If you have ever put your heart on the line, whether it’s to make the cut for a baseball league, earn a part in a high school musical, a spot on the cheerleading squad, a place in the school band, you know the fear and excitement that fills you as your turn in the spotlight comes.  If the tryout, interview or audition is for employment, then the stakes are ratcheted up a few hundred notches.

Imagine “So You Think You Can Dance” meeting The Miss America Pageant and you have an idea of the message in “A Chorus Line,” a musical that has garnered nine Tony Awards, five Drama Desks as well as the Pulitzer Prize for Drama.  This long running musical will be kicking up its classy heels at Waterbury’s Palace Theater the weekend of February 26-28.

Conceived in 1974 by Michael Bennett, with book by James Kirkwood and Nicholas Dante, music by Marvin Hamlisch, lyrics by Edward Kleban and choreography by Michael Bennett and Bob Avian. “A Chorus Line” takes you directly into the hearts, minds and pits of the stomach of seventeen wannabe Broadway dancers at one of the most important auditions of their young careers.

These hopefuls not only have to prove they can strut and kick, they must also reveal themselves.  Brassy or bubbly, insecure or comic, they are asked by the director Zach to tell all about their background, family, hopes, dreams and fears.  In the process, we learn who they are as the eager seventeen, who have already been hand picked from hundreds, are whittled down to the fortunate eight, the four boys and four girls who will comprise the chorus line of the brand new show.  You’ll find yourself rooting for your personal favorites to make the cut.

For tickets ($49-59), call the Palace Theater, 100 East Main Street, Waterbury at 203-346-2000 or online at www.palacetheaterct.org.  Performances are Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. and Sunday at 1 p.m.

Join the millions from Sweden to Switzerland to Singapore, Argentina to Australia to Austria, Norway to the Netherlands to New Zealand, who have thrilled at the transformation of a handful of really, really wannabes into “singular sensation” stars.

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