ONCE again Guiseley Amateurs have come up trumps with their excellent production of A Chorus Line currently running at Guiseley Theatre until Saturday, March 2.

The show features music by Marvin Hamlisch, with lyrics by Edward Kleban and is based on the book by James Kirkwood Jr. and Nicholas Dante. Centred on 17 Broadway dancers auditioning for spots on a chorus line, the musical is set on the bare stage of a Broadway theatre during an audition for a musical. A Chorus Line provides a glimpse into the personalities of the performers and the choreographer as they describe the events that have shaped their lives and their decisions to become dancers. The original Broadway production of this show ran for 6,137 performances, becoming the longest-running production in Broadway history until surpassed by Cats in 1997.

Two of Hamlisch’s numbers will be very well known to the audiences, “One” and “What I Did For Love”, but there are also many other catchy numbers throughout the show, all of which were well performed by the individuals and the chorus as a whole. I have picked out a few of these for particular mention. Firstly, “I Can Do That” sung by Sammy Foster in the role of Mike. I was also impressed by “And” which featured Natalie Kershaw as Bobbi, Alex Schober as Richie, Kara Mottram as Val and Rachel Nolan as Judy. Jenette White and Darren Smith blended together well in the duet “Sing” and I thought Kara Mottram again was excellent in her solo number of “Dance: Ten; Looks: Three”. I also felt that Katrina Wood was superb in the role of Cassie and her number “The Music And The Mirror” was one of the highlights of the show. However, the best performance of the night for me came from Anna Riley as Diana and her rendition of “What I Did For Love”.

All 17 members of the chorus performed well in the various montages, “Hello Twelve, Hello Thirteen”, “Nothing”, “Mother” and “Gimme The Ball” and especially with the number “One”. David Kirk also turned in an excellent performance in the role of Zak, the Choreographer.

And mentioning choreography, it was the dancing in the show that particularly made the evening for me and plaudits must go to Amy Horton-Atkinson and Ted Oxley-Kirk the co-Choreographers and Directors of the show. Also, I felt that Cathy Sweet as Musical Director handled Hamlisch’s music very well and led a very fine orchestra who supported the soloists and chorus extremely well.

I must mention for anyone going to see the show over the last three days of the run that the show is continuous for two hours and does not contain an interval at all. Avoid drinking too much therefore before you attend.

One can see why this musical ran for so long on Broadway and in the West End – great songs and superb choreography. There are still a few tickets left and booking can be made by visiting ww.guiseleytheatre.org or by ringing the box office number 07960 604082.

John Burland