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Chicago Tribune – Chris Jones



“A great ‘Chorus Line’ should burst with feeling and vulnerability — like this one by Porchlight Music Theatre”

“I swear, there is something about seeing the opening of “A Chorus Line” … that is unlike any other when it comes to its emotional sucker-punch.”

“And it has a heart that always seems just a step or two, or a note or three, from bursting with the sheer glory and the wretched cruelty of it all.”

Chicago Sun-Times – Kris Vire



“The intimacy of Porchlight’s new venue goes a long way toward this production’s smashing success.”

“See every detail in the movement and read every emotion in the acting — from Adrienne Velasco-Storr’s moving rendition of “Nothing” to Alejandro Fonseca’s crucial monologue as Paul.”

“Following on triumphant productions of “Gypsy” and “A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder,” this highly engaging “Chorus Line” concludes a remarkably rewarding season for this company. Porchlight is shining brighter than ever.”

Chicago Reader – Irene Hsiao

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“The cast brings the group of dance hopefuls to life.”

“Porchlight’s production, featuring a fantastic cast directed by Brenda Didier, with choreography by Christopher Chase Carter and music direction by Linda Madonia, brings each character to life in wonderfully high resolution.”

Behind the Curtain, WGNPlus, Backstage, Comcast Network – Paul Lisnek

FOUR out of FOUR stars


“God I hope you see it!  A Chorus Line was a ground-breaking classic when it debuted in 1975 and it maintains the relevance, warmth, importance and heart in the current production by Porchlight Music Theatre. At the moment the orchestra hits that rich well-known chord in the opening “I Hope I Get it,”  the audience bursts into applause because they knew that their high expectations were about to be met….and indeed they are exceeded.

The set, like the original Broadway set,  could not be more sparse or simple because the focus is and must be on the strength of the performers’ dance, singing and performance ability. Providing the realistic feel of a Broadway musical audition, A Chorus Line speaks truth in the experiences, goals and dreams of the performers, young and not so young, who seek to be part of this show, or any show really.

A Chorus Line remains timely because the dreams of performers today are the same as they were in 1975 and the same as they have always been and likely always will be. All performers need is the music, and the mirror…and the chance…to dance.  And with Brenda Didier’s spot-on direction and Christopher Chase Carter’s impressive choreography (notably true to Michael Bennett’s original production), the show is breathtaking from beginning to end.

There are standout performances to be sure, but in fairness to a show that relies on and defines itself as an ensemble work,  it seems most appropriate to simply say Bravo to each and every cast member because every one of them contributes notably to the composite dreamers who show up day after day for another Broadway audition.

This show was a favorite of mine as a young person, and I was well aware that hardly a person on that stage was alive when the show first premiered, but it is clear that this cast is quite aware what they do for love….

I can only give this show a deserving 4 stars, but if I could, I would award it with the well known phrase in the show: five, six, seven, eight!” – Larry Bommer



“In Brenda Didier’s devoted reprise of this not so retro musical, a third generation solidly replay the life stories of the 1975 originals, slinking and strutting their way through Bennett’s pizzazz-packed choreography (here reimagined by Christopher Chase Carter) and tearing into Marvin Hamlisch’s sturdy score, with “keeping it real” lyrics by Edward Kleban.”

“First and always, Porchlight’s high-kicking revival confirms the continuing cause for its docu-tribute: Bennett’s high-strutting, soul-stirring dances are a perfect match for the aspirations this musical will always extol.” – Robert Bullen



“Porchlight, under the direction of Brenda Didier, brings us A Chorus Line packed with grit, drive and spirit. It honors the iconography of the original, but without feeling like a carbon copy. It’s both rough around the edges and crackling with energy.”

“There are so many outstanding moments, including Alejandro Fonseca, who powerfully delivers Paul’s heartbreaking monologue, Adrienne Storrs, who brings great humanity to Diana Morales, and Erica Evans, who makes for an ideal Sheila. And the music direction backed by a fierce band (the drummer was on FIRE) made my heart pump a little faster.

I mean, I got all the goosebumps during the brilliant and momentous montage segment.

PicksinSix – Ed Tracy



“So, the perfect storm forms on the rugged, earthy, character-infused Ruth Page stage: the artful collaboration of Didier and the seasoned choreographer Christopher Chase Carter with the superb musical director Linda Madonia, all working at the precipice of their craft with one of the finest assembly of performers you will see anywhere.”

“It is all there in this raw and bittersweet saga–a non-stop musical extravaganza!”

“Porchlight recently announced that “A Chorus Line” is extended through May 31, which will make for one more singular sensation on your must-see list.” – Katy Walsh

Review “A Chorus Line” (Porchlight Music Theatre): Mega Singular Sensation!



“Director Brenda Didier masterfully orchestrates one mega singular sensation.”

“This sublime ensemble zestfully dances, sings, and shares pieces of their heart and soul.”

“The score itself is an emotional rollercoaster ride. And Music Director Linda Madonia conducts it with perfection.”

A CHORUS LINE is about dancing! And Choreographer Christopher Chase Carter doesn’t disappoint. His finale is spectacular.”

“This CHORUS LINE is definitely doing it for love and it shows! Don’t miss this amazing production.”

Newcity – Sheri Flanders



“Electric and full of vibrant pizzaz, “A Chorus Line” at Porchlight Music Theatre is one of the most enjoyable shows of 2019.”

“Wonderfully directed by Brenda Didier, “A Chorus Line” walks us through a cutthroat Broadway dance audition that plays out in real time.”

“The real star, however, is choreographer Christopher Carter who keeps the action onstage flowing organically like a kaleidoscope, providing a gorgeous feast for the eyes that will leave you giddy with delight.”

“When the cast comes out for the jubilant finale of “One”, no one in the house was left without a big, beaming smile.” – Alan Bresloff



“Director Brenda Didier and her staff, choreographer Christopher Chase Carter and musical director Linda Madonia, on this, one of the holiest weeks of the year, have produced a production that is “worthy of the Gods!”

“Porchlight, a theater that is known for finding young raw talent and bringing Chicago audiences great musicals, once again has found some wonderful actors/dancer to bring this tale to us.”

“It is the actors/dancers who truly make this production as powerful as it is.”

“This is one that you will not want to miss. If you have ever dreamed of being a dancer or have a relative that is thinking this way, take them and see it in the very intimate space, up close and very personal.”

WTTW “Chicago Tonight” – Hedy Weiss


“Porchlight Music Theatre’s singularly sensational production remains true to the script.”

The Porchlight production is full of radiant personalities (and tireless dancer-singer-actors) including: Chloe Nadon-Enriquez as the spirited dancer who can’t sing; Adrienne Storrs as the woman who rejected the Method techniques of her high school drama teacher; Natalie Welch as the dancer who realized the benefits of cosmetic surgery in all the right places; and Alejandro Fonseca, the homosexual who finally realizes just how much his father loves him. There also are the wonderful acrobatic moves of Terrell Armstrong; the hard-edged sarcasm of leggy Erica Evans; the upbeat attitude of the too short but eternally girlish Chinese-American dancer played by Ayana Strutz, and a slew of others, all distinctive and talented.”

“Didier sees to it that none of the characters are caricatures, while Carter’s volcanic choreography lights up the stage at every moment. Linda Madonia’s musical direction and six-piece orchestra are perfection. And seeing this musical in a more intimate venue than a Broadway house makes all the difference. Another triumph for Porchlight.”

Performink – Elizabeth Ellis



“In Porchlight Music Theatre’s stellar new production (directed with great heart and humor by Brenda Didier, Christopher Chase Carter’s sparkling and fantastic choreography, and cast with all local talent), A CHORUS LINE shows that even more than four decades in our collective consciousness, this musical still shines, still offers surprises, still makes us feel.”

“If you think you know A CHORUS LINE because you’ve listened to the soundtrack a thousand times, or saw it back in the day, see it again at Porchlight. You will be delighted and affected by this wonderful production—and don’t forget to bring some tissues.” – Lauren Katz



“Choreographer Christopher Chase Carter fills the production with pieces that almost become events in themselves through the precision and movement.”

“The image is almost magical with the reflecting colorful lights and choreography – with each dancer hitting the same, precise move at the exact same moment.”

“This writer has seen a few productions of A Chorus Line in her lifetime. However, packed with emotional honesty and jaw-dropping choreography, Didier’s A Chorus Line is something intimate and special, making it different in all the best ways.” – Rachel Weinberg


Under the direction of Brenda Didier and with show-stopping choreography from Christopher Chase Carter, Porchlight’s A CHORUS LINE captures the emotional heart at the center of this classic musical and has plenty of pizzazz.

Erica Evans, in particular, is captivating as the fierce and whip-smart Sheila. Evans captures Sheila’s quick-witted energy. and she’s also extremely light on her feet. She also dives into the character’s vulnerable interior in “At The Ballet” (performed alongside Liz Conway as Bebe and Aalon Smith as Maggie).”

“Though her character is more soft-spoken, Taylor Lane has a magnetic presence as the cheerful and frazzled Judy.”

“But many of the performances here made me feel like I was really discovering the piece anew. Porchlight’s ensemble really lives the passions and the fears of these dancers who are just hoping to make it onto a Broadway stage.”

“Natalie Welch finds similar success as Val. Welch has to sing one of the most iconic and comedic numbers in the show “Dance: Ten; Looks: Three.” Val leans into the humor and isn’t afraid to shy away from the fact that plastic surgery changed her prospects as a performer, but Welch also shows us the emotional cost of being in a business where looks often seem to matter more than talent.”

“Alejandro Fonseca does fine work with Paul’s lengthy, moving monologue as he discusses coming to terms with both his sexuality and his gender identity. While Fonseca doesn’t have a flashy solo number, he makes this monologue as powerful as anything else on the stage.”

Laura Savage does fierce work as determined dancer and Zach’s former paramour, Cassie. Savage makes “The Music and the Mirror” a powerhouse moment, both vocally and with her precise and beautiful solo dance moment.”

“The concluding moment is every bit as dazzling as I could hope for it to be in this show. It’s breathtaking, like so many other moments in this CHORUS LINE. Whether you’re a long-time fan of A CHORUS LINE or experiencing this musical for the first time, Porchlight’s production-like all of the hopeful performers in it-deserves to be seen.”

ThirdCoastReview – Lisa Trifone


“Members of any generation will find plenty to appreciate in this production of the Broadway smash (it was the longest running show in history until Cats usurped it in 1997) directed by Brenda Didier.”

“The core of the show—the universal struggle to persevere, to chase a dream, to live as one’s truest self—is timeless.” – Karen Topham



Recipe for success putting on A Chorus Line: stellar, buoyant cast of great dancers; great costumes; strong musicians; revolving mirror panels on the upstage wall; a Cassie capable of delivering a super dance sequence; a Paul capable of making us cry; a Diana Morales capable of making us feel; a Sheila whose sarcasm clearly masks deeper emotion; a director who really understands and knows and loves the play and can lean into its 70s vibe without going overboard. All of these ingredients and more are easily seen in Porchlight Music Theatre’s vibrant new production at Ruth Page Theate,

Director Brenda Didier is passionate about this show; in her director’s notes she explains that this is her fourth experience with it, and she strove in this production to “find the heartbeat within the dance with honesty and integrity.” Along with choreographer Christopher Chase Carter, she accomplishes just that. This is an incredibly personal show as much as it is a universal one, and Didier and Carter find its “heartbeat” and allow us to witness the energy and effort that these dancers have put into their craft, and all “for love,” as Diana sings in the end. – Colin Douglas



“Oh my goodness, such an explosively gifted cast of triple threats that occupies the Ruth Page stage, breathing new life into this Pulitzer Prize and multiple Tony Award-winning musical. This production of “A Chorus Line” is not only superbly danced, which it must be; it boasts terrific vocal talent guided by Linda Madonia’s musical direction and accompaniment by her rich, Broadway calibre backstage orchestra (much applause to Greg Strauss for his magnificent talent on the trumpet).”

“This cast is a dream team. So many standout performances fill the stage, that theatergoers simply must experience this wonderful production to fully appreciate the talent that’s been assembled.”

“The entire company delivers breathtaking, multilayered and absolutely realistic performances.”

“This astounding artistic accomplishment is a feather in the cap of Michael Weber’s highly respected Porchlight Music Theatre.”

ChicagoTheatreandArts – Jodie Jacobs



“Not sure how many times I’ve seen ‘A Chorus Line,” but director Brenda Didier and choreographer Chris Carter’s version now at Porchlight Music Theatre, is not a copy.” – Seth Akin


“Any fan of musical theater–and any practitioner of it–owes it to themselves to see this show; one of the best, most important, most singular ever created.”

“And this is as good a chance as any.”

“Kudos to the cast, crew and everyone involved for doing what they do…for love.”

Law Bulletin Review – Julian Frazin

Four out of Four Gavels


“Porchlight Music Theatre, known for its excellent restorations of some of the great musicals of the past, including “Pal Joey,” “Sweeney Todd,” “Memphis” and “Gypsy,” is now presenting this classic at the Ruth Page Center for the Arts through May 31.”

“A do-not-miss opportunity for audiences, who, perhaps for the first time, are seeing this marvelous show in an intimate 215-seat venue performed on sizeable proscenium stage, which gives its large cast more than enough room to be dramatically spaced and go through their  complex dance paces. This provides theater-goers a spectacular view of some impressive up-close and personal performances.”

“… you will be clamoring for more.”

“This is the best show ever on show business because it is real. Don’t miss it.”

SPLASH – Ginger Lane
Highly Recommended


“It is stunning in its simplicity, profound in packing an emotional punch, sad and heartwarming at the same time as you see dancers supporting each other.”

“A Chorus Line shines! It is not only the best backstage musical, maybe the best musical ever, it is truly “A Singular Sensation”. Don’t miss it.”

Urban Matters – Mira Temkin


“This show has so much energy, power, and passion, you could send it to the moon!”

“This classic work has been electrifying audiences around the world since it made its debut in 1975 with humanity and empathy.”

Buzz Center – CJ Burroughs


“…this depth also comes from this brilliant cast and their brilliant performances brilliantly directed by Brenda Didier. Of course, the talent is youthful and top-notch, as it must be for such a classic show. Christopher Chase Carter’s choreography populates the stage and pleases the eye, while the music propels things, thanks to Linda Madonia’s direction.”

“ this breathless, breathtaking, and unbeatable take on a timeless Broadway tale.”

PlaylistHQ – Quinn Delaney


“Erika Evans is hilarious as Sheila, the woman with a very strong attitude. With just a look, she can get everyone laughing. Natalie Welch is superb as Val singing “Dance: Ten; Looks: Three”. “Tits and ass” she sings as she dances around the stage seductively! Also, Taylor Lane is delightful as Judy, always forgetting her number.”

“This dancing and acting in this production are fantastic all around. The choreography is excellent. The music is superb. It is truly Broadway worthy.”

Let’s Play – Rick and Brenda McCain



“Let’s Play ‘Highly Recommend’ this universal experience of rare authenticity. “A Chorus Line’ is pleasingly honest, funny and a heartbreaking musical that gave dancers a voice!”

“The testimonies of each dancer were complemented well with the musical numbers in ‘A Chorus Line.’ Each song delivered a delightfully inspiring message: “I Hope I Get It,” “I Can Do That,” and “One,” were some of the unforgettable songs that scored perfectly with the performance.”

NorthWest Herald – Richard Pahl


“Porchlight Music Theatre’s powerful new production clearly demonstrates that those awards were well deserved and that this frequently produced musical is still fresh, entertaining and compelling nearly 45 years later.”

“All the players are triple threat performers who form a strong ensemble; individual characters step into the spotlight to display their unique personalities and passions.”

“The cast is uniformly strong.”

“Porchlight’s revival of “A Chorus Line” brilliantly illustrates the joys and perils of the dancing life and recreates all the magic of the Broadway original.” – Barry Rezel


“Director Brenda Didier, who achieves maximum authenticity from from her stalwart cast while first-time directing the show that she says changed her life.”

“Magnificent vocals and an equally fine orchestra, courtesy of Musical Director Linda Madonia’s hard work, do lovely justice to the Hamlisch/Kleban songbook. Among general excellence in song and dance (kudos to Choreographer Christopher Chase Carter) there are certainly highlights, personal to all longtime fans of this title.”

“In truth, there are numerous highlight performances in this undeniably ensemble show.”

“Raw, gritty and honest until the costumes, makeup and bright lights combine for its magical Broadway finale, A Chorus Line, remains ever-poignant, even more than 40 years after it first opened. Porchlight’s version is more than a reminder of the past; it’s a testament to the voice of resilience, of hope and of what individuals do for love.” – Peter Thomas Ricci



“Over the years, Porchlight Theatre has established itself as one of Chicago’s finest interpreters of American musical theater, and the company’s new production of “A Chorus Line” is firmly in that tradition – bold, energetic, and beautiful, Porchlight and it’s creative team have staged a true tribute to not just the theater, but the hopes and dreams that make it what it is.”

“Under the direction of Brenda Didier, the music direction of Linda Madonia, and the choreography of Christopher Chase Carter, Porchlight’s large cast thrives, with Laura Savage, Drew Tanabe, Adrienne Velasco-Storrs, and Alejandro Fonseca especially good in their dramatic sequences. Furthermore, the acrobatic dancing of Terrell Armstrong deserves special recognition, as does the big voice of Aalon Smith, a senior at Columbia College Chicago starring in her second Porchlight production (she was excellent in last fall’s production of “Gypsy”).” – Jessie Bond



the orchestra brings a richness and lyricism to the score, filling the space “

“The best part of the show might be its dancing, choreographed by Chris Carter. Every number is choreographed with precision and creativity, and the cast is full of excellent dancers who execute each routine with aplomb. It’s thrilling to watch.”

“Porchlight Music Theatre’s production brings a fresh, modern energy to this beloved classic.”

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