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A Chorus Line

[The following review will appear online in Variety this week and in print the week of May 17th.]

The Company in One
The Company in "One"
Photo: Paul Kolnik
The successful Broadway revival of its all-time longest-running show hit the road with loads of traction in a spirited Mile High City premiere. Denver's 2792-seat Buell Theatre provided the perfect crossover venue, with its state-of-the art facility, strong local musicianship, and enthusiastic and supportive ticket base.

The genuiness of the original bare bones staging, wisely recreated for the 2006 Rialto turn and this tour, should appeal to heartland audiences eager to revisit the breakthrough creativity of a show that swept 9 of 12 Tonys, 5 Drama Desk Awards, and the Pulitzer Prize (to name a few) in 1976.

Nikki Snelson as Cassie
Nikki Snelson as Cassie
Photo: Paul Kolnik
Strong character work upholds the power of the autobiographic tales, drama of the audition and casting process, and overall emotional arc of "a day in the life" of a chorus dancer, though the travelling show could use a trim to keep its momentum and not overplay its one-act welcome with certain audience segments.

Clyde Alves kicks things off with an energetic "I Can Do That"; Emily Fletcher stops the show early with her imposing magnetic take on Sheila, the statuesque over-the-top femme fatale; Kevin Santos breaks our hearts as the shy, gay Paul; Jessica Latshaw finds the perfect quirky pitch as Kristine; Natalie Hall turns up the heat in "Dance: Ten; Looks: Three"; and Nikki Snelson bares her soul as Cassie, the out-of-work former lead and one-time girl friend of the director. And then there's that glorious finish!

Anthony Wayne as Richie and the Company
Anthony Wayne as Richie and the Company
Photo: Paul Kolnik
You gotta love this bunch: Tall, short, shapely, thin, straight, gay, black, white, brown, yellow, from small towns and outlying metropolises, they pour into the Big Apple with their dreams and talent, willing to work (when they do) for low pay and no promise of tomorrow. We marvel at their guts and share their love of dance.

Denver Center Attractions presentation of A Chorus Line runs through May 17th. 303-893-4100.

Bob Bows

 

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