/arts-days/september/27

September 27

A Chorus Line

A Chorus Line won nine of the 12 Tony® Awards for which it was nominated and ran for a then unprecedented 6,137 performances.

Photo by Philip J. Hollenback

1983: One Singular Sensation
A Chorus Line breaks Broadway’s record for longest-running show
There are 17 of them up on the bare stage—chorus dancers, known as “gypsies” in musical theater lingo. They audition, then wait, wait some more…most are sent home empty-handed. This trying experience was captured by a young dancer/choreographer (and former gypsy) named Michael Bennett. Bennett took the audition process and added a slew of talented singer/dancer hopefuls and a fabulous score by Marvin Hamlisch.

The show’s minimal sets and costumes kept the audience’s focus right where it should be: on the singing and the dancing as each character sings and shares his or her story about how they wound up at the audition. Sometimes funny, always moving, the show’s cinema-like staging includes jumps from one character to another, stage dissolves, and close-ups.
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