Bloomfield Hills High School is inviting the public for its production of the Broadway classic “A Chorus Line.” Performances will take place at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 16-18.

Bloomfield Hills High School is inviting the public for its production of the Broadway classic “A Chorus Line.” Performances will take place at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 16-18.

Photo provided by Mollie Menuck


Bloomfield Hills High School students to perform ‘A Chorus Line’

By: Brendan Losinski | Birmingham - Bloomfield Eagle | Published November 14, 2017

BLOOMFIELD HILLS — The Bloomfield Hills High School drama department is preparing to break a leg and cut a rug with its new production of the Broadway classic “A Chorus Line.”

The show will be performed at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 16-18 in the high school’s performing arts center. Tickets can be purchased at www.etix.com and cost $15 for students and seniors, and $18 for general admission.

Centered around the auditions for a fictional Broadway musical, the play goes through the lives of those trying out for a shot at the big time and their stories of how they got there. The whole play is based on real stories of real Broadway dancers.

“The entire show is a big audition for a chorus line on Broadway. Instead of making the chorus line just do a bunch of dances, the director decides to talk to them and learn what their stories are. So you get some great emotion along with some phenomenal song-and-dance numbers,” explained senior Ethan Denk, who plays the part of Mike.

“A Chorus Line” is well known among musical fans as being one of the longest-running shows on Broadway. Several members of the BHHS production  actually had the opportunity to Skype with Bradley Jones, one of the actors who was in the long-running production.

“We were all able to sit around with him and video chat and ask questions about our characters and ask questions about the show so we could get a better idea about the show and what works and what doesn’t,” said junior Connor Renusch, who plays Zach. “It helped us connect with our characters. For a show that’s got so much singing and dancing, it’s really based on characters.”

The production is directed by Tina Greenlee, an acting teacher at BHHS for 42 years. She said the students put their hearts into the play, and it shows.

“It’s an incredible dance show with beautiful music, and we have an orchestra made up of 35 musicians. These students have all done a great job with it, and our choreographer, Shirel Jones, has also done a fantastic job bringing some very familiar and great songs to life.”

“A Chorus Line” was chosen because it was a style of musical this group of students hadn’t had the opportunity to perform, and Greenlee specifically wanted them to have this experience.

“We did ‘Les Miserables,’ which had very little dancing, and the performing arts department wanted to give students a different experience, and ‘A Chorus Line’ is very different,” said Greenlee.

The student actors said that at the heart of the play are the stories of the characters, and connecting with that aspect of the show really made it come to life for them.

“I think it’s really cool that a lot of us have been able to draw form our own lives to help us with our characters. One of the biggest things in the play is the characters sharing what they gave up to be a part of that show,” said senior Mia Morelli, who plays Kristine. “My character sings the song ‘What I Did for Love,’ and it really hit home for me, because I love theater and it’s a big part of my life, but I’m not sure if I’ll be able to continue with it later in my life, and this may be my last chance to do something in theater.”

Despite being heavy on character, a play called “A Chorus Line” wouldn’t do without dancing, and that was a challenge the actors said was difficult, but also one they think they have met.

“A lot of us have not done much dancing or any dancing at all, and to do a show that’s centered around dancing was a big challenge,” said Denk. “My character is supposed to be a very accomplished tap dancer, and I have no experience in tap dancing at all. Everyone really came together, and by now everyone looks like they’ve been practicing for years.”

Having worked on the play since early September, the actors said they are ready for the curtain to open. Afterward, they will be working on a Broadway musical event in February that will benefit Camp Casey — a nonprofit that provides fun experiences for kids with cancer — and will stage the comedy “The Musical Murder Mysteries of 1940” in May.

Before production on either of the other events can begin, however, the students said they are excited to show the public what they have been working so hard on for the last three months.

“Everyone has really come together, in a sense,” said Renusch. “There’s a lot of monologues in the show, but there’s a lot of group elements too. You get to see everyone work together as one, and when you see the characters tell what they’ve gone through, it is really going to come across as special.”