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‘A Chorus Line’ opens Sierra Rep’s 40th season
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Lucas Michael Chandler, Emily Gatesman, Zachary Isen and Zoë Swenson-Graham are featured in “A Chorus Line,” which runs through March 24 (Photo by Rich Miller Photography).

Sierra Repertory Theatre is celebrating 40 years of bringing talent from around the country to Sonora with the legendary and iconic Broadway musical, “A Chorus Line” starring Russell Garrett as Zach and Adrienne Hampton as Cassie.

“A Chorus Line” runs through March 24.

Garrett, who played Harry Bright in “Mamma Mia!,” and Henry Higgins in “My Fair Lady,” will be pulling triple-duty in this production. Not only will he play the role of Zach, but Garrett will recreate Michael Bennett’s original staging and choreography for SRT audiences.
Winner of nine Tony Awards and a Pulitzer Prize, this landmark musical has thrilled audiences around the world. The unparalleled score by Marvin Hamlisch and Edward Kleban includes “What I Did for Love,” “One,” “Nothing,” and “Dance Ten, Looks Three.”

“A Chorus Line” held the record as the longest-running show on Broadway for 15 years. It’s Tony Awards included Best Musical, Best Director and Best Choreographer, and it was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Drama.

In an empty theatre, on a bare stage, casting for a new Broadway musical is almost complete. The field’s been narrowed down to just 17 dancers. For these men and women, this audition is the chance of a lifetime. It’s what they’ve worked for — with every drop of sweat, every hour of training, every day of their lives. It’s the one opportunity to do what they’ve always dreamed of, but before the final cut is made, the director Zach asks each of them to talk about themselves. He starts by asking their name, age, hometown and reason for being a dancer. But Zach wants more than just their resumes. He wants to know about their families, friends, lovers, ambitions and careers. One by one, they come forward. Some are shy or reluctant, while others are more than happy to reveal their innermost thoughts. From funny to heartbreaking, these 17 dancers share with us the stories of their lives.
“A Chorus Line” departs from the usual glossy backstage musical by presenting a true picture of what it's like to be in the theatre: glamorous-yes, at times, but also tough, heartbreaking and sometimes even tragic. It is a celebration of those unsung heroes of American Musical Theatre – the chorus dancers. Those valiant, over-dedicated, underpaid, highly trained performers who back up the stars and often make them look even more talented than they are. It is also a musical about competition, and this might easily be the common denominator that grabs the audience and holds it by the collective heartstring until the final choices are made.

“I think audiences will be surprised at how moved they’ll be,” said Garrett. “When we see a musical with a large ensemble, we don’t stop to think about who those people are in real life, how they got there, how hard their lives might be or how challenging their childhoods might have been. ‘A Chorus Line’ presents a stage full of individuals who we get to know and care about over the course of a short time. And the reason it resonates is because it is the truth. Everything on the stage is based on an actual story and experience from a dancer at the time the show was created. Truth is very powerful.”

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Russell Garrett stars in Sierra Rep’s production of “A Chorus Line" (Photo by Rich Miller Photography).

“A Chorus Line” will be performed at East Sonora Theatre,13891 Mono Way, in East Sonora. For tickets, call the box office at (209) 532-3120, or purchase them online at, or visit the East Sonora Theatre Box Office from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, located at 13891 Mono Way in Sonora. Performance times are 2 p.m. Wednesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays and 7 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. Ticket prices range from $32 to $47. Discounts for seniors, veterans (w/ID), children, and students (18 and over with student ID) are available for all performances. Special discounts for groups of 20 or more are also available. “A Chorus Line” is rated PG-13.