affection of the people upon whose lives it was based and whose jobs it
was titled after.
In the view of many theatrical professionals, "A Chorus Line" is as
much a slice of real life as it is a fictional play.
Music Theatre of Southern California will present "A Chorus Line" at
The Alex Theatre for five shows beginning Friday.
The musical's story follows the audition process of chorus dancers as
they are narrowed from 30 down to 16, and then ultimately to four boys
and four girls.
As the fictional director queries each dancer on their personal
histories, the audience is drawn in by the hopes, fears, anxieties and
determination of each dancer, feeling their aches and their joys as they
travel the road to acceptance or rejection.
The production is directed by Bill Shaw and choreographed by Rikki
Lugo, with musical direction by M. Roger Lockie.
Leslie Becker is a veteran of "A Chorus Line." She played Kristine in
the original Music Theatre production 10 years ago, and now returns in
the role of Cassie, a part she has twice played in other productions. She
has also had the opportunity to choreograph the play.
Except for the last number, Rikki Lugo is creating all new
choreography for this production, Becker says by phone before going off
Some choreographers choose to just recreate the Broadway version,
others decide to follow their own vision. Lugo is taking the latter road.
It is an amazing play to be part of, Becker says.
"It is based on real lives, and in a sense we're not really playing
characters," she says. "I once went through a situation that mirrored
what Cassie goes through, where I auditioned for a chorus part for a
director that I had done principal dancing for. It was really bizarre."
Becker moved from Southern California to New York four years ago, a
split-second decision that she does not regret.
"I was just finishing up the local production of 'Beauty and the
Beast,' and a friend asked what my plans were," she says. "I didn't
really have any. He said he was going to New York, and I immediately
decided that was what I wanted to do, also."