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Archikulture Digest

by Carl F Gauze

A Chorus Line

A Chorus Line
Book by James Kirkwood and Nicholas Dante
Music by Marvin Hamlisch
Lyrics by Edward Kleban
Directed and Choreographed by Angela Cotto
Musical Direction by Angelyn Rhode
Breakthrough Theater, Winter Park FL

As we enter the theater, the cast is stretching on stage and you can tell who’s really studied ballet nd who hasn’t. Just like any open call, you get the good, the bad, and the “ain’t gonna make its.” But each of these bright young people has a story, and the conceit of this musical about a musical lean heavily on backstory and not so much on the front story.

Up in the booth we have Zack (Wade Hair) as the Voice of God. Unseen and unnaturally curious, he demands the life story of each of these people before he decides their near-term future. Bobby (Anthony Slivinski) has the weakest dance moves but might make a great monologist. Val (Sabrina Perez) is obsessed by tits, and Paul (David Garcia) offers up a tragic tale of growing up in 42nd street movie houses. Quiet Bebe (Tatum Ivy) and Diana (Gabby Hatch) dance well, but have little to say. The main plot point, besides the looming question of “Am I in or am I out?” is a past relation between Zack and Cassie (Melissia Peterson). Anything personal is dead, but does that mean he won’t hire her? We shall see.

While this show can look like the cattle call audition in “All That Jazz,” the overall effect is close to reality. Everyone is scared, everyone is broke, and everyone is realizing they are perhaps not the next Chita Rivera. But they are here, they are trying, and some even appear to have the skills to claw their way to the middle. And like all good Breakthrough musicals, the stage is packed but no one trips on anyone else’s shoelaces. They are all winners, in their own unique way.

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