Be­fore LaLa Land there was A Cho­rus Line

The Tribune (NZ) - - ENJOY -

It comes as no sur­prise Hol­ly­wood movie La La Land re­ceived 14 Academy Award nom­i­na­tions.

Back in the 1970s it sur­prised noone that hit mu­si­cal A Cho­rus Line won nine Tony Awards and was the long­est run­ning show on Broadway (6137 per­for­mances) un­til sur­passed by CATS.

Both the movie and mu­si­cal share strong sim­i­lar­i­ties, not just be­cause of their suc­cess but be­cause of their con­tent. In fact it’s likely A Cho­rus Line was the in­spi­ra­tion be­hind Amer­ica’s Got

Tal­ent, X Fac­tor and, in par­tic­u­lar, Danc­ing with the Stars.

In turn Mandy Moore, whose credits in­clude Danc­ing with the

Stars and Amer­i­can Idol is the chore­og­ra­pher for La La Land.

La La Land tells the story of Mia, an as­pir­ing ac­tress, and Se­bas­tian, a jazz pi­anist, who meet and fall in love in Los An­ge­les. In be­tween times they face re­jec­tion and failed au­di­tions be­fore she be­comes es­tab­lished and suc­cess­ful and he runs his own jazz club.

In­ter­spersed be­tween their re­la­tion­ship, sep­a­ra­tion and chal­lenges are some in­cred­i­ble songs and ex­cit­ing dance se­quences, real and imag­i­nary, in­volv­ing them both and an en­sem­ble of hoofers.

A Cho­rus Line is cen­tred on 19 Broadway dancers who au­di­tion for spots on a cho­rus line. The mu­si­cal is set on a Broadway stage dur­ing the au­di­tion. Through his mu­sic, Marvin Ham­lisch, an Os­car win­ner him­self, pro­vides a win­dow into their per­son­al­i­ties as they de­scribe the events and peo­ple who have shaped their lives.

Sounds sim­i­lar? Of course they are. The themes res­onate and one could have in­spired the other. How­ever, when creative minds get to­gether they fash­ion some­thing very in­di­vid­ual. La La Land di­rec­tor Damien Chazelle wrote the screen­play for the movie and his ideas ex­ploded from there.

Ham­lisch took Ed­win Kle­ban’s lyrics and wrote what is con­sid­ered his great­est work. The man who com­posed The Way We Were, Look­ing Through the Eyes of Love

and Break it to Me Gen­tly wrote such en­dur­ing songs for A Cho­rus

Line as I Can Do That, What I Did For Love, Hello Twelve, Hello

Thir­teen, Hello Love and the pow­er­ful en­sem­ble num­ber, One, which leads to the sen­sa­tional fi­nale.

Look­ing back La La Land is a clas­sic Os­car nom­i­nated movie that’ll be­come a Broadway mu­si­cal.

A Cho­rus Line has al­ready achieved that. It’s a box of­fice hit that be­came a movie star­ring Michael Dou­glas and is now com­ing to Palmer­ston North for the very first time.

See one on the screen, ex­pe­ri­ence the other in the the­atre. They came from the same place and then stamped their own unique ge­nius on the di­a­logue, the songs and the move­ment.

A Cho­rus Line, pre­sented by Re­gent on Broadway Pro­duc­tions, runs from April 19-23. Book­ings at Tick­et­Di­rect.

ACho­rus Linecom­pany in re­hearsal for their April pro­duc­tion un­der di­rec­tor Dean McKer­ras.

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