IT’S SUNDAY SHOWSTOPPER SNIPPET TIME!!!!!
Okay, I’ll admit it, “A CHORUS LINE” is my FAVORITE Broadway show – well …. maybe 2nd favorite …. no it’s my FAVORITE-FAVORITE. I’ve seen it more times than I can admit – more times than any other show. It speaks to the heart of every single musical theatre geek (I mean, ‘aficianado’), and is as real and true to life as a musical can be. I still remember the chills I got when I was sitting in my college costume design class helping our costuming coach glue bling on top hats for one of the touring companies (he was working for the show at the same time he was teaching our class, and they needed extra fingers, and mine got nominated!).
A Chorus Line opened Off Broadway in 1975 at The Public Theater (for you youngsters out there, that’s the same theatre that spawned the current mega-hit, “Hamilton”), then transferred to Broadway a few months later. It opened on Broadway 42 years and 10 days ago (but who’s counting), July 25, 1975. WOW! How time flies! Up until that time, there was no show in the history of Broadway that was a bigger hit. It was nominated for 12 Tony Awards, winning 9, including Best Musical, Best Book, Best Score, Best Director, Best Choreographer, Best Lighting Design, Best Featured Actor in a Musical, and both Featured and Leading Actresses in a Musical. It was also honored with a Pulitzer Prize for Drama.
In 1984, it was honored with a Special Tony Award for Longest-Running Musical (although it would continue to run on Broadway until 1990). When all was said and done, the original Broadway production logged 6,137 performances, becoming the longest-running production in Broadway history at that time (it’s currently in the #2 spot for longest running original American Broadway Musicals, and 5th, overall, if you include shows that originated in London).
Funny story …. when it first came to Los Angeles in 1977 (at the gorgeous Shubert Theatre in Century City, which is now, tragically, an office building), my parents went to see the show with some friends of theirs. They came home after the show, and reported that, although they LOVED the show (ALMOST as much as I did), their friends were angry. They complained that for $16 per ticket (and those were the PREMIUM seats!), you’d think they would have had some costumes and scenery! CLEARLY, they did NOT understand the story AT ALL!
This clip is from the record-breaking celebration in 1983 (at 3,389 performances – just a little over 1/2 way through their run!). It gathers 300 Broadway, international and national cast members in one spectacular finale – a truly ‘singular sensation!’ ENJOY!