There’s More Than One Singular Sensation in WBT’s “A Chorus Line”Published: Wednesday, January 24, 2018 By: Margaret Carey Source: Brewster's Hamlet Hub
The audience applauded wildly within minutes of the lights going up on Westchester Broadway Theatre’s first production of 2018, A Chorus Line. This fan-favorite musical graces the WBT stage again. A Chorus Line was the first production to be held when WBT moved to their current location in 1991.
A Chorus Line, with only one act and no intermission, immerses the audience into the auditioning and casting process of a Broadway musical. With virtually no set, the production focuses on the stories of the ensemble members. These stories are based on the real-life experiences of Broadway dancers interviewed in 1974. As a matter of fact, the first interviews were tapped 44 years ago to the date of the official opening of the WBT production, January 18, 2018. Steve Boockvor and Denise (Pence) Boockvor, whose stories were used to create the characters of Kristine and Al, were in the audience that evening. Steve Boockvor also played Zach (the director) on Broadway for 2 years.
A Chorus Line not only won nine Tony Awards, including Best Musical but also the 1976 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. A Chorus Line became the longest-running musical on Broadway in 1983 and closed in 1990 with a revival in 2006. A Chorus Line is currently the 6th longest-running Broadway show. This groundbreaking musical turned the spotlight away from the leading stars and towards the chorus members who support them. The audience witnesses a behind the scenes look at the challenges, disappointments, and triumphs that performers face through dance, drama, and songs such as “What I Did for Love" and “One”.
Expertly directed & choreographed by Mark Martino, the WBT cast works cohesively as ONE (forgive the pun). The ensemble compliments each other so well, drawing focus from one character to the next until we learn the intimate life story of each dancer. Both the opening song I Hope I Get It and the 15-minute Hello 12, Hello 13, Hello Love montage beautifully illustrate the triple-threat talents of this diverse cast. The intricate choreography was skillfully executed from the iconic opening sequence to the closing number. Brian Dillon (Larry) deftly portrays Zach's assistant and is also the production's Associate Choreographer. The multitude of ensemble-rich numbers are interspersed with solo routines including Erica Mansfield’s (Cassie) emotionally charged The Music and the Mirror, Drew Carr’s (Mike) energetic I Can Do That, and Kevin Curtis’ (Richie) enthusiastic Gimme the Ball section of Hello 12.
David Elder plays Zach to perfection. Whether on-stage or directing questions off-stage, Elder is a commanding and compassionate presence especially in his scene with Michael John Hughes (Paul) after one of the most touching monologues in the script. The beautiful rendition of At The Ballet by Emily Kelly (Maggie), Lauren Sprague (Sheila), and Kelsey Walston (Bebe) will pull at your heartstrings, as will Alexandra Matteo’s (Diana) Nothing. The musical timing of Sing by the supportive couple Tim Fuchs (Al) and Ashley Klinger (Kristine) was impeccable. Logan Mortier’s (Bobby) self-deprecating humor turned lines like “But then I realized -- to commit suicide in Buffalo is redundant” from witty to poignant and back again.
Rounding out the cast are Tiffany Chalothorn (Connie), Erika Conaway (Tricia), Joseph Cullinane (Greg), Emma Degerstedt (Val), Danielle Marie Gonzalez (Vicki), David Grindrod (Roy), Tyler Jimenez (Don), Joey Lucherini (Frank), PJ Palmer (Mark), and Caitlin Wilayto (Judy).
Andrew Gmoser’s impressive lighting design illuminated the action and the actors beautifully pulling the audience’s attention to the focal point. The costume design by Keith Nielsen evokes the era as well as the original costume design with an interesting choice of using rose gold in the closing number, which was complemented by Steve Loftus' set design. Bob Bray’s musical direction and the incredible live musicians heightened the enjoyment of this live theatrical gem.
A Chorus Line will run through April 1, 2018. Dinner & Show range between $59.00 to $89.00 plus tax depending on the performance chosen. For reservations, special offers and more information, call (914) 592-2222 or visit www.BroadwayTheatre.com.
A CHORUS LINE was conceived and originally directed and choreographed by Michael Bennett with Music by Marvin Hamlisch, Lyrics by Edward Kleban, and Book by James Kirkwood Jr. & Nicholas Dante