Monday, June 02, 2008

a...5...6...7...8..!!!


I just needed to post this... because if I don't do it now I probably never will. It's been 25 years already.



A Chorus Line... Broadway's longest running show!... (oh wait, that was the first one) will close it's doors on August 17th.

Please don't get me wrong, this is NOT a case of sour grapes. NOT a case of wishing I could still be back there looking as fit, skinny and gorgeous as all of those youngin's up there and doing it all over again. And not wishing at ALL that it had never been revisited. Because seriously... if it hadn't been, just think of the generation that would never have had the opportunity to see Michael Bennett's incredible masterpiece. Because, trust me, the movie didn't count.

I never made it to see it this time around. I wanted to, and tried when I was in New York this past April, but they wouldn't sell me a standing room ticket unless the entire show was sold out, which it wasn't.

I feel really bad saying this...

But, from those I've heard from and whose opinions I trust, they've all pretty much said the same thing... which was that there was something... lacking. Even though I can't imagine it lacking anything... in remembering back to the night I first saw it in May of 1976, before it had even moved to Broadway. At the time I was moved beyond anything I had ever previously experienced. And I wasn't alone.

It must take alot to win every Tony award imaginable and then continue on to be the longest running show ever. Whew... I was just so relieved not to have been all alone in all my fangirliness. Never dreamed, but hoped, that I would someday be a part of it.

Someday... maybe?... later?... we'll see.

So what's the deal? Dunno. Perhaps it speaks volumes about allowing some things to rest in peace. As if some things should just not attempt re-creation. There are other shows which have fared quite well as revivals but perhaps this particular one just surfaced at the right time and in the right place back then. Even though the show was dedicated to "anyone who has ever danced in a chorus or marched in step... anywhere", so it seems it should have remained relevant. But remember, this was back in the day when those stuck in those roles were pretty much destined to remain there forever.

I don't think it's any coincidence that since that time, chorus dancers have become more ambiguous... and that pretty much anyone with a decent amount of talent and wherewithall can now become a star. Those anomolies no longer strike us with the same consternation they used to. And I think Michael, unknowingly, somehow and singlehandedly paved the way for that...

And that's why I don't think this show should have reimmursed. It was all about timing. A one time deal. As if it should be a moot point.


But to continue...

I still don't think that my life would have ever been quite as complete if I'd have had to remain forever on the outside looking in on this one... never having had this incredible experience. I remember singing and dancing all those songs to myself in the mirror for ages. And still, never really... believing I'd ever really be a part of it. And so this next part is mostly for me. Just in order to keep things organized in my mind and all... and of course simply to remember.

I wrote this once. A Simple Twist of Fate....back in the day when all I pretty much knew was how to dance... and didn't know a THING about resizing pictures.

And then after that there was pretty much nothing else to show for it, except for a couple of black and white glossies like this one...



And this one...



Remember, that this was 1979-1983... and right on the threshold of the video age. So unfortunately, I just missed it. But there was ONE professional video taken that I somehow lucked into...



I guess my personal sadness is that the age of technology just came too late. And though I'm not whining for myself neccessarily, this blurry capture of the orignial cast in the Opening Number just does NOT do it justice! It was just so incredible to see it first hand back in the day, especially with my 23 year old eyesight! Still, I'm so grateful to have it now! It was special. Very.



That's not me in front, in the lavender leotard, even though I look alot like Trish which is what everybody always said... which is also pretty much the reason I probably got the part... Oh well.

Anyway, thanks Whit for finally capturing this next one, even though I didn't know you were doing it at the time... You weren't even born when I danced it originally...

Keep in mind that my knees are now completely shot and my flexibility hammered. Not to mention I am now 53 years old and I was attempting to do it in a kitchen between a fridge and a table...and a high chair. So please be kind. But I still surprised myself. It was fun. And my kids are so cute!



Though I can't EVEN remember the tap combination...



Clay content?: Well, I'm pretty sure he could never have learned that tap combination to begin with...

The Longest Line...


...*sigh*


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3 comments:

Aaron, Whitney, and Jade said...

Mom, I just have sooo much to say about this. First of all, you've still got it! Next, I am so jealous that you got that opportunity. There are just not many people on earth who can say that. If I could choose a show to be in it would be this one. Hopefully someday I'll get that chance :) Lastly...to watch those first videos and then watch the one of you dancing in my kitchen where we're laughing...it doesn't seem to do justice to what a big part of your life that was. I mean, its just huge! And one question...in the first video, are you in that cast or just someone who looks just like you? Anyway...great job. I'm very happy to have a video of you doing this.

molnar ramblings said...

Jannet, thanks for allowing me a part of your life! Might I add what a life! You have done things that others would dream of doing but never have the opportunity.
I loved the dancing and the fact that you were so brave to audition and then so talented to get the part! Wow, you are a celebrity in my heart!!!
Dancing in the kitchen with your girls looking on that wasn't even on your scope when you were 23 and doing the stage show. Just goes to show you can have it all!!!
You may be 53 but you still have the moves!

Carolina Clay said...

Chardonnay,

Loved your "Chorus Line" blog! What wonderful memories you have. Thnx so much for sharing them here.

I really enjoyed the kitchen reruns, too. *g*

Have a wonderful weekend!

Caro