The Evanstonian

Cam-mentary on A Chorus Line

Cam Mulvihill, Entertainment Editor

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A night full of music, dancing, comedic relief, and emotion was kicked off by auditionees showing off their skills to their director, Zach, played by Eric Periman.

The hopeful dancers were soon informed on whether they had made it or not. The remaining 17 of the original group introduce themselves before they later go in depth on their childhoods and upbringings into dance.

A Chorus Line is a Broadway show that originated in 1974 and has been performed in high school theaters, big stages, and everything in between.

The backstories of some of the character’s had the audience captivated by the emotion shown by the actors and actresses.

Joe Blanchard’s role of Paul San Marco was the highlight of the night. When it came time for him to talk about his upbringing and youth, it had so much emotion behind it that he could’ve brought the audience to tears. Blanchard took his part very seriously and executed it amazingly. His character’s shyness and avoidance of telling his backstory early in the show had me wondering what he was hiding.

Although there were many serious topics throughout the show, there was comic relief from Genevieve Lindley who played Sheila Bryant. Lindley’s character was very sassy and didn’t always seem to be asking the audition very seriously. She always had something witty to say when the director or another character would talk to her. The occasional reference to needing a drink or a smoke break had the audience hooked on her character.

One of the heavy topics that came up in the show was Ruby Levin’s character, Valerie Clark, being judged by another director for her looks instead of her dancing abilities. She had a colorful vocabulary when she was on stage and while she was singing. Her piece really made you think about how someone’s appearance can play a big part in how they are judged no matter how skilled they are in that activity.

Cassie Ferguson, portrayed by Isabella Miller, and Zach engaged in a dialogue where they discussed their previous relationship and what she had been doing since then. She had little success finding work in acting since they ended their relationship.

Lindley was not the only person who had comedic parts in the show. Mark Anthony, played by Malachi Hadaway, recalled the story of his first wet dream and how he thought he had gonorrhea and told his priest about it. As uncomfortable as that situation can be, Hadaway had the audience childishly laughing.

One of the final musical numbers came after Paul suffers a knee injury and is taken to the hospital. The auditionees start to think about what they would do if they couldn’t dance again. No big ideas come of it but they say they won’t regret anything they’ve put into dancing.

What’s a play without music? The band and orchestra brought the show together with the dozens of skilled musicians tucked away behind the back wall that also doubled as a mirror that would be found in a dance studio. They were playing throughout the entire show and didn’t miss a beat to the songs they were performing.

The whole show ran about two hours and had no intermission. The dancers, singers, and musicians had no time to relax during the show which was very impressive. Doing anything for two hours without a break is strenuous and tiring, but not for this group who put on a riveting performance for the packed Upstairs Theater.

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Cam-mentary on A Chorus Line