Not one singular sensation but many. Everyone knows what a triple threat in theatre means. Someone who can act, dance AND sing with a superior skill set in all three arenas. "A Chorus Line" at Metropolis Theatre in Arlington Heights is an entire production that can be characterized as a triple threat.
I came to the theatre expecting a superior dance piece which is how many patrons think of A Chorus Line. But what I saw was singing, acting and dancing from a high caliber group of actors. And, I dare to say there was also a fourth element that enhanced every single scene and that was the lighting design by Michael Wagner.
One hallmark of a great production that has an ensemble cast is when you invest yourself so fully in each of their personal stories. "A Chorus Line" has some great material to work with but under Robin Hughes’ careful and insightful direction the first Act flew by because I was drawn to each and every character. This is due not only to direction but portrayal.
The movie “Every Little Step” tracks a true audition and casting process for a revival of this same show that is a must see for anyone diving into this for schooling or as a profession. Metropolis’ production tandems so nicely with the reality of that process that anyone who wants a peek behind the scenes must see this show. It is rich with character work.
Aside from the overall production, there were some stand out performances in the ensemble. Dan Hamman (Al) has a beautiful tenor voice that is clear and almost makes you want to close your eyes to fully enjoy its resonance. But don’t close your eyes or you will miss his terrific partner acting with Jordan Beyeler (Kristine).
Jessica Miret’s portrayal of Diana and her rendition of the final solo song “What I Did For Love” is the perfect set up for the smash ending. The dancing by Casiena Raether (Cassie) and Ivory Leonard IV (Richie) is Broadway quality. The entire ensemble works so well together that it was truly hard to single out actors. They all have merit and hold the show together.
If there is one show you see this fall this should be the one. Metropolis can be a quick train ride from the Northwest Suburbs and the city and I’ve seen a true improvement of their repertoire and talent under the artistic direction of Joe Keefe.
Tickets for "A Chorus Line" at Metropolis Theatre are $40 for regular run shows and can be purchased online at MetropolisArts.com or by calling the Box Office at 847 577 2121. The show runs from Sept. 27- Nov. 3 and a calendar of performances is listed online.