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Published: Thursday, 7/8/2010

Award-winning 'A Chorus Line' to open at the Croswell

BY NANCIANN CHERRY
BLADE STAFF WRITER
Troy McGee of Toledo as Richie with the cast members from the Croswell production of 'A Chorus Line.' Troy McGee of Toledo as Richie with the cast members from the Croswell production of 'A Chorus Line.'
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ADRIAN - A Broadway favorite, A Chorus Line, opens a two-weekend run tomorrow in the Croswell Opera House.

Conceived by Michael Bennett, written by James Kirkwood and Nicholas Dante, with music by Marvin Hamlisch, the plot is based on a series of interviews with Broadway "gypsies," dancers who move from show to show for roles in the chorus. The musical tells the story of such a group of dancers, who are auditioning for a formidable director called Zach. As Zach quizzes each performer, trying to figure out what makes her or him tick, the show becomes a metaphor for success, failure, and human aspiration.

A Chorus Line opened off Broadway in 1975, and when the limited run quickly sold out, it was moved by producer Joseph Papp to a larger theater on Broadway. It was awarded the 1976 Pulitzer Prize for drama as well as nine of the 12 Tony Awards for which it was nominated, including best musical, score, book, direction, and choreography. At one point, it was the longest-running show in Broadway history, with 6,137 performances. (It's now in fourth place, behind Les Miserables, Cats, and The Phantom of the Opera, which has more than 9,300 performances and is still running.)

Matthew Bowland of Genoa directs the Croswell production, which features Ryan Buehler of Denver as Zach; Andrew Jordan-Moll of Toledo as his assistant, Larry, and Lindsey Denham of Toledo as Cassie, one of the auditioners who is Zach's former lover.

Also in the cast are Toledoans Jarrod Alexander, Tito Duran, Troy McGee, Tatiana Owens, Neil Powell, and Kyle Rutkowski; Ryan Hook of Oregon; Julie Okuley of Sylvania; Elizabeth Brickley of Bowling Green; Cassandra Cardenas of Perrysburg; and Michigan residents Ryan Chang, Rebecca Craig, Nicholas Fuqua, and Blair Grotbeck of Adrian; Marlena Hilderly of Tecumseh; Steven Kiss of Bedford Township; Kristen Milbocker of Allegan; Austin Olano of Onsted; Emily Parr of Coldwater; Cathy Skutch of Plymouth; Cassidy Thompkins of Bedford, and Jamie Buechele of Ottawa Lake.

"A Chorus Line" is scheduled at 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 3 p.m. Sundays through July 18 in the theater at 129 East Maumee St., Adrian. Tickets are $25 for adults and $22 for seniors and students. The show contains adult content and may not be suitable for youngsters. Information: croswell.org or 517-264-7469.

From left, Gunther Henkel-Moellmann, Elisabeth Evans, Mark Swinerton, and Rebecca Wolfe in 'Do Black Patent Leather Shoes Really Reflect Up?' From left, Gunther Henkel-Moellmann, Elisabeth Evans, Mark Swinerton, and Rebecca Wolfe in 'Do Black Patent Leather Shoes Really Reflect Up?'
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HURON, Ohio - Even as the Huron Playhouse presents The Importance of Being Earnest through Saturday, it's preparing the next production.

Do Black Patent Leather Shoes Really Reflect Up, a musical by John Powers with music and lyrics by James Quinn and Alaric Jans, opens Tuesday and runs through July 17.

The gentle coming-of-age comedy follows eight youngsters growing up in the 1950s and '60s in Chicago, from first grade in St. Bastion's School through the angst of adolescence to the senior prom at Saint Patrick Bremmer High School. Along the way their Catholic faith is tested as they encounter puppy love, teachers' pets, and, in a tribute to the show's title, the importance (especially for girls) of wearing the proper undergarments with the school's plaid uniforms.

Directed by Emily Cawrse Casale of Huron, who also choreographs, the cast features Jude McCormick of Sandusky as Eddie Ryan, Hillary Maiberger of San Diego as Becky Bakowski, Geoff Stephenson of Huron as Father O'Reilly, and Elisabeth Evans of Tokyo as Sister Helen.

Also performing are Bethany Edlund of Fort Wayne, Jennifer Majetic of Pittsburgh, Kayleigh Thadani of London, and Ohioans Gunther Henkel-Moellmann of Cincinnati, Jimmy Wilson of West Milton, Mark Swinerton of Medina, and Rebecca Wolfe of Reynoldsburg.

"The Importance of Being Earnest" continues through Saturday in the Huron Playhouse in McCormick School, 325 Ohio St., Huron, Ohio. "Do Black Patent Leather Shoes Really Reflect Up" opens Tuesday and runs through July 17. Performances are at 8 p.m., and tickets are $16 for adults, $14 for students and seniors, and $11 for children 11 and younger from the playhouse box office. Information: 419-433-4744.

The Toledo Repertoire Theatre's Rep Ed troupe of teens presents Barnum, the musical tale of P.T. Barnum, the man considered America's greatest showman and author of the phrase "There's a sucker born every minute." Productions are at 7 p.m. today-Saturday and 2:30 p.m. Sunday in the theater at 16 10th St., and tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children 13 and younger. Information: 419-234-9277.

Contact Nanciann Cherry at: ncherry@theblade.com or 419-724-6130.



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