A director is casting dancers for a large production. Large numbers of hopefulls audition, hoping to be selected. Throughout the day, more and more people are eliminated, and the competition gets harder. Eventually, approximately a dozen dancers must compete for a few spots, each hoping to impress the director with their dancing skill. But, is this really what the director is looking for?Written by
Murray Chapman <firstname.lastname@example.org>
On Broadway, A Chorus Line was pure magic. From the second the show opened with a spectacular burst of energy to the truly grand finale, a joyous curtain call of all those chorus members who we grew to love during the course of the show, we were totally engaged - captivated by the intensely personal stories, some funny, some clever, some stirring, of this chorus line. The movie is another matter entirely. The focus is now on the director - and WHAT an ogre he is! Every time the film switches to Michael Douglas, there he is with a bitter, sour expression, barking out questions and orders, screaming and yelling whenever he gets the chance. Yikes!! That changes the dynamics of the story. On Broadway, the director was indeed an imperious offstage presence, but he was also sort of a theatrical device to allow the stories of these amazing strong/fragile/intriguing/hilarious chorus line members to be told with insight and clarity. There is a reason this work won the Pulitzer Prize! And actually in one of the only moments the director appears, he is there to comfort the young Puerto Rican Dancer after we hear that dancer's heart-breaking story. He appears again to ultimately express his genuine affection/ concern for Cassie. But in the movie, from the second Douglas' director starts bitterly barking orders, the chorus line members' stories become secondary. It's like they are in a lousy profession, where a jaded director instead of showing the joy at creating a new exciting theatrical show, is jaded, exhausted, furious at having to audition these chorus members. On stage, there was ALWAYS the excitement of the show. Here in the movie practically from the word go, you feel sorry for everyone involved. During the course of the musical, we desperately wished every single one of those chorus members well, and how happy we would have been if they had all gotten the job! But of course that couldn't happen. But in the Finale when they all came back in glorious costume with those amazing spinning mirrors on stage, sometimes reflecting us in the audience, in our hearts, and we know, also in the hearts of all those chorus members both accepted and rejected, they were on stage forever dancing in a profession they loved so much, bringing magic to the theatre. In the movie, after all the misplaced story lines and emphasis, that magic becomes totally diluted. All we feel (even with the exact same curtain call), is that some of the members got a job with a mean-spirited director. So they all come on the screen and are dancing again. Big deal.
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