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Put Yourself
On The Line!



Photo Shoot Day

More Images of rehearsals coming soon...



Production Shots

Dress rehearsal & Performance Shots

















Show Location

Louden Nelson Community Center, downtown Santa Cruz (corner of Cedar & Laurel).

Show Dates:

Two weekends! July 28th - August 6th, 2006.

Staff:

Artistic Director Lindsey Chester
Director & Choreographer Andrew Roubal
Musical Director Mazera Cox

Cast List

As you all know this was extremely hard to cast... but the staff look forward to working with all of you on this remarkable show. Your roles will be explained to you at the rehearsal... as some of the traditional male names from the line have been made into female names and will not stand out to you. Your scripts will be handed to you shortly.

Kristine Katelyn Laird
Sheila Heidi Ramee
Val Nicole Heisinger
Mike George Wise
Judy Molly Stuart
Lori - Choreographer Lindsey Duran
Maggie (What I Did For Love) Arielle Vakni
Richie Jordan Sidfield
Tricia Natasha Useldinger
Lois Elena Vensel
Vicki Cassandra Babcock
Don Henry Johnson
Bebe Amy Rosenberg
Connie Emily Handloff
Diana Morales Cody Rogers
Zach - Director Josh Kirkpatrick
Mark Kendall Neiblum-Lamkin
Cassie Kelsey Forest
Al Brian Schulze
Frankie Nili Segal
Genine Madison Ligon
Paul Abrefa Busia
Bobby John Root
Tracy Rachel Chatham
Renee Kendal Lardie
Tammy Ashley Rosen
Janice Eriana Neiblum-Lamkin
Dawn Hagar Barson
Leslie Jessica Kluger
Laura Roxy Van De Veer
Robin Lindsay Rasmussen

Song List

  • Opening (I Hope I Get It)
  • Morales-Underscore
  • After The Opening (The Line)
  • Intro-I Can Do That
  • I Can Do That
  • Intro-And
  • And
  • Intro-At The Ballet
  • At The Ballet
  • Intro-Sing
  • Sing
  • Montage-Part 1 (Hello Twelve)
  • Montage-Part 2 (Nothing)
  • Montage - Part 3 ("Mother")
  • Montage - Part 4 (Judy, Greg, Richie & Company)
  • Dance: Ten; Looks: Three
  • Short "Paul" Scene
  • The Music And The Mirror
  • After Music And The Mirror
  • End Of Paul's Scene
  • One
  • Tap Dance
  • Alternatives
  • What I Did For Love
  • After What I Did For Love
  • Bows (Finale)

The Show

A Chorus Line was not just another hit show. It spoke to and for a generation. For those who loved it, the theater was forever changed, and our lives forever enriched by this "singular sensation."

Instead of a standard plot, A Chorus Line had what might be called a "staging scheme." Presented without intermission, that scheme was a simple one. At an audition for an upcoming Broadway production, a director and a choreography assistant choose seventeen dancers. The director tells them he is looking for a strong dancing chorus of four boys and four girls, and he wants to learn more about them. They are then told to talk about themselves.

"I Hope I Get It" is a ten minute sequence, one of the most exciting openings in all musical theatre. We are watching the beginning of the final phase of a Broadway tryout. A rehearsal piano plays as Bennett fills the stage with flying arms and legs, as groups of dancers in rehearsal clothes vanish and reappear. The dancers eventually surge forward into a line, holding their eight-by-ten inch head shots in front of them. In A Chorus Line and the Musicals of Michael Bennett (St. Martins Press, NY 1989) author Ken Mandelbaum writes:

This moment – one of the show's most celebrated – represents the perfect blend of theme, staging concept, musical underscoring, lighting, and set design that marks the entire evening.

After the director (Zach) informs the dancers that he wants to know more about them, they begin with great reluctance to talk, revealing portions of their life stories. In order to get this job, they must put themselves on the line. While the show uses different characters to move through the audition, the overall pattern of stories progresses chronologically from early life experiences through adulthood to the end of a career.

"I Can Do That" has Mike recall his first experience with dance, watching his sister's dance class when he was a pre-schooler. Certain he could do it too, he took her place one day when she refused to go to class – and he stayed the rest of his life. This song was the first opportunity for the typical audience members to relate what they are seeing onstage to their own life experiences. Almost everyone has had an "I Can Do That" moment, which gave the song's title a comfortable second layer of meaning.

"And" lets the audience in on the seventeen dancers' inner misgivings about this strange audition process.

"At The Ballet" is a poignant tribute to the escape Sheila, Bebe, and Maggie found in the beauty of ballet.

"Sing" comically makes it cringe-ably clear that Kristine is tone deaf while her husband (Al) helps her through it.

"Hello Twelve, Hello Thirteen, Hello Love" is a montage sequence, Bennett at his best. All of the dancers share memories of their traumatic early teens. The number is constantly surprising and alive with shifting emotions, symptomatic of the years it thematically epitomizes. This is the first of several places in the show where homosexuality is dealt with in a matter of fact style. A Chorus Line was the first Broadway musical to do that.

The montage wipes into "Nothing," Diana's recollections of a horrible high school acting class, and then "Dance Ten, Looks Three," Val's explanation that talent doesn't count for everything with casting directors. (The song is perhaps better known by the "biological" title "Tits and Ass.") A wrenching monologue follows in which the emotionally vulnerable Paul comes to terms with his early career, manhood, and sense of self.

"The Music and The Mirror" was the longest solo ever created for a musical. It tells of Cassie's love of dance. She is a terrific veteran "gypsy" who has had some notable successes as a soloist. She may be, in fact, too good for a chorus part. But she needs the work. Even more, she needs to dance. Donna McKechnie played this role in the original cast, a role built in large part around her actual life experiences as she related them in the workshops. It is worth noting that McKechnie and Michael Bennett were actually married – twice.

That complex real-life relationship comes into play in the first rendition of "One," where Zach and Cassie confront each other and their romantic past. As Mandelbaum writes –

By setting this personal argument against the rehearsal routine . . . Bennett brings out the director's complete immersion in the work, which led to a rift between him and Cassie as well as Cassie's isolation in front of the mindless dance into which she is unable to blend.

This was originally written as a dialogue scene, but Bennett combined it with a musical number, thereby giving both extra feeling and symbolic significance as the "schmoozes" are countered by the ghostlike images of the chorus dancers.

After Paul falls injured and is carried off, the director asks the remaining dancers what they will do when they can no longer dance. "What I Did For Love" expresses the emotional drive that keeps these dancers focused, ever hopeful and free of regrets. (Lyricist Kleban is on record with this unexpected quote: "I think it's a dreadful song.") This number fades into the final elimination process as the final eight dancers are selected. In the workshop stages, Bennett had Zach read off different names at each performance/rehearsal, and cast members were often hurt when not among the "chosen." Now the names are pre-set.

"One," the finale, is Bennett's masterpiece of style and irony. It begins with an individual bow for each of the nineteen characters, their hodgepodge rehearsal clothes replaced by identical spangled gold costumes. As each dancer joins the group, it is suddenly difficult to distinguish one form the other. Each character who was an individual to the audience is now an anonymous member of an ensemble.

The number offers the flashiest choreography of the show. The dancers form a triangular wedge that flies off into a kick circle, celebrating the glitz and excitement of Broadway. But there is an underlying irony that individuals we know to be special had to become parts of a line, anonymously working in synch to back some star. In a final, unforgettable image, the dancers form a kick-line that technically never ends since the lights fade as the cast kicks on. Bennett said –

I want the audience to walk out of the theatre saying, 'Those kids shouldn't be in a chorus!' And I want people in the audience to go to other shows and think about what's really gone into making that chorus . . . It fades with them kicking. That's it. That's the end of the show. There are no bows. I don't believe in bows, just the fade out. That's what a dancer's life is.

Awards

A Chorus Line received nationwide press coverage. Donna McKechnie appeared on the cover of Newsweek performing "The Music and the Mirror."

A Chorus Line opened to almost unanimous rave reviews and ran for fifteen years. It won almost every award possible, including the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. It received nine 1976 Antoinette Perry Awards:

  • Best Musical
  • Best Director of a Musical (Michael Bennett)
  • Best Choreographer (Michael Bennett)
  • Best Book (James Kirkwood & Nicholas Dante)
  • Best Score (Marvin Hamlisch & Edward Kleban)
  • Best Actress in a Musical (Donna McKechnie - Cassie)
  • Best Featured Actress in a Musical (Carole Bishop - Sheila)
  • Best Featured Actor in a Musical (Sammy Williams - Paul)
  • Lighting Designer (Tharon Musser)

While this musical about musicals focused on the lives of dancers, general audiences found that the show spoke to their individual lives and experiences. In the Playbill listings, the show was dedicated "to anyone who has ever danced in a chorus or marched in step . . . anywhere."

However, it seemed to be professional performers and future hopefuls who were most affected by A Chorus Line. Younger performers felt the exciting potential of their dreams, and more experienced performers identified with the struggle to stay in the business, not only to make a living but for love of the work. Ask almost any dancer or actor who saw it and they will tell you it provided a spark or moment of inspiration that pulled at some part of their souls. In some way, they found their own stories on that stage with all the joys and disappointments, fears, memories, and hopes. As one character in the show proclaims, "They're all special. I'd be happy to be dancing in that line. Yes, I would . . . and I'll take chorus."

Lindsey Chester (Executive Director): 831-345-6340

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