'A Chorus Line' at Derby Dinner

By Jean-Marie Ebel

Derby Dinner Playhouse in Clarksville has delighted audiences once again with its stunning production of Michael Bennett's "A Chorus Line." Since opening on Broadway in 1975, "A Chorus Line" has offered a look at the real-life stories and challenges faced by performers in the topsy-turvy entertainment world.

Reprising his role as Zach, Jon Huffman delivered one of the evening's most commanding performances on July 21, while Barbara F. Cullen, as Cassie, the talented dancer who has been out of work for far too long, thrilled the crowd with her rendition of "The Music and the Mirror."

As the cute couple Al and Christine, Bill Hanna and Jeannie Rogers charmed everyone with a feisty performance of "Sing!" Jim Hesselman's believable and poignant Paul, whose injury inspires the "What If You Could No Longer Dance?" scene, explored the emotions and vulnerabilities behind every dancer's life.

Under the fine direction of Bekki Jo Schneider and choreography of Cullen, "A Chorus Line" delivered a high-impact, emotionally charged performance that forced the audience to experience the daily challenges faced by performers as they put themselves on the line day after day. In the production's finale, the dancers, now decked in gold spangled costumes, brought the show to its explosive conclusion with a sizzling reprise of the well-known tune "One."

The packed crowd at the playhouse obviously enjoyed every minute of "A Chorus Line," and, in the intimate setting of the theater, actually had the chance to see the seamy underside of Broadway's glamorous shows. All in all, the fine cast at Derby Dinner Playhouse turned in an outstanding performance that is unlikely to be forgotten.

Performances will continue through Aug. 28. Reservations can be made by calling 812-288-8281.