Friday, July 28, 2006

A Chorus Line

A Chorus Line
Tuesday night we attended the second public performance of the pre-Broadway production of “A Chorus Line”. I haven’t seen a production of it in probably ten years. But it still holds up very well. It is still relevant today. And it still makes me want to run off and join a chorus of a show. Don’t expect it to sound like the original cast album/CD. It sounds better. One of the standout songs/performances on Tuesday was “Sing!”. The character Kristine (Chryssie Whitehead) does the off-key singing in a way that makes the song much more charming. When Diana (Natalie Cortez) sings “What I Did For Love”, it will bring a lump to your throat and tears to your eyes. Jason Tam does a heartbreaking turn as Paul that reduces you to a puddle. We both wanted to go back and see the show again later in the run before it opens on Broadway in September.

Last night we saw concert version of “Li’l Abner” by the local company 42nd Street Moon. While the performances and singing were uneven, I enjoyed seeing this now seldom done musical. It was a big hit in the last 1950s but the topical and political/social humor does not hold up well. The show is based on the Al Capp’s social satirical comic strip that was last published in the comic pages in 1977. The songs and stage routines are still funny. The last time I saw this show was 40 years ago when I was eight. I think it was the first live musical I ever saw. My parents took me to see my cousin perform the roll of Mammy Yokum in a high school production. I couldn't believe how much I remembered. A lot of it stayed with me.

3 comments:

Drew said...

I can't believe they made a concert version of Li'l Abner. I remember performing in that play in HS (although I could neither sing nor dance!) and I thought it was a little corny back then.

Travel safe.

headbang8 said...

Disagree about the humour not holding up well. Do we not see the same naked political self interest and big business arrogance today?

Local amateur companies always try to do this musical, and frankly, it's too complicated for them. Glad you enjoyed it, noentheless.

Daniel, the Guy in the Desert said...

I always thought Li'l Abner was terrific. Like Pogo, if one looked just a tiny bit deeper, the satire has really sharp teeth.

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