Cortland Repertory Theatre Guild

“A Chorus Line” Makes Its Cortland Rep Debut

Posted by  //  July 17, 2016  //  Local Business

Cortland Repertory Theatre’s third production in their 45th anniversary summer season is the CRT debut of the Pulitzer Prize winning musical “A Chorus Line”.  Conceived, originally directed and choreographed by Michael Bennett, this nine-time Tony Award winning Broadway musical boasts a book by James Kirkwood and Nicholas Dante, music by Marvin Hamlisch and lyrics by Edward Kleban. Performances of CRT’s production will be held at the Little York Pavilion in Preble, and run from July 13 – 30 with evening performances at 7:30.  Matinees are available on July 15, 17, 20, 24, and 27 at 2:00 PM.  Tickets may be purchased by calling 800-427-6160 or by visiting the CRT Box Office at 24 Port Watson Street in downtown Cortland. Tickets are also available for sale 24 hours a day through the CRT website at

This dazzling and heartfelt musical tells the story of the unsung heroes of the Broadway stage – the dedicated, talented and overworked chorus dancers. Based on dancer’s actual personal stories, the show brings to life the hope, the dream and the thrill of a Broadway audition. With one captivating song and dance after another, this show is also a brilliant metaphor for all human aspiration. Featuring the well known musical theatre songs What I Did For Love and I Hope I Get It, it also features one of the most exciting finales of any musical in Broadway history.  The show is a must-see for anyone with the dream of achieving a life goal, whether it is in show business or not! CRT Administration warns theatergoers that the show contains adult language and frank talk about sex, and may not be appropriate for all ages.

Following his directorial work on “West Side Story”, Nathaniel Shaw continues his work at CRT by serving as director of “A Chorus Line”. Shaw was the Associate Choreographer of the Tony-Award winning Broadway musical “Once”, and will begin his term as Artistic Director at the Virginia Repertory Theatre this fall.  “A Chorus Line” is musically directed by Joel Gelpe, an Ithaca College music director whose work at CRT was heard in “Les Miserables”, “1776”, “Cats” and others. Recreating the original Broadway choreography is Matthew Couvillon, who appeared as a performer in CRT’s productions of “Cats”, “Brigadoon” and “The Pajama Game”. Couvillon currently works as an assistant to Baayork Lee, an original Broadway cast member of “A Chorus Line” who directs productions around the world.

Most cast members were seen in CRT’s previous production of “West Side Story”.  The three new actors joining the cast are Guest Artists Emma Degerstedt playing the role of Cassie, Andrea Dotto in the role of Connie and Tom DeMichele playing Zach, the director of the nameless production for which the dancers are auditioning.  In alphabetical order, the remaining cast members are: Nicholas Berke as Al, Drew Carr as Mike, Michael Ivan Carrier as Larry, Giovanni Da Silva as Paul, James Spencer Dean as Bobby, Ezekiel Edmonds as Don, Joan Heeringa as Judy, and Caroline Kane as Val.  Also, Lizzie Markson as Kristine, Logan Mortier as Greg,  Melissa Rapelje as Shelia, Erica Nicole Rothman as Maggie, Brittany Santos as Diana, Alexa Shanahan as Bebe, Richard Westfahl as Mark and Anthony Wright as Richie.  Appearing in the opening number are Jacob Major as Roy, and local talents Bailey Kote as Tricia and Cassidy Halpin as Vicki.

Stage Manager Emily Hankins heads the production and design team. The scenic design is handled by Technical Director Dana White Jr., and continuing their work this season are Lighting Designer David A. Saxton, Props Designer Joe Dotts, Sound Designer Seth Asa Sengel, and Assistant Stage Manager Julianne Graffeo.  SUNY Cortland director and designer Mark Reynolds handles the creation, rental and coordination of the costumes.

CRT continues “Friday Night Talk Backs” at which a Q & A session with the actors, designers and crew takes place after certain Friday evening performance. Tickets are also on sale for the remaining productions in CRT’s season, including Agatha Christie’s “Cards on the Table”, “The Kitchen Witches”, “The Marvelous Wonderettes” and the children’s show “Pinocchio”.

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