NIU School of Theatre and Dance tangos, hand-jives, cancans a musical medley

By Katie Finlon

“Step, kick, kick, leap, kick, touch – again!”

The line is the first line to the musical A Chorus Line, one of many musicals featured in NIU’s School of Theatre and Dance’s Best of Broadway.

Within the first act alone, the audience will get a taste of musical theater throughout American history, including Grease, Chicago and West Side Story.

Some might recognize some of the pieces in the show, which plays to the show’s appeal, said sophomore dance major Lindsay Trinowski.

The purpose of this show is to expose the public to dances from musicals they might have seen and to give the dancers within the School of Dance an opportunity to perform in a production that showcases more of their abilities, said Judy Chitwood, the show’s co-director and professor of theatre and dance.

“We decided it would be fun to do a ‘Best of Broadway’ to showcase their other talents, incorporating the technique they have from their regular classes,” Chitwood said.

To reflect this sentiment, the dances picked for the show vary greatly in style, from the borderline-promiscuous “Cell Block Tango” featured in Chicago to the 1950s rock-and-roll moves in “Born to Hand Jive” of Grease. Some students, such as junior dance major Monica Boyle, are in several, requiring the ability to completely change dynamics.

Even if you aren’t musically knowledgeable, there’s something in the show for everybody, according to Tom Passas, junior acting major and Best of Broadway host.

“‘Cell Block Tango’ is worth the price of admission,” Passas said.

Best of Broadway will perform 7:30 p.m. tonight through Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday at the Stevens Building O’Connell Theatre. For ticket information, call the box office at 815-753-1600.

Whether you enjoy many-a-kick-line or a classic tap dance number, Best of Broadway will have a little something for every musical theatre lover.