Review: A Chorus Line

The American College Dublin have taken on the backstage musical sensation, ‘A Chorus Line’ in a show-stopping, toe-tapping production.

Playing in the Smock Alley’s Main Space, the production takes the much-adored show (which debuted in 1975), and breathes new life into it with the next generation of musical stars. Stepping out of the background and into the spotlight, this is a show that turns the attention to the performers who don’t normally get the love which the front actors do.

Directed by Mary MacDonagh, ‘A Chorus Line’ tells the story of a group of dancers in an audition, pining for a coveted spot in the ensemble of a show. The “director” (Eoin Gleeson) challenges the group to tell the story of why they love performing, expecting each one to make a compelling case for why they should be cast. 

The audience are treated to a wide range of backgrounds and anecdotes, ranging from tales of living up to parents expectations; coming to New York to chase one’s dream of being a dancer; wrestling with insecurities about the way look; realising one’s homosexuality; …or falsely believing they had somehow contracted gonorrhea (despite being 13 and never been with anyone).

As each story is told, the audience is pulled into a beautiful narrative of what it means to watch your dreams fade away as each year goes by, no matter how much you still want them to happen.

Each cast member stands out in their own right! From the heart wrenching ‘What I Did For Love’ (performed by Julie Power and Company), to the charmingly peculiar ‘Sing’ (sung in a hilarious duet by Ciara Laste and Sam Gilmartin), to the synchronised delight that is ‘One’; the production left every audience member both reaching for the tissues and splitting their sides in laughter.

With incredible singing, dancing, and characterisations, ‘A Chorus Line’ is a splendid production that will leave you humming the tunes to yourself for the rest of the week!

Review by Kevin Worrall

‘A Chorus Line’ plays in the Smock Alley until May 4th, see details here: https://smockalley.com/a-chorus-line/ 

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