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‘A Chorus Line’ Raises the Barre at CCM

Review by Spenser Smith of A Chorus Line: CCM

A Chorus Line, originally conceived by Michael Bennett and his closest dancer friends, centers on seventeen Broadway performers auditioning for spots in the chorus of a new show. The musical is set on the bare stage of a Broadway theatre, so all eyes are on the dancers and their stories. The music is written by Marvin Hamlisch, lyrics by Edward Kleban and a book by James Kirkwood, Jr. and Nicholas Dante. The show won 9 Tony Awards in 1976, the Pulitzer Prize for Drama and is the 6th longest-running show in Broadway history.

This sets expectations pretty high for any serious production, and the dynamite cast onstage at University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music’s Patricia Corbett Theater does not disappoint. It would be unkind not to congratulate the entire cast and production team on a truly solid performance. Many of us have seen other productions of this show, so many things seem familiar. As the old adage reminds us, it ain’t broke. The way this cast makes the performance so fresh is what is truly special. I know the dances and the songs and I watched many others in the audience singing along with their favorite moments throughout, but the cast marches on as though each one of us is seeing the show for the first time.

As is usually the case at CCM, the singing is beautiful. There were several moments throughout the 2 hour and 15 minute run time that some of the actors were drowned out by the exemplary orchestra, conducted by Roger Grodsky. That being said, the outstanding performances are not overshadowed by this minor issue. Congratulations to all involved for a truly enjoyable and satisfying night at the theatre!

It is worth noting that the show is presented as it was originally intended, sans intermission. It is also worth noting that the show is so good that by the time you get to Paul’s show-stealing monologue towards the end of hour number two, you’ll forget you had to pee at halftime.

Tickets for the show, running through October 30, can be purchased by calling 513-556-4183 or visiting http://CCM.uc.edu/boxoffice/mainstage/chorus-line.html. . I wouldn’t wait, it will most likely sell out!