Here’s why A CHORUS LINE at Reagle Musical Theatre of Greater Boston (playing through June 24th) is worth a visit: The iconic musical which won ten Tony Awards is getting a truly democratic production under Broadway veteran Leslie Woodies of the original national and international tour. There are no star turns in this production, just a solid cast of talented individuals, most of whom are local!
Reagle always lines up a Broadway name for each of its summer shows and Lorenzo Lamas is the ringer for A CHORUS LINE. He plays Zach, the director who has to choose from the auditioning throng of dancers and he’s mostly back stage. We hear only his voice, eliciting the dancers’ personal stories. To his credit, he blends seamlessly into Woodies’ inclusive design for the show, giving each character his/her due.
From the get-go, Woodies’ direction makes you care about each dancer, even the ones cut in the first scene. (You notice a hilarious “headband boy” and you even miss him!) What sets this production apart from other, maybe slicker ones is the heart and spirit in characters like Scott Abreu’s vulnerable Paul. The self-doubt (and growing self confidence) of the dancers is palpable. This is a very young cast. Maybe that’s why it works so well.
Aimee Doherty is a deft comedienne and she nails the haughty, naughty jaded veteran of many an audition. Danielle Goldstein, too gets lots of laughs as the plain Jane transformed by plastic surgery. Kerri Wilson delivers a saucy “Nothing” and Bradley Jensen wins you over with his enthusiastic “I Can Do That.”
Amos L. Oliver III soars as Ritchie (“Gimme the ball. Gimme the ball…”). Katie Clark clearly communicates the downside of fame as Cassie, the dancer who is willing to rejoin the corps just so she can dance again. Everyone executes Michael Bennett’s elegant choreography (recreated by Woodies) as if it were easy (which isn’t easy to do). My only disappointment is that Reagle was unable to find an Asian-American dancer to play Connie. That said, Rachel Bertone makes the role pop with spunky assertiveness. Come the last number, the dancers show without a doubt why A CHORUS LINE has become a “Singular Sensation.”