A Chorus Line Will Line Up at the Schoenfeld Sept. 18

News   A Chorus Line Will Line Up at the Schoenfeld Sept. 18
 
The new revival of A Chorus Line will take possession of Broadway's Schoenfeld Theatre on Sept. 18, it was announced. Official opening is now Oct. 5, a shift from the previously announced Sept. 21.

The show will play a pre-Broadway engagement as San Francisco's Curran Theatre July 23-Sept. 2.

Frequent Chicago star Charlotte d’Amboise and The Light in the Piazza’s Michael Berresse will head the cast. Other casting is yet to be announced.

D’Amboise will play Cassie, the down-on-her-luck dancer created in the original production by Tony Award winner Donna McKechnie. Berresse will play Cassie’s former lover Zach, who is now the director of the show for which Cassie has come to audition.

In addition to Chicago, Charlotte d'Amboise has starred on Broadway in Contact, Cats, Song and Dance, Carrie, Jerome Robbins' Broadway, Damn Yankees, Company and Sweet Charity.

Michael Berresse, who currently stars in The Light in the Piazza, received a Tony nomination for his performance in the revival of Kiss Me, Kate. His other Broadway credits include Fiddler on the Roof, Guys and Dolls, Damn Yankees, Carousel, Chicago and The Gershwins’ Fascinating Rhythm. The revival of A Chorus Line will be directed by Bob Avian, the co-choreographer of the original production, which was helmed by the late Michael Bennett.

A Chorus Line has a book by James Kirkwood and Nicholas Dante, music by Marvin Hamlisch and lyrics by the late Edward Kleban, who later became the subject of the show A Class Act.

A Chorus Line began life at Joseph Papp's Public Theater. It is about a collection of Broadway gypsies who tell their stories and reveal their fears as they go through the fraught and trying process of auditioning for the chorus of a new show. It was revolutionary not only for the long workshop process that created the show (and which birthed a workshop ethos which has persisted—for better or worse—in nonprofit theatre to this day), but for epitomizing the "concept musical," a genre which began with such Sondheim works as Company and Follies and reached its peak in Line.

The cast included such then-unsung performers as Wayne Cilento, Robert LuPone, Priscilla Lopez, Kelly Bishop (then called Carole Bishop) and Donna McKechnie.

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A Chorus Line will be produced by the well known and well-connected entertainment lawyer John Breglio, who represented the musical's director-choreographer-conceiver Michael Bennett while he was alive and still handles his estate. Breglio's many theatre clients include Manhattan Theatre Club, The Public Theater, Stephen Sondheim and August Wilson.

The credit will mark Breglio's Broadway producing debut. "I feel like I've tried to guide and help hundreds of producers over the years," Breglio previously told Playbill.com. "This one was sort of inevitable for me. It's the closest thing to me in my career that I've ever done." Breglio and Bennett joined forces in the early '70s. After A Chorus Line, they formed a producing partnership with choreographer Bob Avian and Susan MacNair called Quadrille Productions, though Breglio eventually returned to his practice.

Also participating in the revival will be the show's surviving creators, including Marvin Hamlisch, designer Robin Wagner and Avian, who was billed as "co-choreographer" in the original production. Avian will direct the new mounting. Wagner will recreate the bare-stage-and-mirrors set that characterized the original.

Also teaming with Avian will be original cast member Baayork Lee, who will assist in recreating Bennett's original staging and choreography.

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The Schoenfeld has been empty since Chita Rivera: A Dancer's Life closed Feb. 19. The Chorus Line booking still leaves room for a limited run for another play.

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