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re: Harold Prince: The Director's Life and the case for original productions
Posted by: JereNYC (JereNYC@aol.com) 01:28 pm EST 12/03/18
In reply to: re: Harold Prince: The Director's Life and the case for original productions - showtunetrivia 12:52 pm EST 12/02/18

I too have been longing for a new take on A CHORUS LINE for, at least, 20 years. But I'm not convinced it's ever going to happen in any of our lifetimes. I would think that a new staging of ACL, in particular, would be the calling card of any exciting new director/choreographer who wanted to make a splash and show off what he/she can do.

There are just too many people with direct connections back to Bennett who make a living recreating the original staging over and over again. It's not difficult for any theatre at any level to find someone with access to the ACL bible to come in and stage your production. And, I imagine those same choreographers who might otherwise chomp at the bit to do their own ACL might be intimidated by the brilliance of the original and the fact that that staging has never gone away and is so fresh in the minds of so many. Even the most dazzling work might be seen to be inferior.

So, I think we're stuck with A CHORUS LINE as a museum piece...there just doesn't seem to be the will in any quarter to do anything new with it.

You know what I'd also be interested in? A new take on the idea. A CHORUS LINE is largely about the life of chorus gypsies in the late 60's and early-mid 70's when the dancers who participated in the original recording sessions were active. I'd love to see a new team investigate what life is like for chorus gypsies in the 21st Century and build a show around those ideas and compare and contrast with the original show. Some it is probably very similar, but some is also likely very different. For example, where a couple of the dancers bring up THE RED SHOES as a particular inspiration in A CHORUS LINE, I imagine that more than one dancer in a new show would bring up A CHORUS LINE itself as an inspiration. It would also be interesting to see a more diverse cast of characters...ACL was probably at the forefront of diversity in musicals at the time, but a show with this many characters that features one black character, one Asian character, and only 2 gay characters seems...well...diversity-lite, I guess.
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