The Houston Chronicle’s Buzz Bellmont reconnected with the fabulous Mitzi Hamilton to talk about her lifetime journey with A Chorus Line and her new role as Director of the Theatre Under The Stars’ production, coming to the Long Center July 24-28.
Here is an expert from their wonderful conversation. View showtimes and purchase tickets online or by calling 512-457-5664.
The Legendary Mitzi Hamilton, Director of Theatre Under the Stars’ A Chorus Line, Shares Her Lifelong Love Affair with A Chorus Line
By Buzz Bellmont, Wednesday, July 10, 2013
It all started coming back to her as we chatted over lunch at Baba Yega’s in Montrose yesterday as she offered me a glimpse into her exciting life as a career dancer and director. Theatre Under The Stars has hired Mitzi to direct their A Chorus Line, which opens at Miller Outdoor Theatre next Tuesday, July 16, and runs through Sunday, July 21.
Buzz Bellmount: Tell me about your life experience with A Chorus Line.
Mitzi Hamilton: I like to say that I lived at the Schubert Theatre for almost 10 years. I used to wonder when Zach says to the 17 dancers auditioning for 8 spots in A Chorus Line, ” What are you going to do if you can’t dance anymore?” I would say, I don’t have a clue. After I left the show, I started doing productions of the show in Europe. Baayork Lee (original cast as Connie) cast me as Sheila and she eventually passed her job off to Roy Smith and I started assisting Roy as his directorial assistant. I would remind him when Michael said this or this or this because all of those little acting moments for me were most important. I wanted to be an actress. When I couldn’t dance, then I could do plays and comedies. That didn’t happen! Roy became ill in 1990 and we were set to do a production back in Europe again and he was too ill to do it. It fell in my lap. The producer said to me, “Can you do it, Mitzi?” And that was the beginning of my directing the show.
BB: Did you also move into teaching?
MH: I did not care to teach. I would rather be working to put a production up on the stage. That is a great challenge. When I first started directing, I was casting myself as Sheila. I was getting up in age then and I realized that being on stage was not a kick anymore. Being on the other side of the table is what was exciting to me. Making it all happen. The passing it on of Michael’s (Bennett) genius became my mission.
BB: What’s the first word that comes to mind when you hear the name Michael Bennett?
With someone as dedicated as Mitzi Hamilton at the helm, you definitely won’t want to miss the Long Center’s run of A Chorus Line, July 24-28 in Dell Hall!