A CHORUS LINE — All the Way Live at NTC

From the get go A CHORUS LINE by Playwrights James Kirkwood, Jr. and Nicholas Dante, captures the imagination and attention of the audience with the great combination of dancing, singing, and acting – bringing laughter and pathos.  Although every cast member deserves kudos, Director and Choreographer Marilyn Izdebski and each member of the Orchestra are as much a star as the Company!

The Orchestra

With music direction by Judy Wiesen, the orchestra is, of course, the backbone of the entire production, and this orchestra is the epitome of what a director would want for her or his production. The music, composed by Marvin Hamlisch with lyrics by Edward Kleban, is superbly performed by Judy Wiesen (piano); Michael Wray (synthesizer); Jon Bretan (Bass/Guitar); and Dean Cook (Drums/Percussion).

The Cast

Jannely Calmell (sweetness and good dancing shown in her role as Kristine); Dana Cherry (fine acting in this difficult character-role as Judy); Shino Cline (Connie and dancer); Lily Cline (Dancer); Shari Clover (Vicki and dancer); Greg Crane (Star power!  Outstanding as Zach, the taskmaster-dance casting director for the chorus line he envisions); John Diaz (Don); Sleiman Elahmadieh (very good as Gregory – especially hilarious with his self-discovery bit); Lucas Evans (as Richie); Alexandra Fry (Kristine and dancer); Heather Gant Lawrence (Connie); Izaak Heath (a fine actor in his role as Bobby); Michael Kessel (Mark); Eric Levintow (excellent tenor and fine portrayal of the Bronx-born Al); Kelsey Magaña (lovely singing voice, good acting and dancing in this performance, as Maggie); Katia McHaney (perfect portrayal of the shrewd and coquettish Sheila – in character to the end!!); Ula McPretl (Dancer); Jackson Mitchell (Exceptional as a Dancer in this performance); Amanda Morando (very nice vocals in her performance of Val); Bryan Munar (nice singing and good solid acting as Paul); Lucy Phillipes (Bebe); Carl Robinett (Star power! Exceptional dancer and actor in his role as Mike); Deborah Ann Spake (Wonderful in her performance of the mature Cassie – her solo performance of The Music and the Mirror was mesmerizing; and fine acting was shown in her portrayal of someone caught between love for dancing and being hired by Zach, her lost lover); Elise Terry (excellent in her portrayal as Laurie, the Dance Captain – and equalizer to Zach’s rough casting style); Anna Vorperian (Diana); Chloe Wales (Dancer).

The unspoken continuing conversations in lips and facial expressions added depth and texture to the give and take of the spoken lines.  There is hilarity, and there is one over-the-top song about one female’s characterization of her anatomy.

 From the scene of those cut in the audition line to the final scenes of the chosen chorus line, every scene is exceptionally well directed and choreographed, with the perfect costuming (by Janice Deneau and Mary Weinberg), sound mix (by Sound Logic) and lighting design (by Frank Sarubbi).  The set is perfectly designed by Michael Walraven for a dance studio, with the only exception being that the stage is not large enough to also hold the piano, in particular.

All the musical dance numbers are superbly performed; however, the showstopper is the Finale!

By Elle Alexa Simon (with and on behalf of Flora Lynn Isaacson, SFBATC)

A Chorus Line opened at NTC on September 7th, and you have only until September 30, 2018, to catch this uplifting production.  Regular performances of A Chorus Line are scheduled for Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00 p.m., and Sunday Matinees at 2:00 p.m.  For tickets to A Chorus Line order online at www.NovatoTheaterCompany.org (print out your ticket from the confirmation email).  If you’re unable to print out your ticket, your name will be on a list at the Box Office on your scheduled date at your scheduled time.  The Box Office opens at 7:00 p.m. on Friday and Saturday; and at 1:00 p.m. on Sunday. NTC Playhouse is located at 5420 Nave Drive, Novato.

Coming up next at NTC will be God of Carnage, by Yasmina Reza and Directed by Terry McGovern opening October 26, 2018, with performances through November 18, 2018.