"Please God, I need this show!" sings the company of "A Chorus Line," the show opening this week at the John Waldron Arts Center, 122 S. Walnut St., by the B-town Players. The hit 1970s musical by Musical Theater guru Marvin Hamlisch has at its core the drive of all artists trying to make a name for themselves in a difficult business.\nThe musical has been a labor of love and dedication for nearly half the year, its producers said. This hard work will culminate in five performances beginning at 8 p.m. Wednesday and running through Saturday with 8 p.m. shows each night and a 1 p.m. show Saturday.\n"'A Chorus Line' was a show that was being talked about and a show that everyone wanted to do," said junior Richard Rundle, the show's producer and a founder of the B-town Players. "It was the right show to do at the right time, and people were excited and thrilled. I also saw how much dedication people were willing to put into the show to make it happen."\n"A Chorus Line" was the longest running musical on Broadway during the '70s and '80s. It kept that honor until "Cats" early last year. The musical won numerous Tony awards, had many national tours and was made into a movie in 1984 starring Michael Douglas.\nThe musical begins with about 40 singers/dancers, all in dance clothes (no costumes) at an audition in a theater that is between shows (no set), auditioning for a show that will occur within the next few months and needs a chorus line of dancers. Of the 40 auditioners, eight will be selected. \nAfter the initial song and, subsequently, the first cut, about 20 singers are left -- "the line." The director, Zack, rather than continuing his difficult dance audition, decides to take a more personal approach and asks the actors questions about their lives. This is difficult for them because they are not allowed to perform -- they must bear their souls.\nB-town Players, the child company of B-town Productions, began in February 2000 when Rundle and senior Katie Peterson banded together to fund artistic projects ranging from theater to studio art. Their first production, "The Shadow Box" by Michael Cristofer, was performed at the Waldron's Rose Firebay theater last spring. Though their concentration has primarily been theatre thus far, Rundle is interested in expanding the group's horizons.\n"I would really like to start moving into making independent films, managing and recording local artists and putting together art shows," Rundle said. \n"A Chorus Line" is the group's third and largest production, combining the talents of theater, music and ballet majors. To many, the musical is representative of their own personal struggles, hopes and dreams.\n"I found it within my company's missions to do a show that people felt was extremely important and represented their dreams and love of theater and what they have sacrificed and done to commit to that," Rundle said.\nB-Town players present "A Chorus Line" at the John Waldron Arts Center, 122 S. Walnut St., April 11-14. Performances start at 8 p.m., with two performances at 1 p.m. and 8 p.m, April 14. For tickets, e-mail email@example.com, call 337-9854 or call Ticketmaster. Tickets are $9 in advance or $10 at the door.
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