A Chorus Line Opens Oct. 7 at Paper Mill; Original Broadway Cast Members Pay Tribute to Marvin Hamlisch
By Michael Gioia
Paper Mill Playhouse kicks off its 2012-13 season with the Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize-winning musical A Chorus Line, featuring the music of the late Marvin Hamlisch. The production opens Oct. 7 and is followed by a tribute to the late Tony Award-winning composer.
Directly following the curtain call, over 50 A Chorus Line Broadway alumni, including Kelly Bishop, will join the Paper Mill cast on stage as they reprise a section of the "Finale" in tribute to Mr. Hamlisch. His wife Terri Blair Hamlisch will also be in attendance. Following the tribute there will be a red carpet, cast/reunion party in downtown Millburn, NJ.
Mitzi Hamilton, a dancer in director-choreographer Michael Bennett's original taped workshop that inspired the 1975 musical, directs and choreographs the New Jersey staging. Hamilton provided the inspiration for the character of Val and performed the role in the original London company and then on Broadway.
"We are thrilled to have the opportunity to honor and celebrate the life of Marvin Hamlisch," said director Hamilton in an earlier statement.
Jessica Lee Goldyn, who originated the role of Val in the 2006 Broadway revival of A Chorus Line, stars as Cassie. She is joined by Ashley Arcement (Grease) as Val, Kyle Brown (Legally Blonde) as Greg, Mike Cannon (West Side Story) as Al, Kevin Curtis (A Chorus Line national tour) as Richie, KC Fredericks (Wicked national tour) as Mark, Julia Freyer (A Chorus Line national tour) as Judy, Martin Harvey (West End's Dirty Dancing) as Zach, Nikka Graff Lanzarone (Chicago) as Bebe, Brian Letendre (Marry Poppins) as Larry, Mark Myars (West Side Story) as Mike, Jeffrey Pew (Billy Elliot national tour) as Don, Rachelle Rak (Catch Me If You Can) as Sheila, Amanda Rose (Paper Mill's Curtains) as Kristine, Gabrielle Ruiz (In the Heights) as Diana, J. Manuel Santos (West Side Story) as Paul, Alexzandra Sarmiento (A Chorus Line in Japan) as Connie, Kyle Vaughn (The Nutty Professor) as Bobby and Karley Willocks (A Chorus Line national tour) as Maggie.
Rounding out the cast are Carleigh Bettiol as Lois, Kevin Boseman as Butch, Jennifer Cordiner as Vicki, Jordan Fife Hunt as Roy, Chris Klink as Frank, Grant Thomas as Tom and Jessica Vaccaro as Tricia.
Performances, which began Oct. 3, continue through Oct. 28.
Set during an audition for an upcoming Broadway show, A Chorus Line, according to Paper Mill, "shines a light on the hopes, fears and dreams of performers vying for a chance to do what they all know they were born to do. A Chorus Line is an enthralling and emotional metaphor for what drives each of us to achieve our dreams."
John O’Neill serves as the production's music director and conductor. A Chorus Line, originally conceived, choreographed and directed by Bennett, features a book by James Kirkwood and Nicholas Dante with music by Hamlisch and lyrics by Edward Kleban.
Other members of the creative team include scenic designer James Dardenne, costume coordinator Gail Baldoni, lighting designer Julie Duro, sound designer Randy Hansen, hair designer Mark Adam Rampmeyer and production stage mamanger Joshua Halperin.
Paper Mill Playhouse is located at 22 Brookside Drive in Millburn, NJ. For more information and ticktes, call (973) 376-4343 or visit PaperMill.org.
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