The successful 2006 Broadway revival of the long-running “A Chorus Line” hit the road with loads of traction in a spirited Mile High City tour premiere. The immediacy of the original bare-bones staging, wisely re-created for this production, should appeal to heartland audiences eager to revisit the breakthrough creativity of the late Michael Bennett’s show, which swept the Tonys and bagged the Pulitzer Prize in 1976.
While the traveling production could perhaps use a trim to maintain its momentum and not overplay its one-act welcome with certain audience segments, its strong character work upholds the power of the autobiographical tales, the drama of the audition and casting process and the overall emotional arc of “a day in the life” of a chorus dancer.
Clyde Alves kicks things off with an energetic “I Can Do That”; Emily Fletcher stops the show early with her magnetic take on statuesque Sheila, the over-the-top femme fatale; Kevin Santos breaks our hearts as shy, gay Paul; Jessica Latshaw finds the perfect quirky pitch as tone-deaf 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 onetime girlfriend of the director. And then there’s that glorious finish!
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 dreams and talent, willing to work for low pay and no promise of tomorrow. This enduring show still makes us marvel at their guts and share their love of dance.