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Chorus Line to return to Broadway in 2006

 
 
flyboy804
 
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Reply Thu 27 Apr, 2006 02:32 pm
I've seen Pamela Blair in several Broadway shows, but the only one that comes immediately to mind is "Best Little Whorehouse--". In the original "Chorus Line" she was the one who sang "Dance Ten, Looks Three" ("Tits and Ass").
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mac11
 
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Reply Thu 27 Apr, 2006 09:32 pm
I worked on a show at Goodspeed Opera House that starred Pamela Blair - years after Chorus Line. She was very talented and hilarious to boot. She had great stories.
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bree
 
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Reply Fri 4 Aug, 2006 06:11 pm
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mac11
 
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Reply Fri 4 Aug, 2006 07:58 pm
Here's a link to the SF Chronicle review (mostly glowing):

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2006/08/04/DDGQVKA2CJ1.DTL&hw=chorus+line&sn=001&sc=1000
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bree
 
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Reply Fri 4 Aug, 2006 08:54 pm
Thanks, mac. I noticed the review said the performance is more than two hours without intermission. I can't remember if that was true of the original or not -- does anyone know?

I think I might find it a bit trying to sit through an intermission-less two-hour show. That wouldn't have been a problem when I saw the original Chorus Line over 30 years ago, because I still had an attention span back then.
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mac11
 
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Reply Fri 4 Aug, 2006 10:24 pm
I'm certain that there was no intermission in the original production.

It is long for a play, but god knows I've sat through longer movies without a problem.
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bree
 
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Reply Sun 1 Oct, 2006 06:30 pm
It's almost here: the Broadway opening night for the revival of A Chorus Line is this Thursday. The New York Times geared up for it by publishing two articles about the original production in today's edition.

The first article is about how the dancers whose life stories became the basis of the script of A Chorus Line now regret having signed away the rights to those stories. You can read the whole sad story at

"Chorus Line" Returns, as Do Regrets Over Life Stories Signed Away

The second article, which I found more interesting, is about the demise of the overture to the Broadway musical. (The connection to A Chorus Line is that it didn't have an overture; Marvin Hamlisch wrote one, but Michael Bennett and the show's other creators "decided not to include it, fearing it would destroy the illusion that the audience was watching an actual audition as the lights went up.")

The author of the article (Jesse Green) mentions a number of explanations for the disappearance of the overture, including the fact that the scores of Broadway musicals have become increasingly pop- and rock-influenced, and pop and rock songs don't lend themselves to being used in an overture in the same way that more traditional Broadway show tunes do. He also mentions that the orchestras for Broadway shows are smaller than they used to be, so they don't have "enough strings to sell the ballads, enough brass for the showstoppers."

But the explanation I found most disheartening is that there have been "fundamental changes in the way audiences receive information" -- by which he means that

The traditional curtain-down, unstaged overture presupposed that music was ... capable, all by itself, of holding people's attention. That notion has been sorely tested in recent years. Producers and directors say they doubt the audience's ability to perceive useful information encoded in orchestral sound. Decoding that information depends on the habit of listening to music for its own inherent expressiveness, without words, pictures or action: a habit that disappeared from mainstream American culture along with the piano in the parlor.

What a depressing thought.

Here's a link (which should be good for the next week) to the whole article:

Whatever Happened to the Overture?
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mac11
 
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Reply Sun 1 Oct, 2006 06:41 pm
Thanks for the links, bree. I'll read the articles and come back.

Do you have tickets for Chorus Line yet?
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bree
 
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Reply Sun 1 Oct, 2006 06:58 pm
mac11 wrote:
Do you have tickets for Chorus Line yet?


I don't, and I fear I may have left it too late to get decent seats -- unless I wait until spring. (Didn't you say something about a possible trip to NYC in the spring?)
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mac11
 
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Reply Sun 1 Oct, 2006 07:03 pm
I did say that, and that would be an excellent event to plan my trip around. (And I agree about wanting decent seats.)

I saw Chorus Line the first time in 1977. I can't believe it's coming up on 30 years since my first NY trip.
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Raggedyaggie
 
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Reply Sun 1 Oct, 2006 08:04 pm
Very interesting articles, bree. Thanks for posting them. I remember how excited I used to get when the overture started.


Spring and the theatre in New York. <sigh>
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mac11
 
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Reply Sun 1 Oct, 2006 08:27 pm
How much money do you think the original dancers made from Chorus Line? Tens of thousands? Hundreds of thousands? I realize that it is their stories that form the basis of the plot, but these people would never have made money from their life stories any other way. I mean, it's unlikely that any of them would have written an autobiography and cashed in.

Interesting that they expect to make more.

Excellent article about overtures.
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bree
 
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Reply Sun 1 Oct, 2006 09:13 pm
mac11 wrote:
I realize that it is their stories that form the basis of the plot, but these people would never have made money from their life stories any other way. I mean, it's unlikely that any of them would have written an autobiography and cashed in.


I agree, mac. The dancers may have provided the raw material, but it took artistry to shape it into A Chorus Line. Of course, if reality TV had been around 30 years ago, things might have worked out better for them -- they could have made money out of the raw material of their life stories, no artistry required. (Don't I sound curmudgeonly?)
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mac11
 
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Reply Mon 2 Oct, 2006 12:37 pm
I'm right there with you for curmudgeonliness. Don't get me started about the inanity of reality TV!
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