Review: A Chorus Line Will Make You Think, Feel

Kailey Feshler

Catherine Cinque, Staff Writer

The University of New Haven’s fall production and opening night of A Chorus Line by Michael Bennett ran without a hitch. The theater was decently filled for the first night of the musical and even university President Steven Kaplan was in attendance. The play, directed by faculty member Jonathan Yukich, runs under two hours long with no intermission. Its story and message were brought to life through its minimal stage design and simplistic ‘70s style costumes.

Set in the 1970s, the play revolves around the lives of 17 dancers vying for a spot in a chorus line on Broadway. The play opens with the song “I Hope I Get It,” an indirect relation to the graduating seniors in the audience. After the first round of cuts, Zach (Joshua Lodge), the director of the musical, asks the dancers to step forward and share a few things about themselves that are not included on their resumes.

Topics emerge that are not as dated as we may think, as the show delves into the lives of the remaining dancers Conversations of sexuality and race pop up and confront the audience with where they are in the world. Over forty years later, society is still struggling with the same issues. The show is not limited to only these larger-than-life issues, but also more personal dilemmas such as how far an individual is willing to go to land their dream job.

As the characters’ stories develop throughout the play, the viewer begins to feel a kinship with some of them. Paul (Bobby DellaCamera) opens up to admit he was in drag, Cassie (Erica Quaedvlieg) swallows her pride and starts her career over in the chorus, and Bebe (Haley Sickell) comes to terms with her appearance and is able to learn to accept herself. These dancers are coping with their insecurities and ordeals which opens our eyes to our own problems so that we may take a deeper look and examine ourselves and find who we want to be, where we want to go, and what we want to do.

The outstanding performances by all of the cast had the audience rolling with laughter and humbled by what the characters were all willing to confess. The sincerity of each character is brought to light by their respective performers. You begin to feel for these sad characters as they divulge their personal stories. DellaCamera makes you want to run on stage and give him a hug as he explains his past. The play was a huge success and one for the books: a definite and resounding two thumbs up.