Shiloh Goodin, Drew Lachey & More to Star in A CHORUS LINE at Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park

Preview are set to begin on Saturday, March 11 with an official opening scheduled for Saturday, March 16, 2023.

By: Feb. 01, 2023
Shiloh Goodin, Drew Lachey & More to Star in A CHORUS LINE at Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park
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Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park will be a singular sensation this spring with the opening of Moe and Jack's Place - The Rouse Theatre and an all-new production of A Chorus Line. Preview are set to begin on Saturday, March 11 with an official opening scheduled for Saturday, March 16, 2023. The production is sponsored by The Singular Sensations.

The Rouse Theatre is the centerpiece of a $50 million Mainstage Theatre Complex, and the only new theatre purpose-built from the ground up and opening in the US in 2023. The state-of-the-art facility enhances the Playhouse's artistic capabilities and ushers in a new theatrical era for the region.

This new production of the Tony Award- and Pulitzer Prize-winning A Chorus Line features choreography by Alex Sanchez (Paradise Square on Broadway) who won the SDC Joe A. Calloway Award for "best choreography" and was recognized as one of Dance Magazine's "25 to watch." The musical features a cast of young New York City dancers led by Shiloh Goodin (Paradise Square) as Cassie and Cincinnati-native Drew Lachey (from the band 98 Degrees, "Dancing with the Stars") as Zach. Also featured are Courtney Arango as Diana Morales and Diego Guevara as Paul. Set Designer Tim Mackabee, who designed The Elephant Man on Broadway, has envisioned a stage that transforms from a rehearsal/audition studio into a more traditional theatre stage as the story unfolds.

"It's a musical about theatre and the artists who make it," explains Osborn Family Producing Artistic Director Blake Robison, who is directing the production. "It's also of the moment. We're emerging from a pandemic in which there was literally no work for actors for nearly two years. When they sing, 'God, I hope I get it...I really need this job,' that sentiment is raw and real."

While the opening of A Chorus Line in many ways celebrates a resurgence of live theatre after work slowed down or stopped for many theatres across the world, the Playhouse spent the pandemic ramping up its work to finance and build its new theatre. It turbocharged fundraising efforts and locked in the GMP (guaranteed maximum price) of the project before the pandemic-influenced supply chain and labor issues inflated construction costs, and the opening remains on time and on budget.

With its new Rouse Theatre comes a re-imagining of A Chorus Line that adds a contemporary vantage point to the classic musical and considers how dancers audition today, and how they dance differently now than they did in 1975. Says Sanchez, "When I was talking to Blake about the show, he expressed wanting to do a new take on A Chorus Line and how it could be accomplished choreographically. At the time, I had just worked on creating new choreography for a production of West Side Story in Chicago. The way that I approached both iconic works is by diving into the narrative, intention, and event of the moment. Capturing the spirit and being true to the story is what will make the creation of new movement feel like it's part of the original story."

In A Chorus Line, 17 dancers compete for a role in a new Broadway musical. They must perfect vigorous dance combinations and share personal stories about their lives in the hopes of being cast. Through heartfelt monologues and musical numbers, they reveal their own remarkable journeys to the stage.

Though the musical was contemporary to the 1970s, it still authentically reflects a love for the art form that feels timeless - it's part of what makes A Chorus Line so beloved, no matter the generation of the audience. Robison aims to find that same cadence through his directorial approach.

"We haven't changed a single word or lyric in this production," Robison explains. "But I think that audiences will see the characters responding to the situation in a more contemporary way. Auditions don't happen the way they did in 1975 anymore. And so, we set our production in an audition studio, not on a mythic empty stage. Today's dancers are much more athletic. You'll see that in Alex Sanchez's superb new choreography. And I hope you'll get a sense that our dancers endure this unusually grueling audition process with more personal agency."

The cast of A Chorus Line is Rei Akazawa-Smith (Lois Dilettante), Courtney Arango (Diana Morales), Evan Autio (Larry), Maria Briggs (Maggie Winslow), Claire Camp (Judy), Erin Chupinsky (Sheila Bryant), Maurice Dawkins (Mike Costa), Nicolas De La Vega (Butch Barton), Jonathan Duvelson (Richie Walters), Derek Ege (Mark Anthony), Joseph Fierberg (Gregory Gardener), Shiloh Goodin (Cassie Ferguson), Francesca Granell (Bebe Benzenheimer), Diego Guevara (Paul San Marco), Musa Hitomi (Connie Wong), Cameron Holzman (Don Kerr), Jalen Michael Jones (Frank), Drew Lachey (Zach), Taylor Lane (Tricia), Jacob Major (Al Deluca), Zoë Maloney (Vicki Vickers), Matthew Marvin (Roy), Alexa Racioppi (Val Clark), Matthew Ranaudo (Bobby Mills), Antonia Raye (Kristine Urich), Sammy Schechter(Tom Tucker). Understudies are Jenna Bienvenue, Haley Haskin, and Christopher Wells.

The production team for A Chorus Line is Blake Robison (Director) Alex Sanchez (Choreographer), Andrew Smithson (Music Director/Conductor/Orchestral Arranger), Tim Mackabee (Set Designer), Kathleen Geldard (Costume Designer), Jaymi Lee Smith (Lighting Designer), David Bullard (Sound Designer), Steve Goers (Associate Conductor/Associate Music Director), Stephanie Klapper (Casting Director), Andrea L. Shell (Stage Manager), Brooke Redler (2nd Stage Manager), and Mary Kathryn Flynt (Assistant Stage Manager).

Tickets begin at $35. Performances will take place Tuesdays through Fridays at 7,30 p.m., Saturdays at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. An additional matinee performance is offered on March 29 at 1 p.m. An audio-described performance will be offered on April 1 at 2 p.m. A signed performance will be offered on April 2 at 2 p.m. Subject to availability, Pay What You Can performances will be offered on March 22 at 7:30 p.m. (Tickets available at noon) and March 29 at 1 p.m. (Tickets available beginning at 11 a.m.).

To purchase tickets or for more information, call the Playhouse Box Office at 513-421-3888 (toll-free in Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana at 800-582-3208) or visit www.cincyplay.com. Patrons who are deaf, hard-of-hearing, deaf-blind or speech disabled: dial 711 to connect to the Box Office via Ohio Relay Services.

EVENT: MEET THE ARTISTS

Stay after select performances for a behind-the-scenes discussion with members of the artistic team.
March 19 at 2 p.m.; March 23 at 7:30 p.m.; April 5 at 7:30 p.m.

ADVISORY

A Chorus Line is suitable for ages 16 and up. During a cutthroat Broadway audition, performers use strong adult language and have frank discussions of sex, sexuality, and mental health - all while slaying complex dance combinations and singing their hearts out.





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