The 1970s was the dawn of the age of rock and concept musicals. Inspired by the success of Hair at the end of the 1960s, Andrew Lloyd Webber's Jesus Christ Superstar and Stephen Schwartz's Godspell explored biblical themes through the medium of rock opera. While Stephen Sondhiem explored concept musicals based on related characters and relationships in the form of 'Follies', 'A Little Night Music' and 'Company.' Bob Fosse choreographed three concept musicals but most notably in 'Chicago' although it was eclipsed by the show biz musical 'A Chorus Line.'
A CHORUS LINE
THE SHOW & SHOW HISTORY
Written by Marvin Hamlisch, A Chorus Line tells the story of 19 dancers auditioning for a place on the chorus line of an upcoming Broadway show. During taped workshops, the creative team interviewed real Broadway dancers known as 'gypsies' and used their emotions and characteristics to mould the characters within the show. Each of the dancers has a different story to tell, from their experiences growing up, to working within the show business industry.
Told through dynamic and heartfelt songs, and Michael Bennett's electric choreography, A Chorus Line became an unexpected critical hit, receiving 12 Tony Award nominations, on its Broadway debut at the Shubert Theatre in 1975. Since the original Broadway production, the show has run on the West End - in 1976 and 2013 - as well as touring to many corners of the world and being made into a film in 1985. It remains the seventh longest running Broadway show ever, testament to its popularity and wide reaching emotional power to audiences worldwide.
WHY I HEART IT
I first saw A Chorus Line in 2013 during its revival run at the London Palladium, with Scarlett Strallen, John Partridge and a cast of fantastic dancers. It was inspirational to see the joy and emotion with which each dancer acted their part and the musical score has been from then on a serious favourite of mine. Although the show closed prematurely (in my opinion!) it gave me inspiration to keep working for what matters to me and not to give up on my dreams.
SONG IN CONTEXT
Each of the characters within 'A Chorus Line' have a set piece song to introduce them and 'Nothing' is sung by Diana Morales who sings about her experience at drama school and how she learnt to be an actress. It always struck a chord with me as the way it is written makes it really funny and relatable at the same time.
Music by Marvin Hamlisch
Lyrics by Edward Kleban
Book by James Kirkwood Jr. & Nicholas Dante
Originally directed and choreographed by Michael Bennett
Originally staged at the Shubert Theatre on Broadway on 25th July, 1975
My Favourite Cast (2013 West End Revival Cast)
Zach : John Partridge
Cassie : Scarlett Strallen
Diana : Victoria Hamilton-Barritt
Shelia : Leigh Zimmerman
Judy : Lucy Adcock
and a cast of 12 dancers