8:00pm • Friday, March 17, 2023 • Power Center
MUSKET’s A Chorus Line blew me away! I can’t imagine a more perfect first time seeing the show. In particular I need to shout out Mariangeli Collado (Diana) and Catie Leonard (Cassie) for their incredible solos, “Nothing” and “The Music and the Mirror.” Collado’s voice is spectacular, and I hope I’ll get the chance to see her in a couple more performances while she’s studying here. As for Leonard, I couldn’t imagine how exhausting the intense combination of dance and song in “The Music and the Mirror” must be, but she appeared to leap and twirl effortlessly across the stage, gracefully transitioning between movement and music. I’d also like to shout out Nicholas Alexander Wilkinson II (Richie) for his ridiculously impressive dancing abilities, practically flying off the stage throughout the performance.
I’m not always great at reviewing dance performances because I’ve never been a dancer. I explain it to friends as trying to analyze an essay in a language I don’t understand. However, even to my untrained eyes, I could appreciate the precise synchronization of this cast. The actors seemed to move as one unit (like a chorus line, I suppose), a cohesive entity even in the scenes where each character was wrapped up in their own story. In the beginning scenes, I thought about how messing up a dance in exactly the right way must almost take more skill than executing it perfectly, because you need to know what you’re “supposed” to be doing as well as how to screw it up properly.
I saw MUSKET’s Fall 2022 production of Little Shop of Horrors, which was a lot of fun, but I appreciated how A Chorus Line played to a different set of strengths. This production was sleeker, perhaps because its set and costuming were more minimal. Whereas LSoH played up MUSKET’s set design and drew on the group’s wacky side, A Chorus Line was subtle, highlighting the student organization’s ability to execute a highly technical production. The quality of the performance was indistinguishable from any UMS or SMTD event I’ve seen yet, and surpassed quite a few. Walking home from the show, I was just struck again by the luck of being a nobody sociology student at the number-one school for musical theater in the country.
If you have the chance to see the final performance of A Chorus Line tomorrow (Sunday, March 3) at 2:00pm, I urge you to do so! It’s only $7 for students, and when else are you going to have the opportunity to see a show like this for $7? I mean, really. MUSKET deserves all of our standing ovations for this one, and I can’t wait to see what they create next year.