Review: A Chorus Line at Green Valley Theatre Company

Guess who got the part?

Guess who got the part?

Photo courtesy of Christopher Cook

Showtimes: Sat 8pm (5/19), Sun 3pm & 7pm (5/20), Sat 8pm (5/25). $18. Green Valley Theatre Company at Hiram Johnson High School Auditorium, 6879 14th Avenue, or at the box office 30 minutes before show time.
Rated 3.0

A musical as large and complex as A Chorus Line would be too much for most community theater groups to undertake.

The play, which in 1976 won the Tony Award for best musical and the Pulitzer Prize for drama (it rarely happens), is set on a bare theater stage and centers on a group of 17 dancers auditioning for eight spots on the chorus line of a new Broadway musical. The audition is overseen by Zach (Shawn O’Neal), who elicits revealing stories of their young lives and why and how they came to dance.

Paul (Elio Gutierrez-Montoya) had to come to grips with his masculinity and his homosexuality. Mike (Christian Forste) stepped into his sister’s place in dance class and quickly learned “I Can Do That.” Sheila (Samantha Caiola) found respite from an unhappy family life through dance (“At the Ballet”). and Val (Emalie Powers) tells how plastic surgery saved her career (“Dance Ten, Looks Three,” a.k.a. “Tits and Ass.”)

Director/choreographer Jacob Gutierrez-Montoya makes excellent use of the large stage, but some dialogue is muddled in the cavernous space, and some lyrics don’t make it over the live orchestra.

It’s a fine effort that just… could be better.

That the Green Valley Theatre Company pulls it off—and does it as well as it does—would be surprising, except that it’s Green Valley. And they do good work.