By Kerrie Miller
When I attend a live performance of any kind, I usually sit straight up in my seat so as to take it all in. On Saturday evening, while I was at the Tarkington Civic Theatre, I found myself sitting forward in my seat, chin in my hands and a permanent smile on my face as I was pulled into an incredible production of “A Chorus Line.” I felt as though I was the director’s assistant, judging the 17 dancers on stage and listening to their individual stories as each person stepped out of the line up for their monologue, often spoken through song. With only a black back drop and the occasional use of mirrors, there were no distractions, enabling the audience to focus on each of the characters.
I very much enjoyed the ballet variations that accompanied the song “At the Ballet.” Natallee Cooney (Judy) executed a beautiful penchee with her partner as Laura Lockwood (Sheila), Betsy Norton (Bebe) and Julia Bonnett (Maggie) sang the song. Laughter filled the audience when Jordan Lugar (Kristine) and John O’Brien (Al) performed the husband and wife duet “Sing!” O’Brien’s strong voice, along with Lugar’s innocent execution of her character’s story, made me want their performance to continue for as long as possible. Anne Nicole Beck (Cassie) breezed through her dance to “The Music and the Mirror” effortlessly to the very end as she finished with a striking pose.
The golden finale of “One” was a reminder that this energetic, two-hour performance was coming to an end. The singing and dancing from all of the characters was as strong at the end as it was in the beginning. As the curtain closed on the synchronized kick line, I watched the audience began to stand and applaud, anxiously awaiting a curtain call. The lights in the Tarkington Theatre came on and the curtain remained down. Oh how I wished that curtain would lift so the performers could see the standing ovation, because each and every one of them deserved this.
“A Chorus Line” runs through September 22 at The Tarkington Theater (3 Center Green,Carmel). Performances are Thursday and Friday at 7 p.m. and Saturday at 5 p.m. Tickets are available online at thecenterfortheperformingarts.org or by phone at 843-3800.