Donna McKechnie to Attend A CHORUS LINE's Gala Opening at Theatre Memphis, 3/8
A Chorus Line, the Tony and Pulitzer Prize award-winning musical about Broadway dancers auditioning for spots on a chorus line opens March 8, 2013, at Theatre Memphis with a gala event featuring the original A Chorus Line cast member and Tony Award winner for Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical, Donna McKechnie. The event is being held on opening night and will feature a cocktail buffet, live auction that includes a trip to New York City and a pre-show presentation by Ms. McKechnie with drinks and desserts with the cast after the show. Member tickets are available for $75 per person and non-member tickets are $100 each. Reservations can be made by calling 901.682.8323. The full production runs through March 30, 2012.
A Chorus Line was touted as a groundbreaking musical, compelling and insightful, with seventeen main characters. Dancers audition for a spot on a chorus line and each has a story of discovery that reveals more about their journey as dancers. Set on the bare stage of a Broadway theatre during an audition for a musical, the show provides a glimpse into the personalities of the performers and the choreographer as they describe the events that have shaped their lives and as they dance as if their lives depended on it. The show is based on the workshop experiences of famed choreographer Michael Bennett and some Broadway "gypsies."
Directing the production at Theatre Memphis is Josh Walden who has choreographed for The Kennedy Center, Signature Theatre, Sacramento Music Circus, DR2 Theatre, Bay Street Theatre, Actors Theatre of Louisville, The Gateway Playhouse , Tisch School of the Arts and more. On Broadway, he was the Associate Director/Associate Choreographer for the Tony Nominated Revival of Ragtime. Josh also had the opportunity to direct/choreograph his first musical, Fallen Angel, in the 2006 New York International Fringe Festival which won Best Musical. He is working on A Chorus Line again having directed/choreographed his first production back in 2009 for Merry-Go-Round Playhouse. His Walden Dance Theatre, had its first dance musical, All Is Love, produced at the New York Musical Theatre Festival and his film company, Walza Productions, had its film, I Love You, Anna, accepted into the New York City Independent Film Festival and the Big Apple Film Festival. As a performer, Josh has been in the Broadway Revivals of 42nd St, La Cage aux Folles, A Chorus Line and Ragtime.
Associate Choreographer/Director Adam Lendermon has a special connection to A Chorus Line and Theatre Memphis. As a high school student he performed the role of Mark in the 1999 production on the Lohrey Stage. "It was that experience that inspired me to become a dancer," he says. Lendermon currently resides in NYC and holds a BFA in Acting and a Dance Minor from Adelphi University. Having performed in the Walden-directed Merry-Go-Round Playhouse production of A Chorus Line he is grateful for the "beautiful partnership ... to be able to pass the torch on to my fellow Memphians." Other cast members from the TM production in 1999 are Rebecca Brown and Shannon Sparks who return to play different roles.
Theatre Memphis Executive Producer Debbie Litch says that this show is a good example of who Theatre Memphis is to the community. "The fact that we have been around for so many years and to see one of our own return from an education and career in the performing arts around the world and to help guide a show that he was in a number of years ago here on our stage is certainly a tribute to him and to the TM family. And again, with so many young people performing for us now and veterans returning to us, we are so blessed to have the ability to encourage and display the talent in Memphis."
A Chorus Line features Book by James Kirkwood, Jr. and Nicholas Dante, Lyrics by Edward Kleban and Music by Marvin Hamlisch. Theatre Memphis' production is directed and choreographed by Josh Walden, with associate director/choreographer Adam Lendermon and music director Gary Beard.
Theatre Memphis on the Lohrey Stage is located at 630 Perkins Ext, Memphis, TN. The production plays March 8 - 30, Thursdays @ 7:30pm, Fridays and Saturdays @ 8pm with matinees @ 2pm on Sundays and Wednesdays March 20 and 27 @ 7:30pm. Tickets: $28 adults, $15 students with valid ID. Box office: 901.682.8323 or www.theatrememhis.org.
Photo Credit: Walter McBride