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Review: 'A Chorus Line' sizzles in O.C.

3-D Theatricals' sensational version of the Broadway show is playing at the Plummer Auditorium in Fullerton through May 27.

May 24, 2012|By Heather Youmans, Special to the Daily Pilot
  • 3D Theatricals’ production of "A Chorus Line" is directed by T.J. Dawson and is playing at the Historic Plummer Auditorium in Fullerton.
3D Theatricals’ production of "A Chorus… (Courtesy Isaac…)

3-D Theatricals' production of "A Chorus Line" celebrates the unsung heroes of the ensemble by breathing new life into a singular sensation that transcends time.

The show is playing through Sunday at Fullerton's Plummer Auditorium.

"A Chorus Line" was an instant success when it first opened on Broadway in 1975. The production won nine Tony Awards, including "Best Musical," the Pulitzer Prize for drama, and is credited as the longest running American-produced Broadway musical.

The show is about 17 dancers who audition for a Broadway chorus line and the stories that brought them there. All the artists are desperate for work and must dance for their lives to land a spot on the line.

Unfortunately, the financial realities of the entertainment industry have not changed much since 1975.

Today, the trials of these fictitious characters plague many performers striving to maintain a career in the unstable entertainment business. "A Chorus Line" is a reality of the present. So, there is no better time to once again bring back the line and reach out to theatergoers.

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Michael Bennett, who originally conceived, directed and choreographed the show, based it on true stories from Broadway dancers taped in two all-night sessions.

The final product featured classic songs by composer Marvin Hamlisch, including "One," "Dance: Ten, Looks: Three," "At the Ballet," and the musical theater anthem "What I Did For Love."

3-D's production was performed without an intermission, as it was originally presented. But the time flew from the high-energy opening combination until the final elimination.

For many theater enthusiasts in the audience during the May 17 performance, Bennett's enduring choreography was immediately recognizable and gave off a nostalgic vibe. So, when the dancers burst into the original opening combination ("I Hope I Get It"), theatergoers unleashed a thunderous applause.

Restaged choreography by Linda Love-Simmons intricately interpreted Bennett's choreography for the Plummer stage. The mirrors lining the stage's back wall put audience members in the performers' shoes as if they were onstage dancing with them.

Jared Sayeg's minimalist adaptation of Tharon Musser's lighting conveyed the blur of an audition experience.

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