Theater preview: Short North Stage wraps up season with "A Chorus Line"

Jay Weitz, Columbus Alive

Forty years ago "A Chorus Line" first danced across a stage, singing the story of 17 performers desperate for work on Broadway. At the center of the Pulitzer Prize-winning musical sits a peculiar irony. Those characters spend two hours establishing themselves as individuals simply to earn the honor of being assimilated as just one of the indistinguishable members of the title collective.

Wrapping up its 2014/2015 season, Short North Stage will present "A Chorus Line," with music by Marvin Hamlisch, lyrics by Edward Kleban, and book by James Kirkwood, Jr. and Nicholas Dante, in the Garden Theatre, April 9-26.

Nick Lingnofski, who has impressed Columbus audiences as the title character in Available Light Theatre's "Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson" and as the Balladeer in Red Herring's "Assassins," takes on the part of the director in charge of the audition, Zach, who cajoles the life stories out of the dancers.

Playing Cassie, the seasoned dancer who shares some personal history with Zach, Dionysia Williams adds to her Short North Stage legacy performing in such previous musicals as "Follies," "Cabaret," and "Fugitive Songs."

Kaitlin Descutner gets to sing about how "everything is beautiful at the ballet" as Sheila, who used the stage as refuge from an unpleasant home life as a child. Descutner made her mark on the Garden stage as Sally Bowles in "Cabaret" and has also been in the cast of Shadowbox's "Back to the Garden."

Jeff Fouch, long a fixture on the Columbus dance scene and the founder of the Garden's resident dance group, the Columbus Moving Company, will be Mike, who pays tribute to his sister ("now married and fat"), whose place he took in a long-ago dance class that she skipped.

Zach can choose only eight dancers. But another "Chorus Line" irony is that every cast member is a star.

Garden Theatre

Through April 26

1187 N. High St., Short North