferguson, Beauty & The Beast, & 9 to 5 The Musical. There is never a bad night spent at Bass Hall!
Comment by ALya on 2012-03-29 16:16:40
Thank you! We have expanded the show, added and rievsed several songs and we have a talented new cast! We have just released the cast album (available now on CD Baby, iTunes and Amazon).We will be on tour this summer and fall: Las Vegas, Toronto and Los Angeles. Check out our website for more information: www.spiderbabythemusical.com
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