What They Did for Love

Senior Editor Maria Hess dishes on Delaware’s arts scene. Got a show you want to discuss? You’re on.

The national tour of “A Chorus Line” plays the DuPont Theatre thru March 7. This is no ordinary show; it’s the icon’s 30th anniversary production. “A Chorus Line” is the longest running American musical in Broadway history.

The winner of nine Tony Awards and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, “A Chorus Line” showcases a group of dancers auditioning for a Broadway musical while revealing their individual stories, personal joys and disappointments.

Those individual stories and personal joys, by the way, are real. According to a report by Campbell Robertson of The New York Times, several Broadway dancers gathered in 1974 to discuss their struggles and bare their souls about the hardcore biz. The conversations were taped, then later shaped by choreographer Michael Bennett, who “would become the foundation of “A Chorus Line,” wrote Robertson. While the dancers sold their stories to Bennett for $1 each, “and shared in the royalties from the show—at times up to $10,000 a year—they have always questioned whether they have been fairly compensated and acknowledged.”

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This new production opened to rave reviews on Broadway in 2006, and has performed well, both theatrically and in ticket sales, on the road. Ben Brantley of The New York Times called the redo “Heaven on Broadway,” while Elysa Gardner of USA Today said the show “still has a freshness and fervency too seldom seen in contemporary musicals.”

“A Chorus Line” was conceived, originally choreographed and directed by Bennett, and still features the book by James Kirkwood and Nicholas Dante. The music is classic Marvin Hamlisch, with lyrics by Edward Kleban. The songs, such as “What I Did for Love” and “The Music in the Mirror,” are some of the most memorable Broadway tunes ever written. Baayork Lee re-staged the original choreography.

Contact info: 656-4401, duponttheatre.com

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