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We attended last night's performance of the Broadway revival of A CHORUS LINE at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre located at 236 West 45th Street in Times Square. The iconic musical currently features MARIO LOPEZ who plays the non-singing role of Zach, a demanding director who is casting the chorus roles for a new Broadway musical. Lopez, 34 is well-known for his breakout role as high school jock A. C. Slater on the hit NBC comedy series "Saved by the Bell," and appeared on ABC's hit reality series "Dancing with the Stars." He currently hosts "Weekend Extra" and MTV's "America's Best Dance Crew." He starred in ABC Family's highest rated program, "Holiday in Handcuffs", as well as in Oxygen Network's "Husband for Hire." He has also appeared on TV shows including "Nip/Tuck," "George Lopez," "Mind of Mencia," "Pacific Blue," "The Bold and the Beautiful," and "Breaking the Surface: The Greg Louganis Story." His first book, "Mario Lopez's Knockout Fitness" is in stores May 13th. Lopez stays with the show until September 7, but he will be on hiatus Sunday, May 11, 2008 through Tuesday, June 3, 2008 to promote his new book and attend to other commitments. Above are photos that I took earlier today at the stage door of the Schoenfeld Theatre after the matinee performance.
Now in its second year on Broadway, the new, critically acclaimed production of A CHORUS LINE opened on October 5, 2006. It's been reported that the musical has recouped the show's entire $8 million investment in 157 performances (19 weeks). A Chorus Line is directed by its original Tony Award winning co-choreographer Bob Avian, conceived and originally choreographed and directed by Michael Bennett, with a book by James Kirkwood and Nicholas Dante, music by Marvin Hamlisch and lyrics by Edward Kleban, with the original choreography re-staged by Baayork Lee. Avian said he expanded Lopez's role to add extra stage time. "I'm having him dance in the opening number, which this director doesn't do," he said. Avian said that Lopez brings a "macho swagger" to the character, who asks the dancers to tell their life stories and reveal why they want to dance. "He has natural authority and natural command of the stage, and he's very macho . . . You know, we've always had the part played by a very articulate kind of man," he said. "Mario's quite different than that, and he's got the girls all excited."A Chorus Line is produced by John Breglio for Vienna Waits Productions. Masterworks Broadway's 2006 Broadway cast recording of A Chorus Line is available in stores nationwide.
The show' s cast includes Nick Adams (Larry), Tommy Berklund (Greg), Natalie Cortez (Diana), Charlotte d'Amboise (Cassie), Dena Digiacinto (Bebe), Jessica Lee Goldyn (Val), Deidre Goodwin (Sheila), Bryan Knowlton (Paul), James T. Lane (Richie), Melissa Lone (Maggie), J. Elaine Marcos (Connie), Paul McGill (Mark), Heather Parcells (Judy), Jason Patrick Sands (Don), Jeffrey Schecter (Mike), Will Taylor (Bobby), Katherine Tokarz (Kristine), and Kevin Worley (Al), as well as Todd Anderson, Michelle Aravena, Mike Cannon, E. Clayton Cornelious, Joey Dudding, Jenifer Foote, Lyndy Franklin, Nadine Isenegger, Jessica Lea Patty, Grant Turner, and Deone Zanotto. The production has scenery by Robin Wagner, costumes by Theoni V. Aldredge, lighting by Tharon Musser (adapted by Natasha Katz), and sound by Acme Sound Partners. When the original A Chorus Line opened in 1976, it won the Pulitzer Prize and nine Tony Awards, including Best Musical. This revival opened to mixed reviews: "It's still one singular sensation." (New York Theatre Guide); "Its creators neglected to restore its central nervous system and, most important, its throbbing heart." (New York Times); "A good reproduction of a great original." (New York Post); " Faithful and altogether loving re-creation. Welcome back, you beautiful thing." (Star-Ledger); "Brings the faint whiff of mothballs to memory lane." (NewsDay); "A high-spirited, entertaining show that honors its predecessor." (The Record); "It's the sense of duplication -- albeit lovingly executed -- that keeps the revival from soaring." (Variety). And as for MARIO LOPEZ, well, in my opinion, he is a wonderful dancer and has a charismatic stage presence. But then again, I'm not a critic.