Song & Stage

Don’t Miss ‘A Chorus Line’ in Southampton

A Chorus Line is a musical that does everything great theater can do. It makes you laugh. It brings a tear to your eye. It has memorable songs and high-kicking dance numbers; witty dialogue and dramatic monologues. And interesting, unique characters are abundant.

Seventeen dancers audition for a Broadway chorus line, though there is only room for eight—”four boys, four girls.” The director, Zach, wants to know more than whether the candidates can sing and dance—he wants to know how they came to pursue careers in theater. Some are more forthcoming than others, though all eventually bare their souls.

If you have never seen A Chorus Line, rectify that, because it’s a must-see. If you have seen it and enjoyed it, you won’t want to miss an enjoyable performance in Southampton presented by Center Stage.

This is Michael Disher’s third time directing the Marvin Hamlisch classic—with lyrics by Edward Kleban and book by James Kirkwood Jr. and Nicholas Dante—which has won nine Tonys and a Pulitzer Prize for Drama for its debut Broadway run, 1975–1990. Disher has considerable reverence for A Chorus Line, particularly the choreography by Michael Bennett.

Joan Lyons co-directs, freeing Disher to step into the role of Zach, who is on stage briefly here and there, but is more often present as a disembodied voice coming from off-stage, questioning the dancers and pressing them for honest answers.

Shannon DuPuis excels as Cassie, an accomplished dancer who has a romantic history with Zach. Isabel Alvarez, as Diana, stands out with her performance of the musical number “Nothing,” and Christine Lisette Martinez is a strong closer for the first act with “Dance: Ten; Looks: Three.” Adam Fronc, as Paul, nails the second-act dramatic monologue that is vital to a successful staging of A Chorus Line.

The cast as a whole makes a formidable ensemble.

Edward Martinez and Mary Sabo perform
Edward Martinez and Hailey Kohlus as Al and Kristine perform “Sing.” Photo credit: Dane DuPuis

Southampton Cultural Center added seat risers to the audience area for A Chorus Line, which offers much better sight lines than during past shows there. While any chair now offers a great view, try to grab a seat toward the center and close to the stage in order to hear everything—it can be tough at times.

A Chorus Line closes this weekend at Southampton Cultural Center, 25 Pond Lane, Southampton Village. Final performance are Thursday, March 19, at 7:30 p.m., Friday, March 20, and Saturday, March 21, at 8 p.m. and Sunday, March 22, at 2:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. General admission is $25. Student tickets, with ID, are $12. Order tickets at scc-arts.org or call 631-287-4377. Tickets are also available at the door.

Matthew Schiavoni as Mark. Photo credit: Dane DuPuis
Matthew Schiavoni as Mark. Photo credit: Dane DuPuis
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