Performing at Bardwell Theater on Friday, April 17th and Saturday, April 18th this spring, members of the Dana Hall and Belmont Hill Theatre departments put together the musical entitled “A Chorus Line.” Belmont Hill students Matt Travaglini ‘21, Julian Wambach ‘19, Renny Gong ‘20, and Ryan Cannistraro ‘21 performed in the production while Griffin Hamilton ‘20 and Brian Wilkins ‘20 managed tech. The show opens in the middle of an audition for an upcoming Broadway production, with every dancer desperate for work in the opening number, “I Hope I Get It.” 17 dancers remain after cuts, and the musical progresses, with each dancer revealing stories about their past. For instance, Greg (Ryan Cannistraro ‘21) speaks of his discovery of his homosexuality and Don (Renny Gong’ 20) remembers his first job at a nightclub. Many dancers reflect on the unhappiness of their childhood and family life and Bobby (Julian Wambach ‘19) tries to hide this unhappiness by making jokes. When Zach calls a reluctant Paul (Matt Travaglini ‘21) to share, he emotionally relives his childhood and high school experience, coming to terms with his manhood and his homosexuality and his parents’ ultimate reaction to finding out about his lifestyle.
At the peak of the musical, during a tap sequence, Paul falls and injures his knee. After Paul is carried off to the hospital, the dancers realize that their careers can also end in an instant. In “What I Did for Love,” the dancers respond to Zach asking the dancers what they will do when they can no longer dance. The number is beautifully sad, yet hopeful, as the dancers reply that, whatever happens, they will be free of regret.
In “One” (Finale/Bows), the assortment of audition clothing is replaced with glorious gold costumes. All the dancers and auditionees make the stage, living the fantasy where all of them get chosen to be a part of the chorus. Ironically, each character who, as the musical progressed became individualized, now is an anonymous part of an unbroken ensemble.