Collected and given shape under the direction of Michael Bennett, then a 30-year-old star choreographer, the result was a kind of musical documentary, a portrait of an industry at a certain moment in time. The show they helped create was both a celebration and a eulogy. A Chorus Line. “I just wanted to be in it, to learn firsthand from professional dancers, to learn and see what it’s really all about,” she said.
“I think it makes me work harder,” she said. “Even if I could sing the part or even if I could act the part, they won’t even see me.”, Nevertheless she has found parts on Broadway, in “Flower Drum Song,” “Pacific Overtures” and “Mamma Mia!”. Deidre Goodwin, Paul McGill and Yuka Takara pose on the line on stage where they are rehearsing the musical "A Chorus Line. The belittling and ego-destroying tirades that made certain Broadway choreographers notorious (paging Bob Fosse) have mostly disappeared. “It’s been a really interesting process finding out who this character is, especially for me, you know,” said Jason Tam, a quiet, serious 24-year-old from Hawaii.
Six of the 19 principal performers in the revival spoke about their characters, their own stories and what has changed about growing up and getting to Broadway. “How many years do I have left to be a chorus cutie?” Sheila asks. “Oh God, they think I can’t sing,” Ms. Whitehead recalled thinking when she was told which part she was auditioning for. But while a black dancer of Sheila’s ability would probably have found work in the chorus like anyone else, it would have been harder to land a starring role. And some were just learning to talk when it closed in 1990. Unlike much of the cast, Michael Paternostro, who plays Greg, has been around Broadway long enough to see more than marquees change. The wildly successful collaboration on the musical was their attempt to redefine what dancers could do on Broadway. Four?”. At first glance, Chryssie Whitehead embodies her character, Kristine, the dancer whose scattershot sentences are completed by her calmer, level-headed husband, a dancer named Al. Like Kristine, Ms. Whitehead is a career dancer. Sheila is unabashedly though somewhat self-consciously approaching 30, the twilight of a chorus girl’s life. “Before, I’d never even heard of it. Words come galloping out of Ms. Whitehead at such a frenzied pace that they often escape her altogether, leaving the interviewer to play the role of Al so that Ms. Whitehead can pick up the trail again. From left, Jason Tam, Chryssie Whitehead, Michael Paternostro. “Back then I know they would pick either one ethnic person, or a pair, like a couple” for a show, she said. So it might seem that the stories of aspiring dancers would be a stretch for the young actors in the revival, which opens on Oct. 5 at the Schoenfeld Theater. Create your own unique website with customizable templates. Nancy Meyers Every Little Step She’s not married and she can sing, although she was worried that the casting agent didn’t know it. Candy Brown was the only black dancer at the creation of “A Chorus Line”; when she left the first workshop, her character was turned into a black man, Richie. Pharmaceutical Rep. dir.
Tony Gilroy Love and Other Drugs.
There’s so much money to be made, and everyone on that side of the table is just making it.”, Mr. Paternostro, who bears an almost unnerving resemblance to Mr. Bennett, came to New York from New Orleans in 1986. “That’s because people in general think 30’s not old at all. Greg talks about “the first time I realized I was a homosexual,” a revelation that Mr. Paternostro doesn’t believe would have been too shocking in 1975, at least for people coming to the theater. “And it’s been a real learning process, because I don’t have that one thing yet that can really get me into that.”, “It’s a blessing and a curse,” he said. Our Lady of the Spa - (Mar 21, 2003 - Jun 22, 2003) Dance Captain: Deidre Goodwin; MusicalDramaRevival. For a year and a half she took the train in from Medford five times a week for 11 hours of dance classes, and all those auditions where she was rejected. “I don’t think it matters that she’s black,” Ms. Goodwin said. “I don’t like to lose.” And eventually she didn’t. “I do wish the word was gay instead of homosexual, because it seems so clinical and in the past.”. “I still find a real great freedom in just saying it,” he said. Ms. Takara’s and Ms. Lee’s experiences overlap, as Asians working in the theater, but it’s when Ms. Takara mentions offhandedly how she got to Broadway that the true parallels to some of the larger themes in “A Chrorus Line” become clear. ), The dancer who can’t sing, on Broadway at least, is not due for a revival anytime soon. Deidre Goodwin (born September 15, 1969, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma) is an American actress known for such films and television series as Chicago, Half Nelson, Life on Mars, The Bourne Legacy and Across the Universe.. A stage and musical theatre actress who has appeared in such Broadway productions as A Chorus Line and Silence!
They talked about the monologue and about the character of Mark. Now the triple-threat idea seems quaint. But after saving money for a couple of semesters, she bought a car and, to the frustration of her parents back in Japan, drove to a friend’s house on Long Island, to be near New York. But it was just as much a portrait of youth and romanticism. Through Paul, Mr. Dante revealed the details of his childhood as a Puerto Rican in Spanish Harlem, the insecurities about his masculinity, the sexual exploitation by older men in Times Square’s darkened theaters and his experiences as a drag queen in the Jewel Box Revue, a part of his life that he tried, unsuccessfully, to hide from his parents.
At 20 Mark was the baby at the audition, but Mr. McGill was even younger, 17, when he won his first part on Broadway, in the 2004 production of “La Cage aux Folles.”. “The 70’s, in my interpretation, because I wasn’t there, were a time of dancing,” Ms. Whitehead said. Sheila — a brassy woman who sang of losing herself at the ballet — is being played by Deidre Goodwin, a black woman. That “especially for me” has nothing and everything to do with his easygoing upbringing in Honolulu and his supportive parents. Edward Zwick Itʼs Complicated. For an actor who was born in 1987, some research was required. She didn’t say this in a truth-transcends-color kind of way, but strictly as a matter of fact. dir. God no. Ken Alan, Brad Anderson, Michelle Aravena, David Baum, Michael Berresse, E. Clayton Cornelious, Natalie Cortez, Mike Cannon, Charlotte D'Amboise, Mara Davi, Joey Dudding, Lyndy Franklin, Jessica Lee Goldyn, Deidre Goodwin, Tyler Hanes, Nadine Isenegger, Pamela Jordan, James T. Lane, Lorin Latarro, Paul McGill, Heather Parcells, Michael Paternostro, Alisan Porter, Jeffrey Schecter, Yuka Takara, Jason Tam, Grant Turner, Chryssie Whitehead, Tony Yazbeck. Dancers aren’t like that these days. But he relishes it as if it somehow were. One now has to be a quadruple or sextuple threat: sing, dance, act, play tuba, swing on vines, roller skate, look good on TV, blog and more. ". “Three? That’s had pluses and minuses.
His uncle, Danny Herman, was a replacement for Mark during the show’s original run, and taught Paul how to jazz-dance when he was growing up in the Pittsburgh suburbs. But the role of Kristine was inspired by two women — Denise Pence, who was married to a dancer, and Renee Baughman, who was a bit doubtful about her singing abilities — and Ms. Whitehead is a mismatch on both counts. The age has definitely changed.”, “Sometimes I can’t even get into auditions because of who I am,” said Yuka Takara, the young Japanese woman who plays Connie, a 4-foot-10 sparkplug from Chinatown. He was picked out in dance class by the choreographer Christopher Chadman, who got Mr. Paternostro into his first Broadway show, the 1992 revival of “Guys and Dolls.”, What he did not know at the time was that the character of Greg, whom Mr. Paternostro had played in New Orleans, is partly based on Mr. Chadman, along with the role’s originator, Michel Stuart. Among things that have not stayed the same: pop culture.
How could they possibly understand what it was like to be a dancer in 1975, when Times Square was a place tourists avoided; the gay rights movement was just six years old; no one had heard of AIDS; and “The Phantom of the Opera” and “The Lion King” were not even in a New York actors’ vocabulary? “I’ve had a relatively happy life.”. In 1974, when the original group gathered, the arrival of the triple-threat performer — someone who can sing, dance and act — was beginning to undermine the traditional chorus line. As it turns out, this revival’s choreographer, Baayork Lee, originated the role of Connie in 1975.
That’s changing; Ms. Goodwin played Velma Kelly in the revival of “Chicago,” at one point playing opposite Charlotte d’Amboise, who is now playing Cassie in the “Chorus Line” revival. The monologue that the character Paul delivers is both the heart of “A Chorus Line” and the bone in its throat, a moment that is not easily digested along with the rest of the show.
(Both died in the 1990’s.). As for the process, performers still audition, but in front of a lot more people.
“I ran away,” she said, with a laugh.
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