Peoria is alive with the dancing feet of performers arriving from locations both local and national to form “A Chorus Line” at Arizona Broadway Theatre.
The cast of 21 dancers was chosen from more then 300 performers who auditioned for dance calls throughout the Phoenix area and New York City.
The cast includes Molly Lajoie as Cassie, a dancer who is down on her luck and has been romantically involved with the director, Zach, who is holding the casting call. Cassie needs a job, and she realizes that her passion is to dance regardless of status or fame.
Lajoie is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame and the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York City. She also earned a 2008-2009 AriZoni Theatre Award of Excellence for best choreographer (contracted theater).
Bill Saunders, once a student at ASU, returns to Arizona after a long sabbatical to play the pivotal roll of Zach, the choreographer/director holding the casting call. Saunders now lives in New York City and a few of his credits include: the 10th anniversary national tour of “Footloose,” Christopher Belling in “Curtains,” Cornelius in “Hello, Dolly!” and Mr. Belding in “Saved by the Bell, the Musical.”
Pamela McKenna makes her Arizona premiere as Diana, who sings the emotionally dramatic song “What I Did for Love.” McKenna lives in New York and her extensive resume includes: national tours of: “Babes in Toyland” and “Tom Sawyer,” Dolly Parton’s “Dollywood Babes in Toyland” and more.
Kurtis W. Overby, resident choreographer at ABT and director of “A Chorus Line,” received the 2011 AriZoni Theatre Award for best choreographer (contracted theater) for the production of “42nd Street.” In 2010 he was recognized for his intricate tap sequences in “Anything Goes” and walked off with the same award.
“Kurtis is a force to be reckoned with on stage and off, especially when it comes to dance,” said executive producer Kiel Klaphake. “When his tap numbers begin, spectators truly do not want them to end.”
“A Chorus Line” debuted on Broadway in 1975 and won nine Tony Awards. It gleaned a Pulitzer for drama and its musical score. The musical score includes “What I Did for Love,” “Dance: Ten; Looks: Three,” and the popular finale, “One.” It ran for 6,137 performances, becoming the longest-running production in Broadway history up to that time. It remains the fifth longest-running Broadway show ever.
“It is a classic and defining Broadway production that changed the course of musicals,” said Skye Fallon, media and public relations manager. “It is a story the audience can truly relate to about what actors go through to get a job and the characters’ stories — their loves, fears and trepidations as they face auditions, the final cut and the stage.
“‘I really need this job” is the opening lyric of ‘A Chorus Line.’ We all understand the torment, fear and optimism of a job search, and a story based on such a task is especially meaningful today.”
“A Chorus Line” runs through Nov. 17. For tickets and information, call 623-776-8400. Arizona Broadway Theatre is at 7701 W. Paradise Lane, Peoria.