Revolutionary Works in Musical Theatre ♩ ♪ ♫ ♬
A Chorus Line (NY, 1975, 6137 performances) music by Marvin Hamlisch, lyrics by Edward Kleban, book by James Kirkwood and Nicholas Dante, directed and choreographed by Michael Bennett
Before the show opened, there was a feeling around Broadway that something was about to explode and theatre would never be the same again. They were right. A Chorus Line told the story of a group of dancers, based on real people, exploring their innermost secrets as they auditioned for a Broadway chorus. The show was raw and real (so much so that eight of the performers were playing the roles based on themselves), featuring minimal sets and costumes and innovative choreography. The show was an enormous success, tapping into the anxieties of a generation, completely dwarfing other shows that were on Broadway at the same time (such as Chicago). A Chorus Line's continued popularity in the form of revivals is one example of its influence, yet its power runs much deeper - there continues a psychological awareness of the point in time when A Chorus Line burst out on the scene, giving dancers their own unique voices where they had previously blended into One. There has never been anything like A Chorus Line before or since, nor will there ever be.