A splittingly intense performance
Meghan O'Shea as Tricia in Chorus Line. Photo: Natalie Bochenski
Brisbane audiences for A Chorus Line be warned: you might see more of star Josh Horner than you planned.
“I'm always splitting my pants,” says the Dancing with the Stars judge and ballet and musical theatre veteran.
“I have had to have extensions put in,” he says, grabbing the restitched inner-seam fabric of his gold trousers.
“I'm constantly giving it my all.”
Talk of wardrobe malfunctions is appropriate for A Chorus Line, which after all is the ultimate musical about the trials of being a professional dancer.
Originally produced in 1975, it's the story of 17 Broadway dancers desperately competing for eight spots on a chorus line.
Horner plays the tough-talking director Zach. After starring in productions such as Dirty Dancing and Billy Elliot, he upped sticks to Los Angeles, where he's been working as a choreographer for Disney.
He's enjoyed being back onstage after three years.
“This show brings the discipline back to dancing. We do an hour and a half warm-up before the show and a lot of musical theatre shows don't have that time to be all together,” Horner says.
For Queensland ensemble members Meghan O'Shea and Sian Johnson, A Chorus Line is a documentary.
“It is absolutely correct,” says Brisbane-based O'Shea, who plays Tricia.
“I feel proud to be able to share it with audiences, because they finally see what it's like, what we have to go through on a day to day basis to get a job.”
She says fear of rejection is not just limited to dancers.
“Anybody can identify with at least one of the characters on the line.”
Johnson plays Kristine, a tone-deaf scatterbrain. Originally from Ayr, A Chorus Line is her debut stage performance.
“It's such a great vibe,” she says.
This production – which won a 2012 Helpmann award for Best Musical – has been touring Australia for almost a year, and its three-week Brisbane season is its finale.
Producer Tim Lawson says Brisbane is a great theatre market and hopes to end the Australian run on a high note, as well as a high kick.
“Amazing choreography, wonderful music and also incredible drama... there is so much to A Chorus Line.”
A Chorus Line plays at the QPAC Lyric Theatre for three weeks, from November 16 to December 2. Details at the QPAC website.