February 21, 1992 |
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.
July 18, 1991 |
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.
May 19, 2001 |
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")
September 14, 1989 |
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.
November 30, 2010 |
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.
January 13, 1987 |
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.
July 3, 1987 |
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.
September 14, 1989 |
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?
September 10, 1989 |
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.
April 27, 1990 |
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.