I wasn’t really dragged to see “A Chorus Line” at the Marriott Theatre in Lincolnshire, IL. As I may have mentioned, Chorus Line is one of the musicals that I do enjoy, along with “Guys and Dolls,” “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,” and “Les Miserables.” The common denominator among those plays is that they feature some very memorable songs. In the case of “Chorus Line” the standout songs are “I Hope I Get It,” “Sing,” “One,” the dance number that is central to the play’s plot, and “Dance: Ten, Looks: Three,” also known as “Tits and Ass.” In that number, the character of Val sings about how she had to get ‘enhancements’ to start getting callbacks for shows.
In fact, the whole play is that “show within a show” concept where all the main characters have to reveal things about themselves, in order to get hired to be in the chorus line of a Broadway show. It’s kind of like a play about Spring Training, where ball players are competing for positions on the team bench. Instead of seeking five tool players, the producer is looking for the best singers and dancers.
The performance featured some great dancing, choreographed by Rachel Rockwell. The setup at this venue is that the stage is in the middle of the theater, surrounded by seats on four sides. So it is theater “in the square,” as opposed to “in the round.” That must have posed quite a challenge to director Mark Lococo, who stages the show in such a way that the dancing action turns to face each portion of the audience. It is also not a large venue, so I was in the second row, and could almost reach out to where the actors were entering and exiting the stage area.
Notable performances were given by Adrian Aguilar as Al, Nicole Hren as Kristine, and Pilar Millhollen as Diane. One of the coolest parts of the show was the use of these one way mirrors that were lowered from the ceiling. They allowed the patrons to see the stage without blocking their site line, but still created the mirrored views that are central to action.
Today is your last chance to see “A Chorus Line.” Next up at the Marriott is “The Music Man,” running from November 3rd until January 9th. My rating – a solid triple – three stars.