A CHORUS LINE -- A Very Good Production

By Karen Isaacs

The Connecticut Repertory Theater which operates on the UConn campus in Storrs has opened its summer season with a fine production of A Chorus Line through June 14.

Yes, I could quibble about some of the performances -- many are students or recent graduates of theater programs across the country. I could also fault some of the choices of director/choreographer Cassie Abate. At times the gestures used during the songs seem more choreographed than natural.

BUT -- and this is big but -- overall this is a satisfying production of the classic musical about a group of chorus dancers auditioning for a demanding director who will decide who gets the desperately needed jobs. During the course of the audition he prods them to talk about their lives and themselves -- why they started dancing, what will they do when they must stop dancing and more.

Certain elements of the show are so iconic that no director yet has had the courage to change it. Even the choreography of the ending number is so set in peoples' minds that little can be changed.

In this cast, I particularly liked Joey Barreiro as Paul -- who tells one of the more touching stories towards the end of the intermissionless two hours. He is one of the handful of Equity professionals in the cast.  Lori Ann Ferreri who plays Cassie -- one of the more major roles -- is good but somehow didn't emotionally engage me.

And I really felt that director Abate missed the mark in her handling of the classic number Dance: Ten, Looks: Three song by Val played by Kristin Devine.

But it is well worth a trip to Storrs to see this production.

A Chorus Line runs through June 14. For tickets contact crt.uconn.edu.

This review aired on WNHU -fm, 88.7



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