"A Chorus Line" seems designed for the proscenium. In this highly presentational show, the performers must deliver every step, every heartfelt song and monologue to an unseen director sitting out in the audience, picking chorus members for a Broadway show. How can it possibly translate to an arena stage? But director Mark E. Lococo and choreographer Rachel Rockwell not only create a multidimensional chorus line in-the-round; they extend it into the audience, breaking the theatrical fourth wall. The result is a far more intimate version of this Tony Award-winning musical.
Seventeen hopeful young singer/dancers rip open their hearts, exposing their fears, dreams, ambitions and deepest secrets. Childhood memories are explored, friendships are formed and tears are shed before the final heartbreaking moment when the cast is selected. By then, the audience has taken an emotional journey. Anyone who has ever competed for anything can empathize with this group of talented dancers.
And talented they are. This production of "A Chorus Line" is not only superbly danced, it offers terrific vocal talent supported by Patti Garwood's full-sounding orchestra. Mara Davi, fresh from the Broadway revival, plays Cassie, the dancer who left the chorus to become a star but wants a chance to start over again. Davi's passion as she dances for her life in "The Music and the Mirror" overwhelms both the actor and the audience. Marriott newcomer Pilar Millhollen is a strong, personable, natural Diana, whether belting out "Nothing," a song about an insensitive drama instructor, or trying to tap-dance in sneakers.
This emotionally riveting production is full of gorgeous music, stunning choreography and talented performers. It's quite simply "One Singular Sensation."