Yesterday Earl and I saw “A Chorus Line” in South Bend, and today a friend and I saw “The Greatest Showman.” The first was live theatre and the second was at the local cinema. What they had in common went beyond the fact they are both musicals, the former from 1975 and the later from 2017.
I was pleased to see that “A Chorus Line” was still performed on a blank stage and that it hadn’t been “modernized,” given it’s over forty years old. The story itself – the private lives of dancers and how they came to dance – has never needed updating. The caliber of the dancing was excellent, especially when there is no chance to do a retake of a scene.
“The Greatest Showman” had equally fine dancing but lavish scenery and effects. It had Hugh Jackman and Zac Efron too. But most of all, what these two experiences offered were escapism from snow and the specter of pending side effects.
Even the ice dancing at the Olympics didn’t do that.