By Kathy Carpenter
Welk Theatre Resort Presents “A Chorus Line.” A Passionate Raw Emotional Journey of Love.” Audience loved and appreciated Director and Choreographer Hector Guerrero who stuck to the original 1975 version of the Broadway show.
A Chorus line is a Musical with music by The fabulous Marvin Hamlisch, lyrics by Edward Kieban, and book by James Kirkwood Jr. and Nicholas Dante. The musical was the longest running musical on Broadway until Cats. The musical also took nine of the twelve Tony’s the show was nominated for. And in 1976 won The Pulitzer prize for Drama. High Praises. For this version Guerrero brought us back to where it all started.
The musical is the inspirational process of an audition for dancers trying to win the roles in a chorus. Competing against others just as good or maybe even better for the few coveted spots. Each telling their story to the director. Why did they start dancing, how old were they, and what would they do if they could not dance?
Dancing is the dream. Most will give it their all until they can’t dance any longer and have not thought beyond. One of the main characters is Cassie, a gal a little older, who was once involved with the director. She needs a job, and has returned to New York to do what she loves. Zach, the director, thinks she’s too good. Cassie just wants to dance.
Zach, is played by Jeffrey Ricca. He brings realness, tough with a soft edge. Cassie is played by Mikayla Agrella, making her Welk debut. Most of the cast and this is a big one is making their Welk debuts. Thank you Welk for bringing new energy into the family and allowing us the chance to enjoy this ensemble.
The only names I recognized is the amazing Jeffrey Scott Parsons, who plays Mike. One of the likable guys. Once an actor wins you over in a masterful performance you don’t forget them. And Natalie Nucci, playing Shelia, an older woman, still trying to make it as a dancer. Because she has been with Welk before. Surprisingly none of the dancers trying out for the parts are real young. The newcomers gave us an authenticity that brought the heart and realism the show is known for.
In A Chorus Line is there are only two song you know. Dance: Ten; Looks: Three, sang by Val, played by Holly Echner. You might think of it as the Tits and Ass number. A fun and probably true song in the show. And, my favorite “One.” Which is actually sang twice. Once during the second act. It’s also the finale song, where each actor comes forth from the curtain one by one taking a bow, dressed identically in white and glittery gold identical costumes of a chorus where they blend into one.
One aspect that surprised me was the beautiful singing. This is a dance show you expect great dancing but these actors can sing too. Welk produces Broadway quality shows, why travel to New York?
A Chorus Line
Welk Rsort Theatre
8860 Lawrence Welk Drive
Escondido, CA 92026