VINTAGE PLAYBILL: A Chorus Line Opening Night, 1975, to the End of the Line, 1990

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25 Jul 2013

On this date in history, the original production of A Chorus Line began its legendary Broadway run.

The Tony- and Pulitzer Prize-winning musical began its life as a meeting of Broadway dancers in a downtown studio. Among those in attendance was Michael Bennett, who would later direct and choreograph. 

"I brought along a tape recorder," Bennett recalled in an interview with the New York Times, "and we talked for hours about what we were doing, what we were after."

Through extensive workshopping produced by the Public Theater, the musical was culled from the hours of recorded sessions and featured music by Marvin Hamlisch, lyrics by Edward Kleban, and a book by James Kirkwood and Nicholas Dante.

The Public's Off-Broadway mounting in April 1975 became an immediate, sold-out hit through word of mouth.

The musical premiered on Broadway at the Shubert Theatre on July 25, 1975. When it closed 15 years later, it was the longest-running show in Broadway history. (It would be surpassed by Cats seven years later and is now the sixth-longest Broadway run.)

Revisit the Broadway life of A Chorus Line from opening night through 15 years of commemorative Playbill covers in the Playbill Vault:


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