A CHORUS LINE is a stunning concept musical capturing the spirit and tension of a Broadway chorus audition. Exploring the inner lives and poignant ambitions of professional Broadway gypsies, the show features one powerhouse number after another. Memorable musical numbers include “What I Did for Love, “One,” “I Can Do That,” “At the Ballet,” “The Music and the Mirror,” and “I Hope I Get It.” Join our Advanced Theatre Students for this brilliantly complex fusion of song, dance, and compellingly authentic drama. We will be presenting the High School Edition version, which is a full-length version adapted for performance by students with family audiences. See below for specifics.
|Mar 27; Mar 28 @ 7pm; Mar 29|
|Hannah||Moghaddar||Cassie (no number)|
|Kate||Ribeiro||Vicki (named dancer)|
|Emma||Staeger||Tricia (named dancer)|
|Mar 26; Mar 28 @ 2 pm|
|Allison||Baxter||Vicki (named dancer)|
|Jessica||Dickinson||Tricia (named dancer)|
|Hannah||Moghaddar||Cassie (no number)|
Full Synopsis – School Edition
A Chorus Line is a celebration of those unsung heroes of the American Musical Theatre: the chorus dancers– those valiant, over dedicated, underpaid, highly trained performers who back up the star or stars and often make them look even more talented than they are. It is also a celebration of the American Musical itself. A Chorus Line is also about competition, and competition might easily be the common denominator that grabs the audience and holds it by the collective heartstring until the final, ultimate choices are made. For everyone, at one time or another, puts his life on the line. We all compete, no matter what business we’re in, for promotion, for attention, for approval and for love. Specifically, A Chorus Line takes the audience through the final grueling audition run by the director, Zach, for a new Broadway musical.
At the beginning of the show, Zach, a driven, compulsive worker, has assembled thirty semi-finalists and is putting them through a vigorous series of dance combinations, including ballet and jazz. Soon he thinks this group down to the final sixteen, eight boys and eight girls. They and the audience know that eventually this number will be cut in half and Zach will choose only four boys and four girls to be in his new musical. Instead of having them read a short audition scene, Zach wants to elicit a personal history from each one: how they got into show business, why they became dancers, what their hopes, fantasies and aspirations are. As he calls upon them individually, they react in every possible way, from bravado to reticence. From childhood on, their memories emerge, blending into a seamless series of musical numbers and monologues, some humorous (“Dance: Ten; Looks: Three”), some poignant (“At the Ballet”), some group reminiscences when they all share their adolescent experiences (“Hello Twelve, Hello Thirteen, Hello Love”) and some intimate, as when he calls upon Cassie, his former lover who has returned from California to ask for a chorus job after having been a featured performer (“The Music and the Mirror”).
As their individual stories pour out in song (“Nothing”) and in spoken words (Paul’s monologue), interspersed by learning dance routines that reveal their ability to perform as a faceless drill team (“One”), the audience, as well as Zach, gets to know each one of these ambitious entertainers individually, so that by the show’s end, they can identify and root for their favorites as well as empathize with all of them because they all need the job– they all want to work at their craft.
A Chorus Line departs from the usual glossy backstage musical by presenting a true picture of what it’s like to be in the theatre: glamorous, yes, at times, but also tough, heartbreaking and sometimes even tragic, in the case of Paul who is knocked out of the competition by an injury sustained during a dance number (“The Tap Combination”). After these brave dancers explain why they go through a life filled with rejection and injury (“What I Did for Love”), Zach makes his selection, eliminating the last group who reluctantly leave the stage. The lights soon fade on the remaining eight ecstatic dancers as they are told to prepare for rehearsals of their new Broadway show. They fade only to come up as each performer, now dressed in full, shimmering finale costume, reappears to receive an individual bow before joining together to perform the brilliant dance finale (“One”) and showing exactly the talent it takes to make it into A Chorus Line.
-James Kirkwood and Nicholas Dante
Explanation of School Edition
A CHORUS LINE – HIGH SCHOOL EDITION is a full-length version of the Pulitzer Prize-winning musical, adapted for performance by high school students with family audiences. Every aspect of the show has been developed specifically for high school performers: dialogue and content are age-appropriate, dance sequences are of a length befitting high school dancers, and allowances are made to feature actors of any race or ethnicity. The materials have been prepared – with the authors’ approval – to help us mount the best possible production and to give students an exciting and rewarding experience.
Though it remains a full-length musical, A CHORUS LINE – HIGH SCHOOL EDITION differs from the original version in several ways. Here are some examples of the changes:
- The character of “Larry” is now “Lori,”
- The open call portion of the audition (“I Hope I Get It”) requires fewer boys.
- No references to smoking or suicide.
- “Hello Twelve, Hello Thirteen, Hello Love” no longer contains any explicit sexual content.
- “Dance: Ten; Looks: Three” now features the refrain “This and That,” and does not explicitly reference the character’s anatomy.
- The dance sequence in “The Music and the Mirror” is shortened.
- The first version of “One,” in which the actors learn the combination, is simplified.
- No “R-rated” profanity.
- Paul’s monologue is slightly reduced in length.
- Alternate dialogue is provided for more flexible casting of Connie, Richie and Judy, who can be played by actors of any race or height.