Friday, August 04, 2006

A Chorus Line Reviews

The first reviews for A Chorus Line revival are online. It is playing at the Curran Theatre in San Francisco, prior to it's start on Broadway in September. So what do the critics have to say ...

Variety, Dennis Harvey writes that "This sturdy revival of "A Chorus Line" has everything going for it except the excitement of discovery, since it's pretty much the same show that opened on Broadway in 1975. Director Bob Avian (then its co-choreographer) faithfully reproduces Michael Bennett's masterful first edition, there's a hard-working and likable new cast, and much of this great musical drama's potency remains intact. But the Gotham-bound show (previews begin Sept. 18 at the Schoenfeld Theatre) has been gone from N.Y. only 16 years and begs the question: Can a verbatim revival conjure enough "event" status to re-conquer Broadway?"

San Francisco Chronicle, Robert Hurwitt writes that "It can't possibly pack the same punch it once did. Its format -- conceived and developed by Bennett from the personal stories of the original company -- is no longer groundbreaking. The sexual content of the dancers' stories, as honed by book writers James Kirkwood and Nicholas Dante, has lost any shock value it once had. The central action of culling a pool of auditioners has become too much a commonplace of a mass culture hooked on casting competitors off islands and winnowing out idols. But the stories retain their appeal and affecting impact, as told with honest simplicity by a very strong cast. The format is refreshingly intimate and focused on basic theatrical values in an age of overblown spectacle and "jukebox" popsicals."

San Jose Mercury News, Karen D'Souza writes that "If the new Broadway-bound revival of `A Chorus Line' got a score card, the dancing would rate a near-perfect 10, the acting a meager 3 and the directing, well, that approaches zero."

Inside the Bay Area, Chad Jones writes that " Desperation never gets old. That's what we learned Wednesday at the Curran Theatre in San Francisco, where the Broadway-bound revival of "A Chorus Line" made its official debut...? One of the dancers in the show whines, "They're not doing big musicals like they used to." That's not exactly true, but what this welcome revival reminds us is that they're not doing shows that make us care nearly as much as "A Chorus Line" does."

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