SONORA – Sierra Repertory Theatre opens its 40th year season with the legendary and iconic Broadway musical, A Chorus Line, starring Russell Garrett as Zach and Adrienne Hampton as Cassie.
A Chorus Line begins performances on Sunday, Feb. 10 and runs through Sunday, March 24. Garrett, who many SRT patrons will remember as Harry Bright in Mamma Mia!, or as Henry Higgins in My Fair Lady, will be pulling triple-duty in this production. Not only will he play the role of Zach, but Garrett will recreate Michael Bennett’s original staging and choreography for SRT audiences.
A Chorus Line is being staged at the East Sonora Theatre, 13891 Mono Way, in East Sonora. For tickets, call the box office at (209) 532-3120, or purchase them online at www.SierraRep.org, or visit the East Sonora Theatre Box Office (Tuesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.), at 13891 Mono Way in Sonora. Performance times are Wednesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays at 2 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays at 7 p.m. Ticket prices range from $32 to $47. Discounts for seniors, veterans (w/ID), children, and students (18 and over with student ID) are available for all performances. Special discounts for groups of 20 or more are also available. A Chorus Line is rated PG-13.
Winner of nine Tony Awards and a Pulitzer Prize, this landmark musical has thrilled audiences around the world. The unparalleled score by Marvin Hamlisch and Edward Kleban includes “What I Did for Love”, “One”, “Nothing”, and “Dance Ten, Looks Three”. A Chorus Line held the record as the longest-running show on Broadway for 15 years. Its Tony Awards included Best Musical, Best Director and Best Choreographer, and it was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. Fun fact: Neil Simon was called in to do some uncredited book doctoring, adding some of the great one-liners.
In an empty theatre, on a bare stage, casting for a new Broadway musical is almost complete. The field’s been narrowed down to just 17 dancers. For these men and women, this audition is the chance of a lifetime. It’s what they’ve worked for – with every drop of sweat, every hour of training, every day of their lives. It’s the one opportunity to do what they’ve always dreamed of, but before the final cut is made, the director Zach asks each of them to talk about themselves. He starts by asking their name, age, hometown and reason for being a dancer. But Zach wants more than just their résumés. He wants to know about their families, friends, lovers, ambitions and careers. One by one, they come forward. Some are shy or reluctant, while others are more than happy to reveal their innermost thoughts. From funny to heartbreaking, these 17 dancers share with us the stories of their lives.
A Chorus Line departs from the usual glossy backstage musical by presenting a true picture of what it’s like to be in the theatre: glamorous – yes, at times, but also tough, heartbreaking and sometimes even tragic. It is a celebration of those unsung heroes of American Musical Theatre – the chorus dancers. Those valiant, over-dedicated, underpaid, highly trained performers who back up the stars and often make them look even more talented than they are. It is also a musical about competition, and this might easily be the common denominator that grabs the audience and holds it by the collective heartstring until the final choices are made. For everyone, at one time or another, puts his life on the line. We all compete, no matter what business we’re in, for promotion, for attention, for approval and for love.
“I think audiences will be surprised at how moved they’ll be,” said Garrett. “When we see a musical with a large ensemble we don’t stop to think about who those people are in real life, how they got there, how hard their lives might be or how challenging their childhoods might have been. A Chorus Line presents a stage full of individuals who we get to know and care about over the course of a short time. And the reason it resonates is because it is the truth. Everything on the stage is based on an actual story and experience from a dancer at the time the show was created. Truth is very powerful.”