WMU News

'A Chorus Line' at Shaw Theatre through Oct. 13

Oct. 3, 2001

KALAMAZOO -- The University Theatre opens its mainstage season with "A Chorus Line," the Tony Award winning musical that changed the world of theatre and Broadway forever.

Performances are Oct. 4-6 and 11-13 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, Oct. 7, at 2 p.m. in the Laura V. Shaw Theatre of the Gilmore Theatre Complex. Tickets are $16 for adults, $12 for seniors and WMU faculty/staff, and $7 for all students.

To purchase tickets, call the Gilmore Theatre Ticket Office at 616 387-6222. Office hours are Monday through Friday, noon to 5 p.m. and two hours prior to performances. Tickets can also be purchased through the Epic Center Box Office in downtown Kalamazoo.

An opening night reception on Oct. 4 is sponsored by Gull Lake Cafe.

The 22nd annual President's Performance Scholarship Benefit will take place Friday, Oct. 5.

The Thursday, Oct. 11, performance will be signed for the deaf and hard of hearing and will be followed by a post-show discussion with the cast and production team.

Based on a concept by Michael Bennett, with music by Marvin Hamlisch, lyrics by Edward Kleban, and book by James Kirkwood and Nicholas Dante, "A Chorus Line" tells the story of dancers desperately seeking work and hoping to find love along the way.

"A Chorus Line" rocked the world of theatre in 1975 when it premiered on Broadway. It gave the audience an inside look at what takes place at an audition and the rigorous work performers must endure to live their passion. It has become a symbol to music theatre performers and admirers
across the world.

"If you're in music theatre and you go to an audition, and they ask you to do some of the Michael Bennett choreography from 'A Chorus Line,' they're not going to teach it to you," says Todd Neal, director of WMU's Music Theatre Performance program and this production. "They expect you to know it."

The performers in this production are being challenged by Lindsey Thomas, professor of dance and choreographer, to learn something new. Thomas has created her own choreography for WMU. "A Chorus Line" has been an inspiration to many choreographers and dancers, and Thomas is no exception.

"How could I keep this WMU production true to Michael Bennett's style and yet maintain his real concept?" says Thomas. "...that of highlighting the talent of each individual fortunate enough to be cast."

Several guest artists are involved in this production. Rochelle Barker, a 1983 alumna of the Department of Theatre, is the scenic designer. She currently serves as scenic designer for the Alliance Theatre in Atlanta. Music Director, Sean Michael Flowers and Assistant Choreographer Derrick Evans, a 2000 alumnus of the Department of Dance, who played Richie in WMU's 1986 production of A Chorus Line), round out the team.

The cast of 31 performers features seniors Jonathen Rincon from Adrian, Mich., as Zach, Nicholas Dalton from South Haven, Mich., as Al, Mia Gauci from Grosse Pointe, Mich., as Sheila, Gina Dedominicis from West Bloomfield, Mich., as Bobbi, Tom Meink from Gladwin, Mich., as Paul and Amy Board from Littleton, Colo., as Cassie.

The production team includes Matthew Knewtson, scenic designer barker, lighting designer
and associate professor of theatre; Chris Ericson, sound designer; Jason Resler, costume designer; and Trish Hausmann, stage manager.

Media contact: Shauna Thieman, 616 387-6222, shauna.thieman@wmich.edu

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