On Thursday, April 7 the musical “A Chorus Line” was performed at the Edgerton Theatre by members of the Sacred Heart University Theatre Arts Program (TAP). The show was also performed on April 8, April 9 and concluded on April 10.
The musical centers a group of dancers from all different backgrounds who are auditioning to become members of the chorus line in an upcoming Broadway musical. During their time there, the director, Zach, asks the performers to talk about their life experiences. Some of the stories are comedic, while others are meant to be sad. Those involved in the musical said they enjoyed the experience.
“I’m excited because the students are excited,” said the director of the musical and of the theater arts program at large, Jerry Goehring. “The joy for us is to watch that happen and then sit back and watch them make this particular production theirs,” said Goehring. “This is Sacred Heart’s production, we’re doing it our way.”
One actress said her role in the show had been one of a lifetime.
“I am so excited about this show,” said Kiley Ondash, who acted as one of the dancers. “I have always adored it, and now I get to perform in my dream role,” said Ondash. “This has been one of the greatest experiences.”
Sean Ryan, SHU student who played the role of director Zach in the show, said this production has been a positive experience for him.
“There is so much history that lives within ‘A Chorus Line’ and I am so glad that I got to be a part of it,” said Ryan. “We had a zoom call with the actress who played Cassie in the original Broadway production and she told us that we were now, ‘a part of the family’ and that has really stuck with me.”
Before its debut at Sacred Heart, “A Chorus Line” has had a long history in the musical industry.
According to PBS, the show first premiered on July 25, 1975 on Broadway. PBS reported that the shows score was written by Marvin Hamlisch and the lyrics were written by Edward Kleban.
PBS also reported that the show received critical acclaim as soon it was released. “A Chorus Line’ won every prize the theater could offer including the Pulitzer and nine Tonys…It went on to become Broadway’s longest-running show in September of 1983 and continued to run for seven more years.”
According to PBS, the show’s success comes from the idea that everyone, not just those in the theater business, can relate to its content. “It had no scenery beyond some mirrors, no real costumes, no intermission and no star…The show captured the dreams of anyone who wanted-needed-to make it, to prove worth.”
One member of the audience said similar things about the show’s content.
“I think the show did a good job getting across the struggles of these people,” said junior Zachary Pochay. “The dance numbers were well choreographed, and it was a good time overall.”
Goehring thought that the actors in the show were able to connect to their characters on a deep level.