A Chorus Line London sees the first West End production for 35 years of this classic musical open for previews in February at the London Palladium.
It will probably be a limited run, initially till June 29th but if it does well, who knows! A Chorus Line was one of the first musicals where the whole cast were expected to sing, dance and act to the highest possible standard. It should be magnificent!
The show first opened on Broadway in 1975 and became the 6th longest running Broadway show ever. It transferred to the West End in 1976 where it was a big hit, won two Evening Standard awards and ran for several years.
The musical follows the story of a group of dancers auditioning for places in a chorus line. This peek into the backstage world is now a very familiar plot device (even Viva Forever! is using it) but back in 1975 it was a new, fresh idea. The other important thing to remember is that A Chorus Line is about veteran dancers looking for one last job before it’s too late, not just about young people.
A Chorus Line London Open Auditions
This video is a bit of life imitating art as it shows the open auditions for the show:
The show features some songs you probably know like One, (Singular Sensation), Hello Twelve, Hello Thirteen, Hello Love and Hope I Get It.
The music was written was Marvin Hamlisch, who died in August this year. The lyrics are by Edward Kleban. The book was authored by James Kirkwood, Jr. and Nicholas Dante.
Although it has not been seen in the West End for many years, there have been touring versions in regional theatres and even amateur productions. There was a film adaptation in the 80s which really was not very good and doesn’t give a flavour of the quality of the show. The Broadway revival in 2006 was a big, if short lived, hit and it is quite exciting to see the show coming back into the West End. Casting has not been announced yet but should be known soon.
There are definitely some interesting revivals coming next year, what with this and rumours of Miss Saigon. I’m very happy to see both these shows come back to London but it would be great to see some new, really original shows coming in too. I know Once is coming but it is another film adaptation.
Click here to explore the range of theatre breaks available for A Chorus Line