The original Broadway production, directed and choreographed by Michael Bennett, was an unprecedented box office and critical hit, receiving 12 Tony Award nominations and winning nine of them. It remains the fifth longest-running Broadway show ever. The show has enjoyed many successful productions worldwide and was revived on Broadway in 2006.
One of the greatest nights in the theatre for me was in 1976 at the opening night of the Australian premiere at Her Majesty Theatre down at Chinatown. There was a lot of hype and in those times openings were very glamorous affairs, I’ll never forget we attended as a group of Les Girls showgirls and we had tickets about four or five rows from the back in the circle. Those circle seats at Her Maj were as steep as all hell and just getting in and out was hilarious – sorry but I digress the revival bit set me off.
So true to the original, this production is directed and choreographed by Baayork Lee, Michael Bennett’s assistant who played out her life story as Connie Wong in the original production of A Chorus Line on Broadway. Now, trained by Bennett himself, she travels the world mounting productions of this seminal musical.
With nineteen main characters, it is set on the bare stage of a Broadway theatre during an audition for a musical. The show provides a glimpse into the personalities of the performers and the choreographer as they describe the events that have shaped their lives and their decisions to become dancers. It’s often referred to as the dancer’s musical.