Written by 7:25 am CSUF, fullerton, Review, Theater

A Chorus Line @ CSU Fullerton – Review

Written by Daniella Litvak

Winner of several Tonys, the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, and at one time, the record holder for longest-running musical on Broadway, A Chorus Line is a timeless classic.  However, I must confess, before seeing A Chorus Line at Cal State Fullerton, my knowledge of the musical mostly came from the 1985 film adaptation.  Having seen A Chorus Line in its original format, I understand why some say the movie does not capture the brilliance of the stage version.


A Chorus Line is about a group of dancers auditioning to be in the chorus for a Broadway musical.  Only four and four – that’s four girls and four boys – can be cast.  Now, down to the final seventeen, Zach, the musical’s director, asks the dancers to open up about their personal lives.  From their stories, we learn about the dancers’ childhoods, passions, and heartbreaks and come away with a little more understanding as to why anyone would devote themselves to a profession that demands so much sacrifice while promising so little in return.


A Chorus Line lives and dies by its ensemble.  Fortunately, this production has assembled a very strong cast.  The singing, dancing, and acting were uniformly well done. Unlike a play like Romeo and Juliet, where the tone shifts from comedy to tragedy, the comedy and tragedy in A Chorus Line are too intertwined to be separable.  The cast capably handles material so that both aspects shine.  Musical numbers such as “Sing!” (tone-deaf Kristine’s lament about her inability to sing) and “Dance: Ten; Looks: Three” (Val’s frank admission about how her career and sex life prospered after undergoing cosmetic surgery) brought the laughs.  Other songs like “The Music and the Mirror” (Cassie’s plea to Zach to let her dance” and “What I Did For Love” (the cast’s defense for their love of performing) make your heartache.


Since the setting of A Chorus Line is a theater, it doesn’t need an elaborate set design.  A digital backdrop was used sparingly during some musical numbers; “At the Ballet,” for example, added just enough to keep the eye interested in the stage without being distracting.  The backdrop could be assembled and disassembled, which was an especially nice touch. It was clever to allow performers to walk onstage and be seen stretching while the audience was getting to their seats.  It added to the feel of being amid a crowded, chaotic audition.

A Chorus Line at Cal State Fullerton is a must-see whether you’re a casual or die-hard musical theater fan.

8.5 Overall
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Great Show! OCR Recommended! November 9 – December 2, 2023

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