I give this touring version of “Chorus Line” a big, fat “E” for being Exciting, Energetic, Entertaining, and not the least of my adjectives, Emotional. The athleticism and precision timing of the performers are a jaw-dropping Experience in itself. Those finely tuned bodies are Easy to watch, but the back stories of the aspiring troupe members are painful . . . and revealing. The god-like dance captain shows them no quarter, exposing his own personal quest . . . and loss.
Part of the pain is (and should be) personal to any audience member who has ever reached for the stars, whether they got a handful of stardust or fell short. And one finds himself asking, “Do I do it for the art? The money? For the personal satisfaction? The glory and the fame?” Introspection, rejection, competition, bonding, acceptance – all are on display on the Bass stage, just as they often are in our daily lives.
This venerable show, wonderfully re-staged by Choreographer Baayork Lee and Directed by Bob Avian, has been around for 35 years. And the simple costumes perfectly reflect the dance gear of New York, 1975. And my hat is off to lighting designers Tharon Musser and Natasha Katz for keeping the bare stage bathed or spotted with split-second timing. And in the orchestra pit, many of the members being Austin Musicians, they must have been in a sweaty dither by show’s end. Marvin Hamlisch’s wonderful music is rendered non-stop.
A few audience members, either uncomfortable with the salty language and sexual situations and tension or the no-intermission rule, found their way to the exits early. Their loss. The songs are memorable the actors/dancers are Exquisite. Oops! There’s that Big E again.
Spicewood (Austin) Texas, USA