They get it.
A tremendously talented ensemble of triple threats -- dancers, certainly, but successes at acting and singing as well -- scored an ace with A Chorus Line on Friday night at the Argenta Community Theater.
The long-running Broadway show (music by Marvin Hamlisch, lyrics by Edward Kleban, book by James Kirkwood and Nicolas Dante) focuses on the lives, ambitions and angsts of a couple of dozen pros and would-be pros auditioning for only eight coveted spots in a Broadway chorus.
It's an ensemble show that, one by one by "One," brings out individual stories, some more involving than others -- particularly the poignant story of Paul's experience as a gay kid in a '70s Catholic high school trying to learn how to be a man that Brandon Nichols delivers with considerable pathos (with the assistance of a well-placed three-way mirror).
Some special star moments: Katie Greer as super-sassy Val, whose "Dance Ten, Looks Three" number (possibly better known as "T&A") is a paean to the benefits of plastic surgery; Autumn Romines knocking the sold-out house dead with Diana's two big numbers -- "Nothing" and "What I Did for Love"; Caroline Perry doing a tip-top tap number in Mac's defiant "I Can Do That."
Director Vincent Insalaco's decision to bring choreographer-director Zach (Craig Wilson) out of the shadows and put him in the middle of the action works in some cases and falls a little flat in others. Wilson likewise works hard to humanize Zach, again with mixed success. Choreography by Christen Pitts and Allison Stodola Wilson, who also shines as insolent but aging Sheila, is superb throughout. The finale version of "One" was absolutely awe-inspiring.
The mirrors that form the core of Sara Cooke's simple set artfully and craftily reflect the audience as much as they do the dancers. Shelly Hall's costumes look a lot simpler than they really are. A live but invisible seven-piece band does a fine job in spots, but at others sounded like some of the brass players were going rogue.
They'll all line up again at 7:30 p.m. today and July 26-27, 2 p.m. Sunday and 7 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday at the theater, 405 Main St., North Little Rock. Ticket information is available by calling (501) 353-1443 or online at argentacommunitytheater.org.
Metro on 07/20/2019
Print Headline: Talented ensemble aces Chorus Line