BWW Reviews: A CHORUS LINE at Broadway Training Center
This weekend, I experienced "A Chorus Line," anew. Presented by the Broadway Training Center at the Irvington Town Hall with a cast comprised of Middle and High school students. Starting from the opening "5, 6, 7, 8" countdown, the dancers immediately transport you to the competitive anxiety of being chosen for a place in the director's musical. The feelings of wanting the job, not being attractive, tall, short enough make for heightened tension.It seemed like a heavy topic for this aged company, however it is relevant to the teenage experience. However, it struck me that "A Chorus Line," which was conceived and directed by Michael Benett with the timeless score by Marvin Hamlisch, is certainly relevant today. In fact, recent shows on Broadway have certainly incorporated various conventions of the show, homosexuality, disease, divorce, etc. Taken from Michael Bennett's actual interviews with dancers, the actors embody the emotions of baring their souls in the lineup. To hear their internal monologues and sing as they reminisce about their childhoods is one of the conventions that enraptures. Jason Brantman and Fiona Santos give their young actors plenty to work with. I forgot they were so young, for they acted and sang with such maturity. The choreography by John Scacchetti was impressive, yet catered to the different dancing levels. The singing was dynamic and the orchestra was well balanced to the ensemble singing. The actors all connected to their characters. Standout moments included "At the Ballet," and "Hello 12, Hello 13, Hello Love" brought the emotion of innocence lost to its peak. "The Music and The Mirror," "What I Did for Love" and especially "One" were moving. Standouts included Evie Grandford-Altscher as Sheila, Maddy Murphy as Diana, Anna Fondiller as Cassie, and Kobe Gorn, as the psychological director who wants to get to the core of these dancers. The basic theme remains the same. All performers want that shot to be on stage, even if it is in the ensemble or a walk on role. However, it is unexpected that one needs to go deeper than expected in order to bring something special to their audition. That is why a great many performers drop out after a while. Just not worth it. Broadway Training Center certainly gives their company of actors something to really think about if they decide pursue a career.