Erica Salvalaggio is a freelance reporter for the Brampton News. She is a first year student in the Radio & Television Arts program at Ryerson University.
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Brampton - Reminders of the struggle to “make it” within society while still doing what we love and following our dreams lie at the heart of nearly every scene in the Rose Theatre Brampton’s production of “A Chorus Line”. Anger, fear, sadness, sarcasm, and confusion are only a few of the feelings and emotions evoked by the characters whose talent crafts an illustration of life that everyone can relate to.
Robert Woodcock’s production of the Tony Award winning musical, about seventeen dancers auditioning “for the chance of a lifetime”, has been cast flawlessly. Each actor -- a triple threat -- brings a depth to their character that is impossible to match, while they not only act, but also dance and sing.
The music was indeed extraordinary; however it cannot be mentioned without praising the orchestra whom, although small, manage to further create the mood of the musical. Under the direction of Rosalind Mills, the pounding of the percussion, the rich voice of the trumpet, and the shrill sounds of the winds create ambiance without being overpowering, or distracting from the musical’s main storyline.
Admittedly, at the beginning of the musical some aspects were slightly confusing. However, it didn’t take long for these problems to be resolved. The first being, “Where is the booming voice of the line director coming from?” He later comes out and remains on stage until the play concludes. The second question one is struck dumb with is, “Why is one dancer dressed in such a lovely dress and heels, especially for a physically demanding audition?” This woman is later revealed as a former lover of the line director -- which is reason enough for her to stand out.
While at first “A Chorus Line” has its audience wondering “Who will make the cut?” it soon becomes apparent that this is not the central point of the play. The seventeen dancers, who initially seem anxious, antsy and divided, eventually unite as they share stories of their childhood and how it has shaped their passion for dance. It is this love of dance that sets off a light bulb in each audience member’s mind. This musical is not about success and defeat. Rather, it shows that similarities exist among people of all ages, that our insecurities never truly leave us, and most importantly, that true happiness lies in doing what we love and never settling for less, regardless of circumstance.
If in the mood for a little song and dance, “A Chorus Line” will not disappoint. Character experiences strike as close to home as is possible. Who hasn’t felt insecure? Who hasn’t felt the need to choose between love and stability? We all have, just as each of the seventeen dancers in this play do. The ability to relate, along with the depth each actor brings to their character makes this production a must see. So grab your dancing shoes and your singing voice, maybe you’ll rediscover your long lost love, as you watch the characters affirm theirs.