A Chorus Line Wiki

A Chorus Line is a musical with music by Marvin Hamlisch, lyrics by Edward Kleban and a book by James Kirkwood, Jr. and Nicholas Dante. Centred on seventeen Broadway dancers auditioning for spots on a chorus line, the musical is set on the bare stage of a Broadway theatre during an audition for a musical. A Chorus Line provides a glimpse into the personalities of the performers and the choreographer as they describe the events that have shaped their lives and their decisions to become dancers.

Following several workshops and an Off-Broadway production, A Chorus Line opened on Broadway on July 25, 1975, directed and choreographed by Buffalo native Michael Bennett. An unprecedented box office and critical hit, the musical received 12 Tony Award nominations and won 9 of them, in addition to the 1976 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.

The original Broadway production ran for 6,137 performances, becoming the longest-running production in Broadway history until surpassed by Cats in 1997, and the longest-running Broadway musical originally produced in the US, until surpassed in 2011 by Chicago. It remains the sixth longest-running Broadway show ever. Its success has spawned many successful productions worldwide. It began a lengthy run in the West End in 1976 and was revived on Broadway in 2006. The current West End revival opened in 2013.

Film adaptation[]

In 1975, the rights for a film were sold to Universal Pictures for $5.5 million plus 20% of the distributor's gross rentals above $30 million. Universal subsequently sold the rights to PolyGram. The film was released in 1985, starring Michael Douglas as Zach. It also featured Alyson Reed and Terrance Mann as Cassie and Larry respectively. The film was directed by Richard Attenborough with a screenplay by Arnold Schulman. It was produced by Cy Feuer and distributed by Columbia Pictures, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, and Universal Pictures. The film received mixed reviews from critics and was a box office bomb, grossing only $14 million from a $25 million budget. Songs "Montage Part 1: Hello Twelve, Hello Thirteen, Hello Love" and "Montage Part 4: Gimme The Ball" were cut and replaced with "Surprise, Surprise", a new song written by Marvin Hamlisch and Edward Kleban. "The Music and the Mirror" was also cut and replaced with "Let Me Dance For You" written by Hamlisch and Kleban. "What I Did for Love" was sung by Cassie instead of Diana and was sung as a counterpart during "The Tap Combination." Songs "And...", and "Sing!" were cut entirely.

As Kelly Bishop, who played Sheila in the original Broadway cast, later noted, "it was appalling when director Richard Attenborough went on a talk show and said 'this is a story about kids trying to break into show business.' I almost tossed my TV out the window; I mean what an idiot! It's about veteran dancers looking for one last job before it's too late for them to dance anymore. No wonder the film sucked!"

Musical Numbers[]

Number Characters
I Hope I Get It Company
I Can Do That Mike
And... Bobby, Richie, Val, Judy, Company
At The Ballet Sheila, Bebe, Maggie
Sing! Kristine, Al, Company
Montage, Part 1: Hello Twelve Mark, Connie, Company
Montage, Part 2: Nothing Diana
Montage, Part 3: Mother Company
Montage, Part 4: Gimme The Ball Judy, Greg, Richie, Company
Dance: Ten, Looks: Three Val
The Music And The Mirror Cassie
One (rehearsal) Company
Tap Combination Sheila, Mike, Bebe, Maggie, Judy, Bobby, Al
What I Did For Love Diana, Company
One (finale) Company

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