Monday, July 7, 2008

A Chorus Line at the Ahmanson Theatre

One of the best things I did with the meager amount of cash I had last year, was spend a few hundred bucks on tickets for the Center Theatre Group. I love musicals, but as a broke wannabe screenwriter, I often barely have cash for anything other than gas (thanks, Iraq!), much less the steep prices these big ticket venues require. Because of my little splurge, I was able to see My Fair Lady, Avenue Q, Sweeney Todd, The Jersey Boys, A Chorus Line and coming up, The Drowsy Chaperone.

I've never seen A Chorus Line; not the movie, not the play, so it was a pleasent surprise to watch it come to life on the stage, particularly because the original 'Brooke' Nikki Snelson from Legally Blonde on broadway was playing the lead Cassie. I love her. Her entire role on Legally Blonde was to do the world's hardest jumprope routine, freeze in crazy uncomfortable positions, and still wail with an insane voice:

Needless to say, I was thrilled when I saw she was playing Cassie. She has her own ten minute solo midway through the production, and it was through her, and the contrast she depicts with the other dancers, that I truly understood what it means to be part of 'A Chorus Line'. The play itself centers around an audition. The actors never really leave the stage, apart from three solos, and there is constant dancing, and singing. It's a tough, tough role for anyone to play, and the dancers really rocked it out.

I will never, ever stop envying dancers bodies, and their ability to do incredible twists and flips without twisting their ankles. My feet ache just thinking about it. And they're jealous.

As am I.

That said, the show was particularly poignant for me because of the theme 'what do you do when you can't dance'. To these dancers, getting into the chorus line was EVERYTHING, and when do you really say when?

How do you know when you should stop, when you know you're never going to do what you wanted to do and need to settle for something else?

For an aspiring screenwriter, it's an intimidating thought. And a little sobering for a matinee, but I coulda just been projecting.

I tend to do that.

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