In the midst of preparing for their fall musical — Hello, Dolly! — Staples Players still bask in well-deserved applause from A Chorus Line.
Their 2013 production will be included in A Chorus Line FAQ. The 400-page book is part of a new “everything you could possibly want to know” series on popular Broadway musicals.
Author Tom Rowan is including a chapter on notable productions around the nation over the past 30 years. What he calls the “remarkable” Staples Players staging is one of only 4 high school versions in the book.
Directors David Roth and Kerry Long figured that Rowan heard of Staples’ production from Terre Blair Hamlisch. The composer’s widow saw the show in Westport, was enthralled, and invited them to perform a selection at a major New York fundraiser honoring Hamlisch, with Bernadette Peters, Joel Grey and Robert Klein.
Rowan said he spent a lot of time watching YouTube clips of various Chorus Line productions from around the world. He stumbled upon Staples, and was amazed by the quality — particularly the dancing. He could hardly believe it was a high school show.
(He loved learning about the Terre Hamlisch connection. That story will be in Rowan’s book too.)
A Chorus Line is one of many Staples Players productions uploaded to their YouTube channel. Romeo and Juliet, West Side Story, Little Shop of Horrors — those and many more are just a mouse click away.
Of course, you should see Hello, Dolly! live, when it opens a couple of weeks from now.
Then relive the Staples Player magic — over and over — thanks to the miracle of YouTube.
(Staples Players is always looking for more archival material. If you’ve got some, contact director David Roth: email@example.com)