Baldwin Wallace University’s acclaimed Music Theatre program will present A CHORUS LINE November 13-23.

BW Prepares to Stage A CHORUS LINE with an Added Kick from a Tony Winner

January 1, 2014

Baldwin Wallace University’s acclaimed Music Theatre program, in collaboration with the Department of Theatre and Dance, will present the iconic musical, A CHORUS LINE, November 13-23.

The production is directed by celebrated BW music theatre director, Victoria Bussert, with choreography by the award-winning head of BW’s dance program, Gregory Daniels, and music direction by BW’s new music theatre music director (direct from Broadway), David Pepin. On top of that talented creative team, a Tony-winner was brought in to kick up the performance preparation a notch higher.

How a Legend Agreed to Coach the Cast

One of the most critically and commercially successful musicals of all time, A CHORUS LINE originally ran on Broadway from 1975 to 1990 for more than 6,000 performances, winning the Pulitzer Prize for Drama and nine Tony Awards. Donna McKechnie, who claimed one of those nine Tonys for her leading performance as Cassie, came to the BW campus to share some of the magic of the original production with the student cast.

“I had the privilege of directing Donna when she played Mama Rose in a 2001 production of GYPSY at Great Lakes Theater,” explains Bussert, who regularly recruits Broadway heavyweights to work with students at BW. “I asked if she would come in to coach the CHORUS LINE cast and share her knowledge and experience with the students. She immediately agreed.”

A Dream Experience for Students and Faculty

McKechnie came in for a weekend and worked with the two students who are double cast as Cassie on the number, “The Music and the Mirror,”-- the song that secured her Tony back in 1976. She also coached the full cast rehearsing some group numbers. Students described the experience as “amazing,” “humbling and life altering,” and “like a dream!”

Daniels, who performed A CHORUS LINE on the European tour in 1997 and is setting Michael Bennet’s original choreography, was equally excited to work with McKechnie. “I felt like she was coaching me on parts of the show.” Daniels said. “It was a dream come true for me to gain knowledge from her that I can impart to a new generation.”

A CHORUS LINE Opens at BW on November 13

BW’s A CHORUS LINE runs from November 13-23 in the John Patrick Theater at Kleist Center for Art and Drama, 95 E. Bagley Road, in Berea.

Tickets are $25 for general admission, $20 for senior citizens, and $10 for students. For tickets, call the box office at 440-826-2240 Monday through Friday from noon to 5 p.m., or visit www.bw.edu/tickets.

Posted October 2014