Every time I complete a new assignment at the Herald, I’m surprised by how much I’ve learned. Yesterday, I went to UND’s production of “A Chorus Line.” I will be honest and say I wasn’t all that excited for the play. That was until I got to the Burtness Theater and interviewed two of the student actors, Jackie and Patrick. From the moment they sat down for the interview, I could see the passion in their eyes and hear it in their voices.
They told me about the play, their deep emotional connections to their characters, Cassie and Paul, and the history behind it all. I’ll save the details for the story, which will print Friday in Accent.
After the interviews, I went into the theater, which was nearly empty as it was the first dress rehearsal, and I waited for the show to begin.
From the moment the lights came on and 25 nervous dancers filled the stage, I was captivated. I’m sure the fact that I was basically the only one in the audience made it a little more dramatic, but it was incredible. I couldn’t believe how real It all felt. My heart started racing when the director called the names of the people who were being cut. And when the dancers were on the floor broken hearted over just the thought of not being able to dance again, my heart hurt too.
I don’t typically get emotional during plays or movies, but there’s something different about “A Chorus Line.” It’s as if you’re watching these actors real-life audition process with all the pain, excitement and anxiety. It’s terrifying and beautiful, and I absolutely love it.
I didn’t get enough with the play last night so I looked up the documentary about the 2008 revival of the show and watched it tonight. Again, it was so captivating.
The play has a great story behind it and a lot of history packed it. Each of the characters is based off a real life dancer in the industry and many of the lines are from real dialogue that took place in the 1970s during a workshop.
To learn more about the musical, watch for my story at gfherald.com on Friday. If you’re in Grand Forks, be sure to check out UND’s production, which opens Thursday and runs through Nov. 23 at the Burtness Theater.