There are times during A Chorus Line when its all too authentic portrayal of dancers struggling for a part in a Broadway ensemble seems like the pinacle of musical theatre with Marvin Hamlisch's terrific score and brilliant dance routines. But it does have to be admitted that the "verbatim theatre" monologues from each dancer eventually become terminally dull and nearly grind the show to a halt. Fortunately, just as I was losing patience, it culminates in a spine tingling What I Do For Love and a rousing curatin call to One. Fittingly this is a true ensemble show but includes a breathtaking solo routine from the inevitable Strallen, Scarlett in this case. A Chorus Line might be most appreciated by theatre insiders but, at its glorious best, it's a reminder of just how great a song and dance show can be.
Opened 5 Feb 2013
If there had been an interval I think the majority of people would have walked out. The most boring show I have ever seen, No plot and an apology of a finale for something that went nowhwre.
The music was good, and so was the singing. But it never really went anywhere, and towards the end my mind was wondering, and lost interest in the show.
I had high expectations for this show, and was hoping it was going to deliver a breathtaking finale, especially as the plot was a little slow. I was expecting something big, a big show tune and a big routine. musically it was enjoyable but overall it failed to deliver. The finale constisted of nothing more then a farewell dance which lasted a only a few minutes. I left the Palladium very disappointed :-(
This is a show for "SHOW" people and not for those desiring an Andrew Lloyd Webber spectacular. The Palladium is his house though so he must have had some say in it being put on, but with 2,200 seats to fill he and the producers must have thought it would get the audience, sadly from these reviews not quite the right one. John Partridge is a revelation.
Have just returned from seeing the first half of the this disappointing and disgraceful apology for a show. If I thought I could get away with it I would register a complaint with the Trading Standards Office, for misrepresentation . Judging by the majority of the other reviews we were not alone in our views. A total,complete,and utter waste of time,effort and money
I was underwhelmed by the whole show. It dragged and the first half was very flat. Was surprised by how bored I was and kept looking at my watch. The last 10 mins were the best. Good dancing but some of the monologues should be cut. Was impressed with John Partridge. Disappointed overall.
Incredible dancing, Scarlett Strallen is astounding. Blogged: http://wp.me/p1iLrg-wN
Dull,disappointing. Kept waiting for it to 'start' and suddenly it was finished. Waste of money.
Awful. I got a free ticket and I still felt robbed, of two hours of my life
It is one of the best shows in the West End about the West End, which other show delivers a cast of 40 and a band of 17... For once a play with a real story and show stopping numbers. I had a great time. Makes you think again how rubbish that film version was!
Disappointed. I regret spending so much money on tickets.
Just seen the show, kept waiting for it to start! Slow boring could have nodded off was relieved when it ended - the last 10mins was the best part.
I'm sorry but I cannot see what all the fuss is about. I was bored and looking around me so were many others. The last 10 minutes were good but some alongside were already fast asleep. This was the worst show I have ever seen on a London stage & I felt robbed of the high priced entry charge
Very slow to start & I lost interest. It dragged on a bit.It was so hot in the theatre & my friend kept falling asleep ! It got slightly better as it went on & the finale was the only good bit & the only song of course One.......
Having seen the film and not the stage show I was SO looking forward to last nights WOS outing I Went home feeling surprisingly flat I suppose apart from Sheila I didnt find the characters engaging or empathetic No chemistry between Żak and Cassie in my opinion either Effective use of mirrors
Re: < ‘Dance: 10, Looks: 3' overscored on both accounts > There's no need for untruths/exaggerations simply to air your sadistic wit, Stu. How would you feel, as a West End newcomer, reading that, then having to go out and perform again? I actually liked Rebecca Herszenhorn, best; and, as for the general comments (on here and elsewhere) that there was too much dancing, isn't that a bit like saying 'Les Miz' is too Miserable? What did these people expect to see when they booked?
very disappointed. No energy until the last 10 minutes. Flat and some of the auditions went on too long and I switched off. I love musicals but I definately won't be going back to see this. Save your money.
I was quite under whelmed by the show. Scarlett Strallen was a poor Bonnnie Langford substitute her 'Music and the Mirror' number was embarrassingly bad (although I liked the mirrors). Quite funny that they had made her up to look a bit like her talented aunt. Victoria Hamilton-Barritt lived up to her big number - I felt 'nothing' for her performance although 'What I Did For Love' was slightly better. 'Dance: 10, Looks: 3' over scored on both accounts. Leigh Zimmerman was great as Sheila and stole the show. Loved her 'At The Ballet' number. The boys were better than the girls. If this was the best of the 3, 000 that turned up for auditions I have to say 'Oh dear'
I saw the original at Drury Lane and what impressed me then, were the biographies of the various dancers which were exceedingly moving. They came across as vibrant individuals who the audience cared about. We willed them to get the job. This provided a wonderful contrast to the unison ensemble dancing of One. I also saw a tour in Manchester a few years ago when Adam Faith played Zac and got a lot out of the role. The scene with him and Cassie was electric. Again the strength of the acting came across. This time around as expected I thought the dancing was superb, the singing OK ish if a bit nasal but much of the acting was either wooden or just didn't fill the theatre...I felt "nothing." I didn't care about the characters. Not even Cassie. Wow! That's never happened before. I did query some of the casting on reflection.Maybe more depth of characterisation will emerge as the show gets into its run. A little disappointed. Sorry.
Rather than try to analyse all of other comments, I’d like to agree with the positive ones and allow negative posters the right to their opinions (although I can’t agree that musicals have moved on in a positive manner, when so many are mere compilations of Abba/Queen/Madness/Beatles and others are adaptations of so-so films which contained no songs in the first place; this one was at least conceived with book/score/choreography as a unified whole). On a cold Wednesday afternoon, they “upgraded” us to the stalls and shut off the upper circle – I hope this is not the shape of things to come, as I would hate to see this show close due to lack of takers; it’s typical of Britain that so many people remain unaware of a musical with a “longest-running” tag. To keep it brief: I enjoyed this more than the film, which I liked; I didn’t see anyone put a foot wrong in 2 hours of hoofing; I’d like to pick out the vocal performance of Victoria Hamilton-Barritt; and the part of the “audition” where ‘One (Singular Sensation)’ is first used, in terms of the one-ness of music and choreography.
Great Cast & production...
Ok, I admit to not exactly being objective. Like most dancers who were around, and dancing on the West End stage back in the 1970s, A Chorus Line, has a particular significance for me. From the very first bars of piano riff, it was as if someone had hit me in the solar plexus, and I was back at all those auditions I'd done myself years ago, re-experiencing the disappointment, when I didn't get a job, and the elation when I did. I am glad that this revival has so faithfully stuck to the original. In that respect it's a bit like West Side Story, which works best when they stick to Jerome Robbins's original choreography. I'm not sure if the show would mean as much to non industry professionals, but, for me it is one of the seminal musicals of all time. Strongly cast(invidious to pick out individuals when all were so good) it held my interest throughout its two hours, and I've seen it twice already. Someone above says that musicals have "fortunately moved on". I'm not so sure about the fortunately. I can't actually remember the last time I really enjoyed a "new" musical, though I've enjoyed quite a few new stagings of old ones. A great revival of a great show
Having never seen Chorus Line before I was blown away by the score, the simplicity and quiet subtlety as it shows the highs and lows of showbusiness right there for all to see. And so refreshing not to rely on huge sets and leave it to the breathtaking talent of the 23 performers - or 17 really - and then only 8 make it. Tough stuff.
Great revival which will probably win awards at next years Whatsonstage awards. I saw this in the 1970s and then in 1990 on Broadway before it closed and I wondered if it might be a bit dated---not at all. As it is a story of Auditions it is timeless. Yes there is little glitz except for the finale but that is the the show--the star is the story and the fact that Auditions are not glitzy. Great cast with John Partridge good--when we saw him as most of the show we just heard him and also Scarlett Strallen and Victoria Hamilton-Barritt but my favourite was Leigh Zimmerman who stole the show and great to see this talented performer back on stage. We saw this last night at Press Night and nice to see an abundance of celebs there---most of the dancers/choreographers were there like Bruno Tonioli, Louis SPence, Jason Gardiner, Wayne Sleep etc
A good evening. The last third with What I did for love and the big ending was all 5 star and thoroughly enjoyable. Leigh Zimmermann as Sheila gave wonderful performance. I found some of the "interview" parts a bit long and some of the dialogue is now a bit dated in a post Aids, "liberated" world. Overall 4 stars with some 5 star bits!
Usually you would be hard pressed to give a revival from the mid 70's a score of 3 stars, especially as the themes that resonate throughout are some what dated. However, I was there at the first night & I was suitably blown away by the entire piece. For me though, Scarlett Strallen seemed to be "off the pace". With every breath, she seemed to wheeze out the next line out - she wouldn't have looked out of place as Mr Wheezy in Toy Story 2, but what she lacked in voice, she made up for in dance. The remainder of the cast were well above average & so suffice it to say this production HAS stood the perils of time & I'm sure it will continue to do so for many decades to come - it deserves my 4 stars.
An amazing return to London for this 'classic' Broadway show which all others must measure up to in terms of the BIG 3, singing/dancing and acting. Comments on past out of town productions just do not add up as they were not the original. Dont miss the chance to see this outstanding company of 30 and band of 17 filling every inch of the iconic London Palladium
PaulD - you forgot "I can't act! I can't act!" - a bit too literal when it comes to Ms. Strallen. She's a trainwreck.
The picture above proves that Strallen fails to fit into an ensemble. She mimed her way through ensemble numbers in SITR and did so again in Chorus Line. Sadly she didn't mime in 'Mother'. This picture shows, it's not just about "Don't Pop the head Cassie", but you are in the wrong place Cassie?, where are your arms Cassie?, and where is your head?
Dissapointing. I felt the show was a bit flat & all of the performances lack real depth and felt restrained. Its early days but I was expecting more
True it was packed as I was also there but most people had free or very discounted tickets. Of its time but without being either retro or enough of a narrative it soon become repetitive. Musicals have fortunately moved on.
amazing. not a weak link! the audience response was amazing! from the second the cast came on stage in the dark there was loud cheering! scarlett strallen was amazing. i was in the upper circle and it was packed! a true singular sensation!
This revival is a true testament to musical theatre in its highest form. London is lucky that this iconic musical has returned in a stunning new production.