Two veterans of ‘A Chrous Line’ tackle the same role — 30 years apart
What is it about the role of Frank in "A Chorus Line" that attracts a particular type of actor?
When the show opened on Broadway — 34 years ago this month, in fact — the part of the "boy in the headband" was played by Michael Serrecchia, the gay Dallas man who continues to ply his trade as an actor, choreographer and director in local theater.
The current national tour, based on the recent Broadway revival, features another gay Texan, Houstonian Jordan Fife Hunt, in the role. Coincidence?
"We talked a little about how we’re both from Texas and here I am now play Frank 30 years after the original production," says Fife after meeting Serrecchia for the first time this week. "He said it was very cool to see me up there doing his thing."
Disturbingly, Hunt wasn’t even born when the original production opened, and he was barely out of diapers when it closed 15 years later as the longest-running show in Broadway history (it has since been eclipsed by three other musicals). Even more disturbingly, Hunt didn’t even discover "A Chorus Line" until fairly late… and he did so through the film version.
"To anybody who knows the [stage] musical well, they think the movie is a blasphemous joke against musical theater," Hunt says. "But I loved the movie not knowing better." While he was in high school, Hunt did an amateur production. This national tour is Hunt’s first job since leaving college.
"A Chorus Line" is enjoying a mini-revival of late, especially with its Dallas connections (local actress Pam Peadon played Cassie in the original Los Angeles run, and Tom Kosis was in the Broadway replacement cast, among others). Not only is there Serrecchia and the touring production, but "Every Little Step," a documentary about the mounting of the revival, just completed a month-long engagement at the Angelika Film Center at Mockingbird Station.
"It’s a pretty accurate depiction of what we go through and what auditioning is like," Hunt says, referring both to the documentary and the musical itself. "When you are auditioning for ‘A Chorus Line,’ you don’t have to put a lot of work into the character — the character you are auditioning for is also auditioning for a chorus line."
So how does it feel to play Frank, one of the dancers who gets cut, night after night?
"It’s a slice of life of what we go through. More often than not, you don’t get the part."
But as Serrecchia knows, sometimes you do get the part — and you make history.
Fair Park Music Hall, 909 First Ave. Through July 19. Tuesdaysâ€“Sundays at 8 p.m., weekend matinees at 2 p.m.
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition July 10, 2009.