Before LaLa Land there was A Chorus Line
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.