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‘Chorus Line’ readies run at Popejoy

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — “A Chorus Line” – it’s one of the most iconic Broadway shows.

It’s also a musical that resonates with aspiring artists – not just dancers.

And Madison Tinder and Noah Bridgestock were ready for the challenge.

Tinder plays Cassie and Bridgestock plays Zach in the legendary musical.

“I didn’t think that this could ever happen,” Tinder says. “I auditioned for it and was called back for a couple of roles. This has been a dream of mine since I was 12 or 13. I remember coming in for my final callback and seeing everyone practicing. It seemed like I stepped into this alternate reality. It’s been amazing.”

The musical, which won Tony Awards and a Pulitzer Prize, steps its way to Albuquerque for a six-performance run at Popejoy Hall at the University of New Mexico.

In the classic story, casting for a new Broadway musical is almost complete, and for 17 dancers, this audition is the chance of a lifetime and what they’ve been working for their whole lives.

The musical evokes both the glamour and the dark underbelly of showbiz, and resonates with everyone who’s ever had a dream and put it all on the line.

The iconic score features such classics as “What I Did for Love,” “One,” “I Hope I Get It” and more.

With its celebration and true-to-life depiction of performers and their struggle to achieve greatness on the Broadway stage, “A Chorus Line” has earned unanimous praise as one of the true masterpieces of live theater.

Following several workshops and an Off-Broadway production, “A Chorus Line” opened at the Shubert Theatre on Broadway on July 25, 1975, directed and choreographed by Michael Bennett.

An unprecedented box office and critical hit, the musical received 12 Tony Award nominations and won nine, in addition to the 1976 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.

The traveling production is produced by Big League Productions and features Michael Bennett’s original work restaged by the legendary Baayork Lee.

A director, actress, author and choreographer, Lee played Connie Wong in the original 1975 production of the musical and has gone on to direct and choreograph more than 35 international productions of the show.

Bridgestock is fairly new to the traveling production.

That didn’t stop him from being awestruck when he learned Lee was on board.

“Having Baayork involved means everything to me,” he says. “Because I play Zach, I’m not one of the 17 dancers auditioning. I’m casting the show. I had the luck of getting to hear (from Lee) the side of how it was created and how Zach came to be. She told me that Zach is basically an extension of (choreographer) Michael Bennett. I took a notebook full of notes and maybe I’ll sell it one day.”

Tinder is enjoying the intensity of the show and has also enjoyed learning from Lee.

“I don’t think any of us could imagine getting to learn from Baayork,” Tinder says. “She knows the show so well and every single heartbeat of the show is important.”