A CHORUS LINE: One Singular Sensation

The cast of A Chorus Line. Photos by Michael Derr.

Theatre by the Sea presents A Chorus Line, conceived and originally directed and choreographed by Michael Bennett, with book by James Kirkwood and Nicholas Dante, and music by Marvin Hamlisch. This musical has been a Broadway staple since it premiered in 1975, featuring beloved tunes such as “What I Did for Love” and “One.” The Tony Award-winning musical truly captures the spirit and tension of a Broadway chorus audition. It has long been hailed as a celebration of the American Musical, and the unsung heroes of the American Musical Theatre — the chorus dancers. They are valorous, overly dedicated, underpaid, highly trained performers who back the stars, often making them look more talented than they are. 

This large, multi-talented cast not only acts, but dances and sings as well. According to Theatre by the Sea, the characters portrayed in A Chorus Line are, for the most part, based on the lives and experiences of Broadway dancers. This show is dedicated to anyone who has ever danced in a chorus or marched in step, anywhere.

The cast of A Chorus Line. Photos by Michael Derr.

It’s 1975, musicals are falling by the wayside, and 16 dancers are vying for one of the eight spots in the chorus of a Broadway musical. They desperately need a job doing the one thing they know how to do — dance. Also, they’re well aware they’re not getting any younger. During the auditions, all dancers are asked to bare their souls by sharing stories of their childhood, ambitions, fears and experiences in showbiz. They’ve been preparing for this chance all their lives, and now they’re ready to put it all on the line. 


Zach, the director and choreographer of the show, is portrayed by Christopher DeProphetis, who is a fine dancer himself. Rather than having them read a short audition scene, Zach elicits a personal backstory from each of the dancers, and they all know he will eventually whittle his choice down to four boys and four girls. He asks how they got into showbiz and why they became dancers. He wants to know their hopes, fantasies, and aspirations. Each performer portrays a separate character interesting in their own right. As he calls upon them individually, they react in various ways, from bravado to reticence, showing him where they’ve come from and who they really are at the core.

Cassidy Stoner, who portrays the standout dancer, Cassie, is indeed exceptional. Graceful and elegant, she glides around the stage with style and ease — as though she has wings, which makes sense because her voice is angelic. She’s the lady in red, for more reasons than “one singular sensation — she’s the one!”

Scenic designer Kyle Dixon gives us a Broadway theater set with mirrors lining the back of the stage, creating an interesting view of the backside of each character and the action. This is especially captivating when we see Cassie, dancing a solo performance for her ex-boyfriend Zach, who doesn’t want to hire her since he believes she’s too good to be in the line. She really needs the work and is humble about being the best dancer by far. As she gives a captivatingly beautiful performance, old feelings stir and emotions run high. Contains adult language and mature content.A Chorus Line runs through June 22. For more information, visit