A Chorus Line Triumphs again

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A Chorus Line at Paper Mill Playhouse. Photo by Jerry Dalia.show review.

I only saw this old friend 16 times on Broadway decades ago. I am glad to report this Paper Mill production of “A Chorus Line” is fresher and better than the original thanks to the loving treatment of director and choreographer Mitzi Hamilton. She was the original Val and the inspiration for her character. Only a person who was there at its infancy could bring a crisp new vitality, finding ways to improve on this Pulitzer Prize and Tony Awards winning masterpiece.

I realized this show had magnificent singers who can dance instead of the other way around as soon as I heard J. Manuel Santos, as Paul, sing. The clarity made the brilliant lyrics of Ed Kleban have new meaning.

This was Marvin Hamlisch’s greatest Broadway score giving us the timeless classics, What I Did For Love and One. His recent death, just before rehearsals for this production, was fondly remembered in a tribute finale after the show from over fifty alumni of the original, road and tour versions of the show.

For those that have seen “A Chorus Line” in the past, this is a must-see. All of your favorites from Mike (Mark Myars) realizing he could do that, when watching his sis at dance class; Richie (Kevin Curtis), choosing dance before being a kindergarten teacher; Sheila (Rachelle Rak), Bebe (Nikka Graff Lanzarone) and Maggie (Karly Willocks) wanting to be at the ballet; Kristine (Amanda Rose) who could never really, really sing but has support from husband Al (Mike Cannon); Diana (Gabrielle Ruiz) feeling nothing; Val (Ashley Arcement) buying new tits and ass from the doc at Park and 73rd; Cassie (Jessica Lee Goldyn) getting an ovation for the chance to dance before the music and the mirror. If you haven’t seen A CHORUS LINE, this wasa production that others will be measured by.

“A Chorus Line” was at the Paper Mill Playhouse, 22 Brookside Drive in Millburn last in October. For information and tickets to upcoming productions call 973-376-4343 or go to www.papermill.org Subscribers can save when seeing 3 or more shows of the current season. All 5 shows can be less than the cost of one Broadway musical.

A Chorus Line at Paper Mill Playhouse. Photo by Jerry Dalia.show review.

I only saw this old friend 16 times on Broadway decades ago. I am glad to report this Paper Mill production of “A Chorus Line” is fresher and better than the original thanks to the loving treatment of director and choreographer Mitzi Hamilton. She was the original Val and the inspiration for her character. Only a person who was there at its infancy could bring a crisp new vitality, finding ways to improve on this Pulitzer Prize and Tony Awards winning masterpiece.