UM’s Quantum Productions has done it again. The student-run arts and media production group is putting on the classic musical “A Chorus Line” through Mar. 29 at the Hillel Theater.
The musical is a show within a show, taking the audience on a journey through the process of making a Broadway show; it begins with an audition for the musical and ends in a flashy dance number.
Throughout the show, the production staff encountered several difficulties, including finding the 26 dancers needed for the show and constructing a stage big enough to accommodate the cast.
“A Chorus Line has quickly become Quantum’s biggest challenge,” Mike McCormick, vice president of Quantum’s creative affairs said. “With a mass cast of required dancers, we’ve had to expand our talent pool and also work our master carpenter to death. He’s had to build an extensive addition to the stage.”
However, McCormick says the master carpenter wasn’t the only one who was over-worked.
“The show’s director [Zach Lezberg] is superman,” McCormick said. “He’s directing the show, virtually producing it, and also starring in it- I don’t know how he’s doing it.”
The cast went through several personnel changes before the final cast was chosen.
“One problem that arose was people dropping the show after weeks of rehearsal. The reasons are still unknown, at least to myself, but we have recast those parts, and the new cast members have done an amazing job,” Brian Shaw, musical director, said.
According to students, Quantum not only provides UM with diverse entertainment, from theater musicals to films, but also provides students and faculty with unique opportunities to direct, perform, and generally participate in all aspects of the entertainment industry.
“Quantum has again expanded its horizons with A Chorus Line,” McCormick said. “We’ve given actors a chance to become dancers, dancers a chance to become actors, and singers, actors and dancers a chance to perfect their craft by teaching others their talents.”
The show, usually set in the 70s, has been given a new spin by Quantum by placing it in 2002. Their intention is that the new angle will interest the UM audience.
Cast members feel confident that UM students will not only like the show, but will also relate to it in a meaningful way, as it deals with modern issues like racism and homosexuality.
“I think the young audience will enjoy our version of A Chorus Line because we have modernized it to match their lifestyle,” Jose Candelaria, who plays Richie in the show, said. “Not to mention putting it in 2002 makes it easier for us as actors to perform. The experiences we depict are often our own.”
A Chorus Line will run through Saturday evening with nightly performances at 8:00 p.m., except for Friday.
Tickets can be purchased at the door, or by calling the box office at 786-426-3095.
Jaclyn Lisenby can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In The LINE: (pictures 2 and 3) Ashley Turner, Nikki McDonald, and Marcos Sanchez don vests and top hats for the glitzy final number, which features 18 dancers. The show’s carpenter had to build an extension on the stage to accommodate the large cast. (picture 4) Shana Del Toro and Zach Lezberg comfort Manny E.A.F., whose character reinjures his knee during an audition to be in the line. Lezberg acted in the production and also directed it.