Multi Tony Award winning musical A Chorus Line will open at the London Palladium on February 19th 2013 following previews from February 2nd. In a shock announcement for the venue, the owner of Really Useful Group Andrew Lloyd Webber who manages the theatre said this would be a ‘fitting tribute’ to composer Marvin Hamlisch who passed away earlier this year. The show’s iconic score has captured the imagination of many since opening in 1975 and includes standards such as ‘What I Did For Love’, ‘One’, and ‘At the Ballet’.
The original Broadway production was conceived, directed and choreographed by Michael Bennett and won 9 Tony Awards along with the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. This went on to become the longest running musical on Broadway, clocking up an impressive 6137 performances. The show was revived on Broadway in 2006 for the first time where it was directed and choreographed by Bob Avian, who worked alongside Bennett on the original production. This will be the first London revival since the historic original production at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane in 1976. It will be produced in the West End by Mark Goucher, Adam Kenwright, ACT Productions, Tim Lawson, Daniel Sparrow & Mike Walsh Productions.
A Chorus Line follows the trials and tribulations of a group of dancers auditioning for a new Broadway musical. As they continue to get whittled down to a final line, we hear their personal stories told in a honest and sometimes frank way, as the Director asks them about their dancing aspirations. Their personalities begin to show, and we start to understand exactly what such a part would mean to them along with a mix of touching and amusing personal stories. The show was made into a film which starred Michael Douglass, although the most interesting film about the show is a documentary called ‘Every Little Step’ that charts the story of the show as a whole, including auditions for the Broadway revival.
The original musical came out of a number of taped workshop sessions with Broadway ‘gypsies’, or dancers. Michael Bennett along with Michon Peacock and Tony Stevens encouraged honest stories, and many of the characters in the musical were extensions of these real life characters. Some members of this company ended up in the original production, which also starred Priscilla Lopez, Robert LuPone and Donna McKennie.
The show is famous for its bare stage and lack of set, as just a solid line is painted along which the dancers stand throughout. This will be a break from past London Palladium shows which have tended to be larger scale ‘family’ shows, such as Sister Act, The Sound of Music, and The Wizard of Oz. A Chorus Line will follow the previously announced seasonal production of Leslie Bricusse’s Scrooge.
Check back here for full ticketing information for the new London production, which will play from Feb 2nd – June 29th, with performances Monday – Saturday at 7.45pm including 3pm matinees on Wednesday and Saturday.