BWW Review: A CHORUS LINE at Reagle Music Theatre
A Chorus Line
Conceived and Originally Directed and Choreographed by Michael Bennett; Originally Co-Choreographed by Bob Avian; Book by James Kirkwood and Nicholas Dante; Music by Marvin Hamlisch; Lyrics by Edward Kleban; Direction and Recreation of the Original Choreography by Leslie Woodies; Music Director, Dan Rodriguez; Assistant Director/Choreographer, Kirsten McKinney; Conductor, Jeffrey P. Leonard; Costume Design, Theoni V. Aldredge; Lighting Design, David Wilson; Sound Design, Shane Bourgeois; Scenic Design, Richard E. Schreiber and Peter Doucette; Production Stage Manager, Chelsea Parrish; Technical Coordinator, Lori E. Baruch; Producing Artistic Director, Robert J. Eagle
CAST: Scott Abreu, Lilly Balch, Sarah Beling, Rachel Bertone, Darren Bunch, Katie Clark, Philip Da Costa, Aimee Doherty, Connor Fallon, Danielle Goldstein, Jared Green, Zach Austin Green, Bradley Jensen, Lorenzo Lamas, Maria La Rossa, Lisa McDonough, Amos L. Oliver III, Gavin Parmley, ALex Parrish, Allison Russell, Hannah Shihdanian, Emily Grace Smith, Daniel Forest Sullivan, Jeremy Towle, Matthew Michael Uriniak, Kerri Wilson
Performances through June 24 by Reagle Music Theatre at Robinson Theatre, 617 Lexington Street, Waltham, MA; Box Office 781-891-5600 or www.reaglemusictheatre.org
Reagle Music Theatre of Greater Boston kicks off its 44th summer season with the 1975 Tony Award-winning Best Musical A Chorus Line, featuring Golden Globe nominee Lorenzo Lamas as Zach and a stellar cast of twenty-six young people vying to make it onto the line. Reagle acquits itself nicely with Director/Choreographer Leslie Woodies and Music Director Dan Rodriguez bringing out the best in their singing and dancing ensemble. Theoni V. Aldredge’s recognizable Tony-nominated original costumes are on display, and the full-length mirrors and otherwise sparse set allow the actors to grab the focus as they compete for roles in Zach’s show.
Every member of the ensemble toes the line with an abundance of talent, sincerity, and commitment, making this production worthwhile entertainment for folks who have never seen A Chorus Line before, as well as those who may be revisiting it after multiple viewings. Some in the cast excel at dance; some are stronger singers, and some wear their roles like a second skin. Scott Abreu’s Paul is a many-splendored thing. This young man is a triple threat, boasting beautiful lines and extension in his dancing, singing sweetly, and acting the heck out of what is arguably one of the most challenging roles. Aimee Doherty captures Sheila’s cynical attitude and all of her familiar trademark gestures, yet also infuses the character with her own special interpretation. Her expression tells the audience that Sheila hears the ticking of the biological clock and Doherty takes the role in a direction that does not merely duplicate someone else’s portrayal.
Others deserving of individual mention are: Danielle Goldstein for her sassy Val with a powerhouse voice; Amos L. Oliver III for his energy as Richie (“I’m Black”); Connor Fallon (Mark), possibly the youngest member of the line, for his youthful exuberance and ability to hold his own with this talented group; the professional flair and crisp dance moves of Jeremy Towle (Larry); and Katie Clark (Cassie) who danced her solo with joy and wild abandon as expected, but surprised with strong vocals to match. Bradley Jensen is the tap-dancing, likeable Mike; Daniel Forest Sullivan (Don) has a beautiful voice; Matthew Michael Uriniak has great timing telling Bobby’s story; and Kerri Wilson soars on the iconic “What I Did For Love.”
Although I have singled out several cast members, there are many impressive performances. Notwithstanding the star billing of Lamas, who blends the harshness of Zach’s process with moments of compassion, the bottom line is that no one is the star and everyone is special, just like the kids who are putting themselves out there to get a coveted job in the chorus. There are countless reasons for the longstanding success of this piece of groundbreaking musical theater, and this Reagle production can take its well-deserved place on the line.
Photo credit: Herb Philpott (The cast of A Chorus Line)