Review: Rep's "A Chorus Line" | Rock Candy

Saturday, June 3, 2006

Review: Rep's "A Chorus Line"

Posted on Sat, Jun 3, 2006 at 11:05 AM

"A Chorus Liine," which ruled Broadway for 15 yearrs, marks its 30th year on the stage in concert with the our own Arkansas Repertory Theatre's 30th anniversary. While there were flaws here and there openening night, I suggest you rush and buy your tickets now. Rep founder Cliff Baker sufferred a heart attack just days before opening night and, while I hear his prognosis is good, this is a wonderful chance to pay tribute to what he's given to our community.

The production has stayed trrue to the 1970's dialogue and costurmes and the play doesn't seem to have dated a bit. Kathryn Mowat Murphy, who plays the lead of Cassie, makes the play worth seeing all on her own. While the love story of an aging chorus dancer may seem dull at
moments, her dancing is  refined and  gorgeous; she is, simply, stunning.

Christina LaDuca, however, steals the show as Diana with the famous numbers "Nothing" and "What I Did For Love." Seeming a bit worn by the end of the show when "What I Did For Love" arrives, her ensemble holds her up and I have no doubt that as the production progresses, she will only strengthen.

Stephen Baker, as Mark, is the best male dancer in line. Locals Dennis Glassock, dependable and talanted (though he's made his home across the country for years now) and Joi Chen,  a studen at Hendrix, are both standouts.  Colleen Hawks as Val, who sings the well-known "Dance: Ten, Looks: Three" is a knock-out and surely knows how to bring the fun and bring life to a sagging body in a show that doesn't sag at all.  The play itself, despite it's lack of intermission, which makes is drag a bit, is a winner.

Cliff Baker deserves a standing ovation for bringing this one home on the cusp of its Broadway revival.  Casting: 10, Lighting 10, Performance 10, Looks 10, Fun 10.  Don't miss this one, which runs through July 2.  And all best to Cliff Baker.  He's certainly a 10.-By Joy Ritchey


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