published Friday, March 11th, 2011

'A Chorus Line' at Memorial Auditorium

In many ways, “A Chorus Line” is a show about last chances.

The longest-running production on Broadway to originate in the United States, it’s the story of 17 struggling performers fighting for a part in a new Broadway musical.

It takes place on the bare stage of a theater — no elaborate sets. The actors are in dance clothes — loose pants and T-shirts, leotards, worn dresses — nothing flashy. Until the illustrious final number, that is.

The show is coming here as part of the Broadway series presented by the Tivoli Auditorium Promotion Association. It was nominated for 12 Tony Awards in 1976, winning nine, including Best Musical, Best Original Score, Best Choreography and awards for three of the actors. The revival, in 2007, received two nominations but no wins.

TAPA president David Johnson said he believes Marvin Hamlisch’s unforgettable score, including songs like “Dance Ten, Looks Three,” “Sing,” “What I Did For Love” and “One,” the famed kickline finale number, combined with choreography by Michael Bennett (who directed), and a strong story make “A Chorus Line” endure.

“It’s the dance, the glitz, the backstage look at what it takes to get on Broadway,” he said.

But while the show does conjure up the lights of the Great White Way, the story is about struggling people who are fighting tooth and nail to get what they want. It’s a frame of mind likely to resonate with audiences.

According to Johnson, “A Chorus Line” might have set the stage for “American Idol” and “Dancing With the Stars.”

“If you really think of it, it was probably the first venture into a reality show, where you see the struggles and people competing, the heartbreak and the joy, all the things that they experience, how they’re selected, who makes it and who doesn’t. People can relate to the daily struggles characters have.”

IF YOU GO

* What: “A Chrorus Line.”

* When: 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.

* Where: Memorial Auditorum, 399 McCallie Ave.

* Admission: $31.50 - $56.

* Phone: 642-TIXS.

* Website: www.achorusline.com.

about Holly Leber ...

Holly Leber is a reporter and columnist for the Life section. She has worked at the Times Free Press since March 2008. Holly covers “everything but the kitchen sink" when it comes to features: the arts, young adults, classical music, art, fitness, home, gardening and food. She writes the popular and sometimes-controversial column Love and Other Indoor Sports. Holly calls both New York City and Saratoga Springs, NY home. She earned a bachelor of arts ...

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