Reviewed by Lory Martinez
Binghamton University’s production of the Tony Award-winning musical A Chorus Line, which focuses on the emotional journey of auditioning for the Broadway stage, premiered this past weekend to a full house at the Watters Theatre. The show, much beloved for decades, featured some BU’s top musical talent.
To begin, one must consider that performing an award-winning musical is a huge undertaking. There are, undoubtedly, very high expectations from audience members who love the show and will laugh ,cry and even sing along at just the right moments. But this theatre company does not disappoint. From beginning to end, director Elizabeth Mozer’s production of Michael Bennett’s equal-parts funny and tragic musical was a delight to watch.
As director/choreographer Zach (performed by Tyler Downey) went down the line getting to know the chorus hopefuls, one could see that musical director Kristina Ruffo and choreographer JoEllen Kuhlman did an excellent job casting the talents of featured “line’”contenders. Particularly noteworthy: Michelle’s (Imani Pearl Williams) cartwheels and Al’s (Dylan Poulos) somersaults.
Outstanding performances were given by Stephanie Gomerez as Diana Morales, who sings “Nothing” (about the drama teacher who told her she would never become an actress), and by Danielle Nigro as the failed actress-turned-chorus girl, Cassie, for her beautiful rendition of “The Music and the Mirror.”
Shoshana May’s dark humor as Sheila kept the show light and warm-hearted, even as the tone drastically changed during Paul’s (Matthew Pedersen) monologue about his own journey to Broadway.
And of course, an ensemble performance of “At the Ballet” could make one want to get up and dance.
All in all, the show was expertly cast, and the ensemble harmonized beautifully. This is one Binghamton University production you’d be a fool to miss.
IF YOU GO: Performances will be 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday (Nov. 21 and 22) and 2 p.m. Sunday (Nov. 23) in the Watters Theatre of Binghamton University’s Anderson Center. Tickets are on sale at the Anderson Center Box Office.