ON THE LINE

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A Chorus Line at CCM – Oct. 20-30 at Patricia Corbett Theater

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On the Line

When A Chorus Line opened on Broadway in 1975 nobody had any inkling that this show with no stars, born as a workshop with no set and no real plot to speak of, would go on to receive twelve Tony nominations, winning eight Tony Awards, a host of Obies, Drama Desk Awards, the Olivier Award, and a Pulitzer for Best American Play, and run for six thousand one hundred and thirty-seven performances.

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Now at CCM, A Chorus Line has opened with a formidable cast of Broadway-bound young hopefuls who will sometime soon be stepping up to the line. At that point they will hopefully be cast in their first professional gig after school. And like that line there will be many other lines during their careers where they will stand hoping to be cast.

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The twenty-some young men and women on the line on the stage of the Patricia Corbett Theatre at CCM are dancing, singing and acting for all it’s worth. Under the firm guidance of choreographer-director Diane Lala and conductor Roger Grodsky they defy you not to be moved and charmed by the stories of the characters they play.

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The stunning visual aspects of the production again remind us that CCM is unarguably one of the top theatre arts training centers in the country. From Matthew D. Hamel‘s clean-lined and symbolic set to Lindi-Joy Wilmot‘s period-perfect costumes to Jeremy Dominik‘s gorgeous lighting the show’s design by students is as good as you will get outside of the school by seasoned pros.

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Leading the lineup of excellence, the very fine Hamilton Moore, plays Zach the director-choreographer who conducts the audition, as implacable and chilling as winter in Wisconsin. Alec Cohen as Mike, singing I Can Do That is a splendid loose-jointed comic dancer. Phillip Johnson-Richardson is a bundle of pent up singing-dancing energy as Richie. Christopher Kelley delivers an extraordinary acting turn as the conflicted Paul. Kimberly Pine, a stunning singing/ dancing Cassie nearly highjacks the show with her The Music and the Mirror.

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After all the laughter and tears, what remains and resonates and lingers in the mind about this gem of a show is One Singular Sensation, the final number in which all the dancers – both those who made the cut and those who didn’t put on their glittery top hats and costumes, dancing and singing for their supper and for their souls.

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Rafael de Acha

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