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ENTERTAINMENT
February 21, 1992 | By Bill Kent, SPECIAL TO THE INQUIRER
Stephen Casey's mother has yet to make the trip from Philadelphia to Atlantic City to see her son in A Chorus Line. First, there's been a problem with tickets. Although A Chorus Line is the longest-running musical in Broadway history, having opened in 1975, the Claridge production - presented without intermission in all its uncut, two- hour-and-19-minute glory - has been selling out on the weekends. While cast members traditionally get a limited number of tickets for friends and relatives, priority is given to paying customers.
NEWS
July 18, 1991 | By Clifford A. Ridley, Inquirer Theater Critic By now, the show's premise is probably as familiar as that of Hamlet. Seventeen chorus-line aspirants are auditioning in a Broadway theater for eight spots in a production. Under the impersonal questioning of the director, Zach, they reveal their histories, their aspirations, their fears
If ever a show would seem to demand a proscenium stage, it's A Chorus Line, which opened in the round Tuesday night at Valley Forge Music Fair for a run through Sunday. A Chorus Line, after all, is about the Broadway musical and the dancers who make it go. The last time I looked, Broadway musicals were performed on proscenium stages, which frame and display them as the special gems they are. More important, A Chorus Line is about the terror and insecurity of the audition process, which reduces the dancer's world to a few square yards where nothing exists but the moment.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 19, 2001 | By Clifford A. Ridley INQUIRER THEATER CRITIC
It no longer seems especially fresh or revolutionary, and (notwithstanding the predictions of some of us) it didn't alter the course of musical theater in any substantive way. For a while, in fact, as the chorus-line gypsies it celebrates virtually vanished from a musical stage obsessed with brooding melodrama, the once-daring show appeared less testimonial than elegy. The theatergoer weaned on Les Miserables must wonder what A Chorus Line is all about. But dancing is back on Broadway in spades these days, and if A Chorus Line, once the brash new kid on the block, has metamorphosed into a kindly old uncle with a repertoire of familiar jokes ("to commit suicide in Buffalo is redundant")
NEWS
September 14, 1989 | By Douglas J. Keating, Inquirer Staff Writer
Toward the end of A Chorus Line, the dancers whose lives and careers are the substance of the musical discuss what they would do if there were no more Broadway chorus lines for them to dance in. The conversation is pertinent because in 1975, when the show opened, there was talk, as there is now, of the impending death of the Broadway musical. The conversation is also ironic: Neither the creators of A Chorus Line nor the performers in that first production knew that this show would do more than any other musical to keep Broadway dancers on their feet.
NEWS
November 30, 2010 | By Howard Shapiro, Inquirer Staff Writer
The eight little girls who play the orphans are the best thing about Media Theatre's production of Annie , which opened last weekend - they are adorable, and good singers and dancers, too. And while they don't steal the show, they leave an indelible mark on it. I found myself thinking of them long after the Sunday matinee. Except for Tori Heinlein, the 10-year-old who plays Annie nightly, I can't tell you who they are; the show has a revolving cast of kids, so two girls play each role.
NEWS
January 13, 1987 | By William B. Collins, Inquirer Theater Critic
Tommy Tune has always had an appetite for novelty. From the balloon number in Seesaw to the splash dance in My One and Only, he has been happiest with material that is either cute or campy, or both. It all comes together in Stepping Out, the London hit that Tune has staged at the Golden Theater. Written by Richard Harris, the play (it is not a musical) slices pointlessly into life in North London, where seven women and one man meet once a week in a church hall for tap-dancing lessons.
NEWS
July 3, 1987 | By William B. Collins, Inquirer Theater Critic
Michael Bennett, the director-choreographer whose A Chorus Line became the longest-running show in Broadway history, died yesterday at the age of 44. In his brief time, he represented a new style in Broadway musicals and a different way of creating them. Bennett died in Tucson, Ariz., less than a week after the Broadway opening of a revival of his last hit musical, Dreamgirls. He had been under treatment since December at the Arizona Health Science Center. His lawyer, John Breglio, said the cause of death was "lymphoma as related or caused by AIDS.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 14, 1989 | By Nels Nelson, Daily News Theater Critic
Why do I feel like the caboose on a very long freight train? Well, not exactly a caboose, because a caboose means the end of the line, and certainly the end is not near for "A Chorus Line," which, as the whole universe knows, is well over 14 years old and still running on Broadway and in various outposts of the civilized world, including Philadelphia, where it alighted this week for the eighth time. Let me reframe the question: Why do I sit at this lonely keyboard on the leeward side of midnight waiting for the heavens to open and conk me with a Fed-X delivery of fresh words and phrases suitable for worshipful obeisance to the World's Oldest Established Permanent Floating Hit Musical?
ENTERTAINMENT
September 10, 1989 | By William B. Collins, Inquirer Theater Critic
Once again, Donna McKechnie has returned to the show that catapulted her to fame - and stranded her there. The leggy dancer, who arrives in Philadelphia on Tuesday for an eight- performance run of A Chorus Line at the Shubert Theater, has fared better than some other members of the original cast of the longest-running show in Broadway history. But she has not enjoyed the brilliant career that would be expected from instant stardom and a Tony Award. The Michael Bennett musical, now in its 15th year on Broadway, altered the lives of everyone connected with it. The aftershocks sent some of them into analysis for years.
NEWS
April 27, 1990 | By Douglas J. Keating, Inquirer Staff Writer
It began 16 years ago, when a group of dancers stayed up all night to talk into a tape recorder. Tomorrow, as its recent advertisements proclaim, the show will reach the End of the Line - in New York, anyway - when it gives its final Broadway performance. A theatrical institution, A Chorus Line will have been on the stage of the Shubert Theater for three months short of 15 years, 6,137 performances in all - the longest-running show in Broadway history, a record it has held since 1983, when, with a mere 3,389 performances, it surpassed Grease.
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NEWS
August 15, 2014 | BY JOHN F. MORRISON, Daily News Staff Writer morrisj@phillynews.com, 215-854-5573
THE BIG NEWS out of Stu Bykofsky's Candidates Comedy Night last night was the serious news that the amount of money raised in its 24 years has exploded beyond the half-million mark. The exact figure couldn't be computed immediately, but with U.S. Rep. Bob Brady calling out to three donors demanding $500 apiece (and getting it) and an auction of sports memorabilia raking in the bids, the donations rang like a berserk cash register. For instance, an autographed Donovan McNabb jersey, with an autograph that Stu Bykofsky refused to vouch for, went for $1,000.
NEWS
May 16, 2014
WE ALL have our ideas for civic improvement (like putting a roof over the Penn's Landing portion of I-95 or abolishing the Philadelphia Parking Authority). Well, here's another: force 1812 Productions to make "This Is the Week That Is" a year-round proposition. We can't guarantee this would make Philly better, but it certainly would make it much funnier. Unfortunately, as it stands, this year's edition of the ripped-from-the-headlines laugh-fest ends its six-week run June 1, so you have but two weeks to see this comedy cavalcade that delivers on numerous levels.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 16, 2014 | By Wendy Rosenfield, For The Inquirer
There's not much to Montgomery Theater's production of The Musical of Musicals (The Musical!) , and yet there's so much to like about this silly spoof that takes one familiar story line and stretches it across the latter two-thirds of the 20th-century musical stage. It doesn't hurt that director/choreographer Stephen Casey assembled a top-notch quartet of performers and one seriously indefatigable pianist to carry the show-folk in-jokes all the way to curtain. Written by Eric Rockwell and Joanne Bogart, The Musical of Musicals skewers 51/2 prime cuts from Broadway's most sacred cows to make for one longish comic kebab.
NEWS
April 21, 2013
Meditation of a Modern Believer By Christian Wiman Farrar, Straus & Giroux. $24. Reviewed by John Timpane Christian Wiman is a believer from a class of people who, in the minds of some, aren't supposed to believe. He's a poet - editor of Poetry magazine, a job he'll be leaving in June - a leading intellect, an artist. He's also facing cancer. He believes in God and, in My Bright Abyss , seeks to portray what that's like as of 2013 if you want to be an intelligent, aware, non-self-deluding, tough-minded, free-speaking person here and now. My Bright Abyss is a dark, mountainous work, part poet's notebook, part meditation, part illness journal.
SPORTS
January 7, 2011 | By Frank Fitzpatrick, Inquirer Staff Writer
NEW YORK - In early November, a curious foreshadowing of Sunday's NFC first-round playoff game took place here in a most improbable Midtown setting. During a late October bye week, the Eagles and Green Bay Packers intersected on Broadway when Andy Reid saw Eric Simonson's Lombardi, a dramatic rendering of a week in the life of the complex coach who became a football demigod in Green Bay. "It was very good," Reid said on Wednesday when asked about the play and the Packers' legend.
NEWS
November 30, 2010 | By Howard Shapiro, Inquirer Staff Writer
The eight little girls who play the orphans are the best thing about Media Theatre's production of Annie , which opened last weekend - they are adorable, and good singers and dancers, too. And while they don't steal the show, they leave an indelible mark on it. I found myself thinking of them long after the Sunday matinee. Except for Tori Heinlein, the 10-year-old who plays Annie nightly, I can't tell you who they are; the show has a revolving cast of kids, so two girls play each role.
NEWS
March 9, 2010 | By Ellen Dunkel FOR THE INQUIRER
They perform behind Madonna, Will Smith, and the Black Eyed Peas. They pop and lock on Nike and iPod commercials. They're body doubles for film stars who need to bust a move. They're highly successful hip-hop dancers - several of whom performed on Sunday night's Academy Awards show - but they were relatively anonymous until last year, when they won NBC's Superstars of Dance and then appeared on the December season finale of So You Think You Can Dance. They're the Groovaloos, an ever-changing band of men and a few women who, since coalescing in 1999, have had regular jam sessions in Los Angeles and individual gigs as well.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 15, 2009 | By Carrie Rickey INQUIRER MOVIE CRITIC
Before American Idol, before Fame, there was A Chorus Line, the original reality show. Inspired by the confessions and insights of real-life Broadway "gypsies," the 1975 stage sensation became, at the time, the longest-running American musical - collecting nine Tonys, a Pulitzer, and immortality along the way. The exuberant documentary Every Little Step revisits the genesis of the landmark show about the gestation and delivery of a Broadway...
NEWS
May 14, 2009 | By GARY THOMPSON, thompsg@phillynews.com
The grindingly familiar metrics of reality-TV elimination shows clash with an interesting retrospective documentary in "Every Little Step. " The movie examines Bob Avian's 2006 Broadway revival of "A Chorus Line," splitting time between a fascinating look back at how the groundbreaking show was created, and a less fascinating look at how the revival is cast. "Step" includes the original conversations, taped back in the seventies, between Tony-winning choreographer Michael Bennett and the dancers he invited for a 12-hour bull session to discuss their lives.
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