Photo Credit: Nora (Eleanor) Wiens Farrelly
St. Mike’s in the Quad
Darian Trabold, Managing Editor
The Chorus Girl is an adaptation of Anton Chekhov’s “The Chorus Girl and Other Stories,” directed by Ethan Persyko. The play was a part-cabaret, part-theatre adaptation of Chekhov’s short story, now set in modern-day Canada. The play follows a chorus girl having an affair with her director and the following confrontation with his wife. The SMC Troubadours put on an engaging and dramatic show despite its short runtime, keeping the audience on the edge of our seats to see what would happen next.
The show opens with a cabaret-style song, with the director of this fictional show watching. All the actors in the number were attention-grabbing in their own way; I personally did not focus on only one as I found them all uniquely engaging. The show then transitions to the main plot of the story, in which we see the main chorus girl and the director in her dressing room. Their scenes were strong, and it was easy to tell that they were in some sort of romantic relationship. There was a moment of slight comic relief at this point when the director sprayed champagne everywhere, which I enjoyed.
We then hear rapid footsteps and a knock on the girl’s dressing room door. The director hides under the table and the director’s wife storms in shouting, “Where is my husband?!” This is where the main confrontation occurs, between the wife and the chorus girl, all while the director is hiding under the table. The wife brought a lot of passion to the performance, and I could feel the anger radiating from her. During this portion of the play, I was on the edge of my seat wondering how the confrontation would play out.
Following the confrontation, the director and the chorus girl also get into a minor fight that leaves her distraught. She then meets up with the other people and puts on the final performance of the show. While similar to the first performance, this one has more of a passive-aggressive undertone that culminates in a hilarious moment: they bring out a poster cursing the director, which I found quite entertaining and hilarious.
At the end of the show, the Troubadours hosted a talk-back, in which the audience was able to ask questions to the cast and crew. I thought this was a great addition and allowed greater engagement with the material, as well as a behind-the-scenes look at what goes into putting on a show like this.
The lighting and technical aspects of the show were phenomenal. The use of colourful lighting was fun and allowed the audience to follow the mood of the characters, as well as moments of out-of-body experiences. Considering this performance was outdoors I was impressed by the fact that the technical aspects of the show were on point. The show also made excellent use of props, which were a fun addition. Personally, I do not like when shows have unnecessary props, but I felt this show used all props masterfully.
I was slightly confused by the costume choices, as the ensemble and chorus girl had very modern make-up and clothes, almost Euphoria-esque, while the director and wife were dressed very elegantly as if they were in parts of the 20th century. While everyone was dressed very well, I wish there was a little more consistency in the costumes. I appreciate the modern take on the idea of chorus girls, but I wish this would have also been afforded to the wife and director.
Overall, the acting was quite good, provoking sympathy as well as anger towards some of the characters for their actions. I felt immersed in the world of The Chorus Girl. The technical aspects and props were very well done. I am looking forward to the season ahead for the Troubadours after this strong start!