Regional Repertory Theatre's "A Chorus Line" is a bit out of step: The choreography is often quirky and the singing is spotty. Still, a few artful performances overcome much of these troubles and make it a fairly enjoyable diversion.
This musical paean to "gypsies"--young dancers who wander from show to show offering their skills like wares--is a thin, almost plotless piece of theater that mixes the high stepping with some personality-revealing pathos. The audience is taken to an audition where several dancers fight for eight chorus spots. Zach, the choreographer responsible for picking the chorus, goes down the line asking intrusive questions and demanding answers. We're suppose to care about the dancers and their commitment to performing.
When it opened on Broadway in 1975, "A Chorus Line" was hailed as a compelling inside look at the making of musicals and the spunky youngsters who inhabit them. It still has some of that charm, but, unfortunately, it has not aged well. What may have seemed an incisive character study in the '70s now looks remarkably cliched. The portrayal of homosexuals is especially tired: One is troubled by life out of the closet and another proudly struts his sexuality.
Despite the stereotypes, "A Chorus Line" can come to life if the key roles feature performers who can really sing and dance. There are a few in this production who can do one or the other, and at least one who can do both. Renae Larsen Davis as Cassie, the one-time star willing to accept the anonymity of the chorus because of a sputtering career, is an accomplished dancer and polished singer; she can act, too. Davis effortlessly shows Cassie's need to perform, particularly in her graceful dance solo that opens the second act.