Hello again, internet peoples! I hope you're all surviving the gross, rainy weather and that you're pumped to read more of my bad jokes and look at my unbelievably blurry iphone 5 pictures - all in an attempt to get you to come to Cab to watch some more great theatre!
The craze this weekend is A Chorus Line, directed by Shayna Carney! A timeless classic in the musical theatre repertoire, A Chorus Line takes us through the lives of aspiring dancers and performers trying to make it big and land one of the 8 coveted chorus spots. After the first group is cut, the audience has the chance to delve into the lives of the remaining dancers and see just how many different ways they came into this business. They give you laughs, they give you tears, they give you moments where you don't really know what face you're supposed to be making, and for all of you fellow performers, I'm sure it won't be the first time you hear some of these stories, or something similar.
So, with my crappy iphone 5 voice memo app out and at the ready, I bothered a bunch of actors and asked them to talk to me because I'm needy like that - but also because it's my job so yeah
I think my favorite part about these little interviews is talking to the actors about their characters, who have become both their biggest supporters and great friends throughout this crazy intense rehearsal process. One such friendship is between Alex Albanese (Theater and Communications, Junior) and his portrayal of Bobby Mills. "This show, even though I'm a character, is one that I can relate to very closely, if not the closest. This is what I want to do with my life, and I've already been on so many auditions where I don't say anything. I just dance. So, portraying this very real experience to me has set it apart from other shows I've been a part of here." Coming to watch the show is an awesome experience, because you get to see Alex act as the "bitch" of the show - "[Bobby] doesn't have time to listen to everyone's 'story'. He's come to the audition to show his skills, and he's determined to get cast in this production."
A little down the line from Bobby Mills is Kristine Urich who is being played by the brilliant Kim Bollard (Theater and Journalism and Media Studies with a certificate in Digital Filmmaking, Class of 2017). No stranger to the Rutgers stage, Kim's biggest take away from this show is her newfound dance skills. "I was never a dancer. I had taken a few dance classes in the past, but nothing serious. It has been very challenging for me, but extremely rewarding. I now feel more confident in movement and dancing, even though I am still not very good. I feel that my new confidence in dance has made me a better actor than before as well. Dani was a great choreographer, and believed in me every step of the way."
A Chorus Line is a HUGE dance show - so the choreographer, Daniela Stefanelli (Psychology, Junior) has played an important part in the success of this show. More experienced dancers like Alex Albanese and Larrej Drayton (Music Education, Freshman), who plays Richie, get a chance to really show their shtuff onstage. "My favorite part about being in this production is the choreography. I love to dance and I've never had the chance to do such an extensive amount of dancing in different styles. The choreography for this show is a lot more difficult because it has elements of all different types of dancing. There are sections of jazz and ballet and super fun moves as well as acrobatics that are just out of this world." The praise that I heard about Dani as the choreographer was never-ending, and I'm sure you'll all see why when you come see the show!
A cool part of the show is the "Cut Ensemble", or the "Cute Ensemble", which is a correction given to me by its members, and one I am very willing to accommodate. They're a part of the initial group of dancers who show up to audition, but unfortunately do not make the cut and are therefore sent home. One Cute Ensemble member, Craig Dilliplane (Math and Physics, Sophomore) who plays Frank, talked to me about how his favorite part of any rehearsal is when the whole cast is warming up, they're all in the music, and you can "feel the camaraderie and everyone being themselves - it's just a really comfortable environment to be in." Peep them in the beginning during the small group combos, and at the end waving hats and stuff with the whole cast.
So one unique part of my interview process this time was offering people strawberries before I asked them to be interviewed. A person who actually accepted my fruit is Oren Merhav (Biomedical Engineering, Freshman) who plays Zach, the daunting Director running the whole she-bang. When asked about the most rewarding part of this whole process, he talked to me about the appreciation he has for working with such a talented cast. "There are some people that when they go up and do something, I no longer feel like this is student theatre - it feels professional just because of all of the other people around me. I sometimes walk away from a scene and I'm just like, 'WOW - that was something! I got some emotions going on there!'"
If I haven't yet convinced you of how awesome this show is going to be, let me take you through a part of my conversation with the director, Shayna Carney (Theatre Arts, Junior). Why should you come see this stellar cast, you ask?
"Because we're telling stories of real people. Because the music is beautiful and the dancing is incredible, but in the end these are real people and whether you're in the arts, or if you're a science major or a business major, it doesn't matter - this one thing is so important to you and you might not get it but that's okay, but it's really telling of human nature and everyone can relate to it."
I'm hoping that none of you have made it to the end of this post on the first read because you were so overwhelmed by the urge to reserve your tickets that you just HAD to click on the box office tab at the top of this webpage, or that you scooted on over to the facebook page to reserve your tickets from there. Take a break from wringing out your soaking wet hair and clothes, or from studying for that awful exam you have next week, and treat yo self to some quality entertainment. We're running this show for two weekends, so you have 6!!!! chances to come see it!