After seeing the hit revival of A Chorus Line Wednesday night, I had a unique second look Thursday afternoon. Lexington's Lyndy Franklin is a swing understudy, meaning she is covering several different roles in the show. Each week, there's an understudy rehearsal, which Aaron Lee Fineman (who took the photo of Lyndy and the cast, above) and I got to sit in on. Particularly at this level, it was one of the most interesting ways I have ever seen a production: Twenty-four hours after watching the principal cast, I got to see all but one of the parts (Lyndy's Bebe) played by different people.
It definitely put different spins on numerous characters, though most of the key moments still rang true, such as Paul's story of his previous life in a drag revue and, of course, Diana's rendition of What I Did for Love, a song that has a tremendous impact on anyone who loves his life. Trust me, if you go see the show and Jessica Lea Patty is playing the part of Diana that night, the Chorus Line classic will still bring you to tears.
Watching the understudies seize their roles, it was easy to contemplate how close most of these actors are to the characters they are playing.
An interesting thing was that in the understudy rehearsal, Lyndy played two parts: Bebe and Kristine who can't sing. It was really fascinating watching her constantly switch parts, including going straight from At the Ballet to Sing!
~ Right before Chorus Line rehearsal, I found out the lead in High Fidelity, which opened last night, is Will Chase from Frankfort. I'm hoping to catch the show tonight and catch up with Will soon to chat about it.
~ When I found -- no surprise -- that there were no tickets left for last night's High Fidelity opener, I had this insane notion of packing it in and spending the night in my cozy room. Then I remembered it would be a sin to squander a night in New York holed up in my hotel room, and I went and got a ticket for Grey Gardens.
Glad I shook off the laziness. Grey Gardens doesn't quite convey the spirit of fierce individualism that the program notes attribute to the Edies, a mother and daughter, who were close relatives of Jacqueline Kennedy and tumbled from the pinnacle of New York society in the 1940s to living in squalid conditions in their 28-room mansion. In 1972, the Suffolk County Board of Health condemned the estate, which was in disrepair and overrun with cats. The lives of the ladies were chronicled in a revolutionary 1974 documentary by Albert and David Maysles.
The musical has some great tunes and fantastic sets. Christine Ebersole alone is worth the price of admission to see her play the elder Edie in the first act, set in 1941, and the daughter in the second act, set in 1973. It gives the Tony Award-winner a chance to pull off a theatrical feat and also highlights the similarities between mother and daughter, regardless of how badly the daughter wants to separate herself from her home.
Calls to home yesterday told me that Kentucky got a little snow, and it's really cold. The bottom dropped out here while I was in Grey Gardens, and apparently New York could get a little snow tonight.
Well, off to bed. Tomorrow morning, I'm supposed to have breakfast at a Rent-head landmark.