A&E » Arts

Get in line

Squamish kicks up a triple-threat performance



By Nicole Fitzgerald

What: A Chorus Line

When: Nov. 2-4 & 9-11

Where: Eagle Eye Theatre in Squamish

Tickets: $13/$11

Director Adriane Polo had no idea what she was fighting for when she struggled to get licensing for the musical A Chorus Line.

The nine-time Tony Award winning tale of performers’ struggles to step onto the professional stage was undergoing a Broadway revival. However, Polo secured rights, leading to another and even greater challenge. Reading through the score for the first time, Polo soon realized she had picked one of the most difficult musicals to produce with a community theatre cast.

With the exception of one role, performers in all other roles, all 19 of them, male and female, needed to not only act, but sing; and not only act and sing, but dance — true triple threat performers who need to do it all with a top hat and cane in hand.

With extra rehearsals and a talented cast of theatre veterans, dance and music instructors, and passionate thespians, Sea to Sky Entertainment has got in line to showcase one of Broadway’s biggest dramatic dance extravaganzas A Chorus Line, showing Nov. 2 to 4 and 9 to 10 at 8 p.m. at Eagle Eye Theatre in Squamish. Saturdays there will be 2 p.m. matinees as well.

“We put in extra rehearsals to iron out the bugs,” Polo said. “Right now things are looking really good. I think people coming to see it are going to be pleasantly surprised. The fact that we can do a show of this calibre with dancing and singing in this town really shows what talent we’ve got here.”

Talent and heart are at the core of the longest running show in Broadway history, logging in 6,137 performances by the early 1990s.

The story, penned by James Kirkwood and Nicholas Dante and then brought to stage by Michael Bennet, follows the tales of a group of actors, singers and dancers auditioning for a Broadway musical. As each steps out from the audition chorus line, a different personal story unfolds. From the hilarity of the song Dance 10, Looks 3 sung by an actor who couldn’t get work until she got a boob and butt job, to the heartache of What I Did for Love, which contemplates the sweetness and the sorrow of a lost romance without regret.

If you haven’t seen a live performance, you may be familiar with the film version produced in 1985 starring Michael Douglas as Zach and Alyson Reed as Cassie (from the television hit Taxi).

Lines and monologues are far and few between with singing and dancing stealing the spotlight. And thanks to the talent and hard work of musical directors, coaches and choreographers, Sea to Sky Entertainment makes sure the spotlight is given due justice with tight choreography and harmonies.

Along with Polo, production manager Randy Marohn, choreographer Jennifer Carney, music director Fran Booth and vocal coach Melissa Bachert head up the team of theatre enthusiasts. Carney is one of three dance teachers in cast and crew, including Jane Runnals and Debbie MacDonald. Other cast notables include music teacher Veronica McFee, Vancouver Opera singer Kelly Coubrough and drama teacher Janice Carroll, as well as Sea to Sky stage veterans Skai Stevenson and Warren Dask.

“The cast has lots of musical theatre and drama background,” Polo said. “It’s probably the best cast you can think of.”

The Pulitzer-Prize-winning drama is rated PG-13 due to course language and sexual subject matter.

Tickets are $13 and $11 and are available at Billie’s Bouquet or the downtown branch of Squamish Savings. One dollar of each ticket will be donated to the Squamish SPCA.