Dance dance reunion! The cast comes together to perform the final number “One.”

PHOTO: Elaine Zhang

By Patrick Trieu

PHHS alumni gathered to put on the musical A Chorus Line to celebrate 50 years of Piedmont Hills on Aug. 21 & 22 at the theatre.

The musical A Chorus Line tells the story of an audition for a Broadway musical, where ambitious professional performers hope to land a role while the demanding director Zach tries to only choose the best eight of the group.  In order to narrow down the selection, Zach decides asks the performers to share events that shaped their lives and their decision to become dancers.

Executive producer Anna Woods decided to choose the musical to represent Piedmont Hills’s 50th anniversary for its fame and suitable connection to our school’s celebration.

A Chorus Line has been known as the Golden Broadway Musical, and the 50th anniversary is the golden anniversary,” she noted.

The preparation for the musical was different from normal productions at the school, relying on satellite audition and casting, video instruction and the ability of each performer to master his or her part.  Furthermore, the cast only had 2½ days to rehearse for the show.

“Scheduling was difficult, but you just do what you gotta do and pull it off in the end like for every other show,” pointed out sound operator Winston Liew.

When the idea was sent out by the Drama Dept. through social media in January, many of the alumni shared the word with as many people as possible, ensuring the large assembly of alumni.

“We have a private page for the cast and crew involved in A Chorus Line.  So we’ve been posting info on there, giving people advice on what to post on their pages and asking people to post on Facebook, to use their Twitter, to use their Instagram,” described Class of ‘93 alumnus Liza Giron-Espinoza, who works as the Director of Alumni Relations for the production.

In preparation for their roles, the cast spent a great time in improving their singing skills and studying their character roles.  Due to the nature of the production’s scheduling, the entire cast had to practice their parts on their own before coming together for the 2½ days of rehearsal.

“It’s really hard to perform a piece that includes people using their bodies and having a live audience, and trying to get all the piece together while you’re apart when you are all supposed to be together on a stage,” detailed Class of ‘08 alumnus Rachel De Vera, who plays dancer Bebe Benzeheimer in the musical.

Everyone who took part in A Chorus Line express excitement, joy and nostalgia upon seeing the gathering of alumni in the cast and audience.

“It was a great opportunity to bring people back to their campus, to their Alma Mater, and our Piedmont Hills. And we did that,” stated Ms. Woods.


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