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Tony Award-winning ‘Chorus Line’ remains a powerful testament to the human spirit

Cast of the national tour of “A Chorus Line.” (Courtesy of Clint Tuccio)

The ebb and flow of life.

It’s a constant for humans as we navigate through our own personal journey.

It’s those journeys that give each one of us common ground.

And it’s the understanding that has made the Tony Award-winning “A Chorus Line” so relevant for decades.

The iconic songs. The legendary dances. The universal theme of never giving up.

On Thursday night at Popejoy Hall, Big League Productions’ national tour made an instant impression.

The production will have five more shows in Albuquerque.

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 their whole lives for.

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.

Madison Tinder as Cassie in “A Chorus Line.” (Courtesy of Clint Tuccio)

Following several workshops and an Off-Broadway production, “A Chorus Line” opened at the Shubert Theatre on Broadway 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 original Broadway production ran for 6,137 performances, becoming the longest-running production in Broadway history until surpassed by Cats in 1997, and the longest-running Broadway musical originally produced in the U.S., until surpassed in 2011 by Chicago.

It remains the sixth longest-running Broadway show.

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

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.

The cast had some big shoes to fill — and each performer did it gracefully.

Noah Bridgestock plays Zach, who is the director of the show. He relentlessly gets each performer to get introspective.

With that, Zach is able to bring out the stories of each dancer.

Though each has a different background and tone, each story is full of passion.

Then there’s the relationship between Zach and Cassie, played by Madison Tinder.

No information is given on Zach’s early life. It is only learned during his confrontations with Cassie that they used to live together and he started as a choreographer before working his way up to directing.

He is a perfectionist and a workaholic.

Cassie reminds him that he has a fear of intimacy, which leads him to prove himself to others.

The chemistry between Bridgestock and Tinder is quite strong. I left leaving wondering exactly what happened between the two lovers.

The ensemble cast came together flawlessly. While there’s too many performers to name, I couldn’t find a flaw in the dancing nor a misstep.

Though there was one audio issue with a microphone that was quickly solved by the production team.

The set design is simple — rotating mirrors set in the back of the stage that gave depth and perspective to the dancing.

And what would a classic musical be without a big number. The final performance of “One” was everything. Each performer was outfit in sparkling gold and a top hat.

The song and dance is iconic and I couldn’t help but smile.

Getting out to see live shows is something we should all take a little time to do. If you get out to see one, make sure it’s something as legendary as “A Chorus Line.”

If you go
WHAT: “A Chorus Line”
WHEN: 8 p.m. Friday, March 9; 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday, March 10; 1 and 6:30 p.m. March 11
WHERE: Popejoy Hall, University of New Mexico campus
HOW MUCH: $35-$90, plus fees at, UNM Bookstore ticket office, UNM ticket office at the Pit, by phone at 925-5858 or 877-664-8661

The finale number of “A Chorus Line.” (Courtesy of Clint Tuccio)

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