Original A CHORUS LINE Star Mitzi Hamilton Directs and Choreographs at Surflight Theatre, Now thru 9/14
Broadway veteran Mitzi Hamilton, one of the dancers in Michael Bennett's original developmental workshop that provided the inspiration for the character of Val in A Chorus Line, will direct and choreograph the Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize-winning musical at Surflight Theatre, tonight, August 27-September 14.
Conceived and originally directed and choreographed by Michael Bennett, A Chorus Line has a book James Kirkwood and Nicholas Dante, music by Marvin Hamlisch and lyrics by Edward Kleban. The original New York production was co-choreographed by Bob Avian.
A Chorus Line is described as "the musical for everyone who has ever put it all on the line in pursuit of their dreams." From the original program notes: "The characters portrayed in A Chorus Line are, for the most part, based upon the lives of Broadway dancers. This show is dedicated to anyone who has every danced in a chorus or marched in step...anywhere."
Following an Off-Broadway run at the Public Theater, A Chorus Line opened on Broadway July 25, 1975 at the Shubert Theatre, where it played an acclaimed record-breaking 6,137 performance run. The original Broadway cast included Donna McKechnie, Kelly Bishop, Priscilla Lopez, Thommie Walsh, Baayork Lee, Wayne Cilento, Sammy Williams, and Robert LuPone. Among the ten 1976 Tony Awards the show won, McKechnie, Bishop and Williams took home Tony acting honors.
Surflight Theatre's cast features Grant Thomas Zabielski as Zach, Jena VanElslander as Cassie, Gabriella Sorrentino as Diana, Alissa LaVergne as Sheila, Robb Gibbs as Greg, Kevin Curtis as Richie, Brian Martin as Bobby, Brittany Santos as Judy, Alexander Cruz as Paul, Kara Krichman as Val,Patrick Graver as Mark, Amelia Millar as Maggie, Patrick Roberts as Larry, Christina Laschuk as Kristine, Michael Pilato as Al, Joseph Consiglio as Mike, Amanda Lynn Fannon as Bebe, Nicole Calabrese as Lois, Timothy-Michael Chastain as Roy, Shannon Garahan as Tricia, and Nicole Vernarecas Nikki.
The creative team includes Jessica Lee Goldyn as Assistant Choreographer. Nicholas Kaminski as Music Director/Conductor, with scenic design byGateway Playhouse, lights by Benjamin Weill, costumes by Scaramouche and Costume World with costume coordination by Stacey Jeungling, and sound by Mark Keeler. Liz Ann Howell is production stage manager.
Mitzi Hamilton (Director/Choreographer) Ms. Hamilton is best known for her association with Michael Bennett's legendary A Chorus Line. She provided the inspiration for the character of Val, and performed the role in the original London Company and then on Broadway. Subsequently, she went on to direct and choreograph over 40 productions of A Chorus Line in Europe, the United States, and Asia. Ms. Hamilton's performance career includes eight classic Broadway shows including Cabaret and Pippin, and was featured in the original casts of Applause, Seesaw, On the Town (Revival), and King of Hearts. Regional theatre credits include Nellie Forbush in South Pacific and the title role in Sweet Charity. In addition to Mr. Bennett, she has been directed by such legends as Hal Prince, Ron Field and Bob Fosse. She was with the Directors Company at NYU's Dramatic Writing Program and was with The Lincoln Center Theatre Directors' Lab. Ms. Hamilton's directing credits include Damn Yankees, Jesus Christ Superstar, I Do, I Do, Stepping Out, Swingtime Canteen, The Boy Friend, Gypsy, Grease, Sweet Charity, Sound of Music, Ain't Misbehavin', Evita, 42nd Street, Thoroughly Modern Millie, La Cage Aux Folles, CATS, Curtains, West Side Story and Bob Fosse's Chicago. Mitzi is a Chicago Jeff Award Winner for Best Choreography 2008 for Sweet Charity. In 2012 Mitzi directed three different companies of A Chorus Line. In Aurora, IL at the Paramount Theatre, in Vienna, Austria (in German) at the summer festival in Stockerau, and at Paper Mill Playhouse. Last summer, she did A Chorus Line at Theatre under the Stars (TUTS), in Houston. She choreographed Gypsywith Gary Griffin directing at the Chicago Shakespeare Theater earlier this year. And will do another production of A Chorus Line this fall at the North Carolina Theatre. She is grateful to have the opportunity to keep the gift of A Chorus Line alive and grateful to the late Michael Bennett for his gift to us all.
Surflight Theatre is located at 201 Engleside Avenue in historic Beach Haven, NJ. A Chorus Line performs Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday at 8pm, with Tuesday, Thursday, Sunday matinees at 2pm. Tickets are $45 and may be purchased by calling 609-492-9477, at the Surflight Theatre Box Office, or online at www.surflight.org. Group rates available.