Everything was beautiful at the ballet. I was pretty… I was happy… I would love to… …at the ballet.
This is just the first of many quotes I carry along with me since so long that I just don’t remember. I love to sing them when they trigger in my head, most times because I have a situation that has to do with the words -say, after applying for a job I really like. “A Chorus Line” has been my favourite musical since that late night I was zapping and it appeared on the TV3 (subtitled in Catalan). I must have been 15 or so. I was hypnotized by the amazing performers, all of them great dancers, singers and actors -well, except Michael Douglas who obviously didn’t get the role for his acting abilities, but we all forgive him now. I just got struck by the whole story, the drama of facing such a hard selection process and, within it, their own miseries.
God I hope I get it, I hope I get it, how many people does he need? I really need this job, Please, God, I need this job. I’ve got to get this job!
Most people would call this a musical comedy, and yes, it makes you laugh (lots of hard laughter through all the piece tonight at the Palladium). But “A Chorus Line” is a terrific story about everyday’s fight in life: for a position, for an identity, for a dream, for happiness; against your past, against your fears, against bullying, against your own family… Within two hours you face that moment when you went through the interviews to get your current job, the realisation that you’re growing and you won’t be young forever, your first kisses, your happy and sad moments as a child… you see your whole life pass before you, told in many ways, by many people, but it’s the echos inside you what makes this story amazing. Great job, Kirkwood Jr. and Dante (book writers).
God, I’m a dancer. A dancer dances!
Then, the lyricist (Kleban) and the composer (Hamlisch) don’t fall behind either. The first one wrote moving, sensitive texts and funny, real lyrics for the latter’s music. There are many genres, from Waltz to Funk, with a great tribute to the 1930s musicals… I find it extraordinary, that you hear nearly a hundred times the “One” theme and you don’t get sick of it… The use of complex classical patterns such as the fugue/canon in the modern music context is really outstanding.
Who am I anyway? Am I my resumé?
And tonight’s performance at the Palladium has been absolutely incredible. Never ever in my whole life had I enjoyed so much in a musical, and I’ve seen a lot of them live, recorded, in different languages… The theatre itself is beautiful, and I had a great seat too -all that helps for a better experience… But the performers were everything in this show! I wouldn’t like having to cast this show because to get 20 really complete artists, ALL of which can sing, act and dance to such high standards must be a nightmare! To start with, Zach (John Partridge) dances in the show! And he's really classy! Also great moves and voice James T Lane (Richie), though the best male singer possibly was Simon Hardwick (Al).
This man is nothing! This course is nothing! If you want something, go find a better class!
Cassie’s performance of “The music and the mirror” was awesome, especially the powerful and beautiful voice of Scarlett Strallen. With a really straightforward and honest acting and singing, Victoria Hamilton-Barritt does a great work as Diana. And Leigh Zimmerman’s Sheila made us laugh really often too, but she excelled in the rendition of “At the Ballet”, together with Vickie Lee Taylor (Maggie) and Daisy Maywood (Bebe). I can’t remember any other piece that gave me goosebumps for so long, both for the beauty of the voices and the energy they transmitted. Absolutely incredible. But anyone who was tonight at the show will agree with me that the peak tonight was Paul’s story, told so well, acted so naturally by Gary Wood that half the theatre was crying when he reached the “Take care of my son. It was the first time he called me that”.
But I can't regret what I did for love, what I did for love.
I could only finish this post referring to my favourite song in the musical, probably the one I sing more often because, despite how self-assured I am, I am wrong many times, so I find myself regretting things often… But I could never regret nor change or forget that I have loved, nor anything I have done out of love. And I really like it like that, leaving my heart open to some more pain maybe, but also open for loads and loads of love yet to come. I leave you with the film‘s version, with Cassie singing it, instead of Diana. It moves me more this way. Such a pity that this amazing show doesn’t stay longer in London. Kiss the day goodbye!
All the linked pictures have been taken from the show's Facebook official page