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Retrospective - 1985's "A Chorus Line"

It was (and remains) an iconic Broadway show, but as a feature film for the rubes who never saw it on Broadway or the West End, it just couldn't measure up to its own hype. People expected it to be a smash hit, but it lost millions at the box office. It was directed by Oscar winner Richard Attenborough, and starred white-hot Michael Douglas in the lead role. It even had choreographers and set pieces taken almost directly from "Flashdance." In other words, it was set up to be a winner. And yet, it wasn't. It was nominated for all the big awards, but lost to films both subtler ("Prizzi's Honor") and grander ("Amadeus" was the smash hit that year). When people talk about the show today, they're still almost always talking about the original stage productions and the revivals, and this movie is swept aside like an ugly stepsister.

So what's the story? How could such a beloved stage musical be such a flop as a feature film? Was it timing? Style? Or was the original stage show simply overrated to begin with?

Also, it's free to watch on YouTube at the link below. Cheap Cunts rejoice!

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by Anonymousreply 291January 24, 2022 7:00 PM

The movie just wasn't very good. I've never seen the stage show, as I love film and not theater, so I'm willing to believe that the show is dazzling on stage, because the whole shebang is obviously designed around the medium of the stage. It puts the bare stage itself front and center, makes it the center of the show's universe and everyone's reason for being there, it it both the prize everyone is striving for and the womb where they can relax and open up.

And we film geeks do not love the stage the way theater geeks do, and like our films to have a bit more scope and movement. And more of a story.

by Anonymousreply 1January 16, 2022 6:26 PM

The movie sucked!!

by Anonymousreply 2January 16, 2022 6:29 PM

Vicki Frederick and Audrey Landers are the best parts of the movie. Of course, I believe both were in the Broadway production at some point. Gregg Burge isn't bad either.

The problem is Attenborough didn't get the source material at all. When the key song of the movie is treated as a throwaway number, you know you're in trouble. And Allyson Reed was all kinds of wrong for Cassie.

I'm still baffled at who saw Ghandi and thought that Richard Attenborough was a perfect choice to direct a musical?

by Anonymousreply 3January 16, 2022 6:32 PM

Did Meg Telly audition for it?

by Anonymousreply 4January 16, 2022 6:32 PM

[Quote] Vicki Frederick and Audrey Landers are the best parts of the movie. Of course, I believe both were in the Broadway production at some point.

You believe Audrey Landers was in the Broadway production? Shirley you jest.

by Anonymousreply 5January 16, 2022 6:32 PM

no, but meg tilly did audition for amadeus

by Anonymousreply 6January 16, 2022 6:32 PM

A really bad movie, wrong decisions at every turn

by Anonymousreply 7January 16, 2022 6:32 PM

Reed beat out Ann Reinking for the role.

by Anonymousreply 8January 16, 2022 6:33 PM

It's obvious OP has never seen the movie or he wouldn't have made such a long-winded, naive post.

by Anonymousreply 9January 16, 2022 6:34 PM

I saw the play when it (finally) made it to SF and was knocked out but back in the 70s it didn't take much to be impressed and I was young.

Stage to screen is always difficult but with Chorus Line it was a disaster. Attenborough is no Bob Fosse.

by Anonymousreply 10January 16, 2022 6:38 PM

I liked it when it came out, only because I was 18, had never seen the stage production, and had no knowledge of what entails a good movie. It was entertaining, and that was good enough for me. So, for unschooled and naive minds, it's a interesting film.

by Anonymousreply 11January 16, 2022 6:38 PM

R9 That's where you're wrong. My grandmother loved this movie (especially when drunk) and I've seen it many times.

It's boring and full of nobodies. But so what? Plenty of other movies are as well. If people had rushed to see it and said it sucked - like they do with today's superhero movies, or a sequel that didn't need to be made - that would be one thing. But this movie didn't sell tickets. People didn't see it at all. And I wonder why.

by Anonymousreply 12January 16, 2022 6:40 PM

Everyone who was interested in this film in 1985 would have seen "All That Jazz" in 1979/1980, and of course "A Chorus Line" suffers by comparison! "ATJ" was a tight and stylish film, and the opening is a dazzling use of the camera in a theater, and "ACL" is neither tight not dazzling. It's like Attenborough decided not to do anything fancy with the camera, to just let the audience feel the claustrophobia of the theater setting, there's nothing cinematic about it at all.

Attenborough should have been locked in a screening room and forced to watch "All That Jazz" for about a week, until he got angry enough to pick it apart and decide he could do something better and more cinematic. Because yes, if you're going to make a film about theater, you have to be cinematic and Attenborough wasn't!

by Anonymousreply 13January 16, 2022 6:43 PM

Amadeus was released the year before ACL, OP.

by Anonymousreply 14January 16, 2022 6:44 PM

R14 Shit. You're right. The bigger movies of its year were "Out of Africa" and "The Color Purple."

Now THOSE are two movies on which the gays have wildly different opinions!

by Anonymousreply 15January 16, 2022 6:46 PM

The choreography is just terrible. I think the most jaw dropping change from the original is giving Bebe mental health issues and then giving her the job when, in the stage version, she’s cut at the end.

by Anonymousreply 16January 16, 2022 6:56 PM

I love the twist at the end, when he calls forward the eight polished and experienced dancers, who all think they've gotten the part, only for him to dismiss them as cut. The eight losers quietly light up as they realize they got it.

by Anonymousreply 17January 16, 2022 7:08 PM

But don't they all then dance during One?

I found the ending confusing. There's like a thousand people on stage. Were those supposed to represent everyone who was auditioning? It takes you out of the movie.

by Anonymousreply 18January 16, 2022 7:11 PM

Does the movie have Cassie not get the job?

by Anonymousreply 19January 16, 2022 7:13 PM

the film makes her into a aerobics success

by Anonymousreply 20January 16, 2022 7:16 PM

The play has shown itself to not be very good either, and truly a period piece. Burge gave the one dancing moment in the movie that should be remembered. Attenborough was the wrong choice, obviously, but the source material and concept might be unadaptable. Fosse said he would have done it if he were asked since Star 80 made him box office poison. Now THAT might have been interesting because he would have worked to try to show he wasn't a has been and also to claim ownership of a show that had been his nemesis.

by Anonymousreply 21January 16, 2022 7:17 PM

"I found the ending confusing. There's like a thousand people on stage. Were those supposed to represent everyone who was auditioning?"

I thought that the basis of the show was that the audition was to replace people in a pre-existing chorus line? That there was already a large show in progress, 8 chorus dancers had left, 8 new ones were needed.

by Anonymousreply 22January 16, 2022 7:20 PM

[quote]I found the ending confusing. There's like a thousand people on stage. Were those supposed to represent everyone who was auditioning?

I thought that the basis of the show was that the audition was to replace people in a pre-existing chorus line? That there was already a large show in progress, 8 chorus dancers had left, 8 new ones were needed.

by Anonymousreply 23January 16, 2022 7:21 PM

That was Datalounge's fault, not mine.

by Anonymousreply 24January 16, 2022 7:24 PM

The stage version opens towards the end of a long audition. Dancers are cut and the remaining dancers are asked to talk about themselves. The movie starts at the beginning of the audition where hundreds show up to get their chance. They opened the show up for film.

by Anonymousreply 25January 16, 2022 7:55 PM

I know I’m in the minority here but I love this stupid movie. My brother and I (yes, two gays in one family) loved this growing up, even though we were young we knew it was shitty but in a good way and we loved quoting from it and loved the tacky 80s arrangements and dancing.

by Anonymousreply 26January 17, 2022 4:13 PM

The movie was released during MTV's prime. Nothing in this movie even remotely competes with the best videos of that time

by Anonymousreply 27January 17, 2022 5:03 PM

The ending of the (gawd-awful) movie matches up with the way the play ends--the entire cast (including all the dancers who were dismissed at the very beginning) return for "One" done as a finished production number. It's not a part of the story--it's a curtain call for the entire cast.

I read a review of the movie that said something like "Everyone who sees "A Chorus Line" [the play] "gets" it. The movie makes it obvious that Attenborough never saw the play."

by Anonymousreply 28January 17, 2022 5:57 PM

Who ends up getting cut in the stage version? Does Cassie get cut?

by Anonymousreply 29January 17, 2022 6:01 PM

I haven't seen the film since it came out, but I remember that a lot of dialog coming from two gay characters was cut from the stage version, especially the character Paul, whose major confessional scene was basically cut in half.

I thought that was an unforgivable thing for the film to do, especially considering it was made during the early years of AIDS and how important it was to have a gay presence in cinema.

Also I may be wrong, but when What I Did For Love is sung on the stage, it's in relation to the character's relationship to theater.

But in the movie, I think it was a relationship with the director maybe (?)

Maybe I'm misremembering that.

I do know songs were shifted around or completely cut, and for me, all of the changes turned the movie into a travesty.

by Anonymousreply 30January 17, 2022 6:35 PM

It's like "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil", a movie where the director just didn't get what made the source material so outstanding.

by Anonymousreply 31January 17, 2022 6:42 PM

R31... Excellent example!

by Anonymousreply 32January 17, 2022 6:47 PM

He didn't get it atcall, and made a boring film with no style or humour.

by Anonymousreply 33January 17, 2022 6:55 PM

R30 - the movie lacked a lot of the gay content. And you're right about "What I Did for Love."

In the play, Paul's monologue brings the character to life and makes the audience care about him, even though, on paper, he would not be someone many in the audience would find relatable. When he's injured, the audience really feels for him. That's when the director asks the dancers what would it mean to them if they could no longer dance, and Diana sings "What I Did for Love."

Of course, the movie was doomed to fail the minute it was decided the movie of "A Chorus Line" would be about a heterosexual romance.

by Anonymousreply 34January 17, 2022 6:56 PM

I think it would be tough to make a good movie based on "A Chorus Line" because the show just seems to be made to be seen live. Even the minimalist staging adds to the experience, as the story is told without a lot of props, scenery or costumes.

"Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil" would also be a challenge. So much goes on in the book, and lot of the details are important to the story.

I think in the case of both movies, someone figured that it wasn't going to be possible to do a good adaptation, so they decided not to even try.

by Anonymousreply 35January 17, 2022 7:01 PM

R29 - “ Who ends up getting cut in the stage version? Does Cassie get cut?”

Cassie is cast in the stage version. I don’t recall right now, who didn’t make it.

by Anonymousreply 36January 17, 2022 7:02 PM

Cassie gets the job in the film version right after she fucks up What I Did For Love.

by Anonymousreply 37January 17, 2022 10:08 PM

The surprise was how really good Audrey Landers was.

by Anonymousreply 38January 17, 2022 10:27 PM

I blame Judy Landers for people thinking Audrey Landers had no talent.

by Anonymousreply 39January 17, 2022 10:32 PM

Gregg Burge was probably the greatest show dancer in the era along with Hinton Battle and Don Correia. I remembered watching Surprise in the theater and even those in the audience who were hating the movie applauded.

by Anonymousreply 40January 17, 2022 10:34 PM

Who was the hot guy who got little air time? I remember his audtiion was when Cassie and Zack were talking - He did some sort of zany tap dance? Also one of the solid gold dancers was in this too. I was hoping for more butt sex

by Anonymousreply 41January 17, 2022 10:39 PM

Audrey Landers tits never looked that big. This confused me as a child.

by Anonymousreply 42January 17, 2022 11:13 PM

R42 I never even knew she HAD tits. I only knew her from the syndicated newspaper column, where she gave advice to made-up letter-writers.

by Anonymousreply 43January 17, 2022 11:16 PM

It is fun to watch how Audrey Landers pops in and out of the dance numbers when they get too hard. At the end of Surprise, Surprise when they take their pose she's just missing.

She did act and sing the part well but how a non-dancer got the part was crazy. Supposedly there was a calendar issued at the time and in one of the photos she is extending the wrong leg. Everyone else has the right one out and she has the left or vice versa.

by Anonymousreply 44January 17, 2022 11:18 PM

Aw the hot guy was Charles McGowan and he's dead now.

by Anonymousreply 45January 17, 2022 11:19 PM

yeah McGowan had some odd birth defect (I think he lacked a pelvis if that is possible) He was never thought to be able to walk and then he became a dancer. He had bad luck. Not sure if the birth defect played a part in his death.

(I once read a tribute his son wrote and put online somewhere.)

by Anonymousreply 46January 17, 2022 11:21 PM

I heard that, you bitch r42

by Anonymousreply 47January 17, 2022 11:26 PM

[Quote] She did act and sing the part well but how a non-dancer got the part was crazy. Supposedly there was a calendar issued at the time and in one of the photos she is extending the wrong leg. Everyone else has the right one out and she has the left or vice versa.

It's callled: Pulling Focus.

by Anonymousreply 48January 17, 2022 11:27 PM

My mom took me to see "A Chorus Line" (stage) and it was awesome.

IMO, the movie was not bad, maybe my expectations were low. I watched it recently. I think it was free on Amazon Prime. Michael Douglas was very handsome. The subplot of his ex-GF applying for a job was cheesy.

by Anonymousreply 49January 17, 2022 11:35 PM

[quote]Allyson Reed

Spit when you say that name, R3. She's the Davida of Broadway.

by Anonymousreply 50January 18, 2022 12:40 AM

I think one of the broadway Val’s was Audreys dance double. Gregg Burge went into the broadway production AFTER doing the movie but didn’t stay long. He was one of the greatest dancers I’ve ever seen and audiences loved him. RIP

by Anonymousreply 51January 18, 2022 12:44 AM

I noticed that Audrey Landers would disappear from some shots when the dancing got more challenging, but beyond that I thought she did a nice job with “Dance: Ten, Looks: Three”.

Tony Fields was a cutie, too!

by Anonymousreply 52January 18, 2022 12:46 AM

Vicki Frederick was a great Cassie on broadway. She wore her hair in a ponytail and during Music and the Mirror she shook her head back and forth and her hair came out of the pony. It was a real MARY moment.

by Anonymousreply 53January 18, 2022 12:55 AM

In a musical about dancing, you never really see Audrey Landers dance.

by Anonymousreply 54January 18, 2022 12:59 AM

R54, it's about dancing but you didn't have to be a dancer to be in the show. Ann Reinking said they often used non-dancers because it was easy to teach them the steps. Some roles, like Connie or Maggie, which were specialty roles, were often filled by non-dancers.

by Anonymousreply 55January 18, 2022 1:03 AM

In hindsight, from today's standpoint, they should have just filmed the stage version and released it (in a version edited for the screen, of course) a la "Hamilton." But they just weren't doing that in 1985. It would have been a much better film than the boring, re-imagined 1985 "Chorus Line."

by Anonymousreply 56January 18, 2022 1:04 AM

Even Michael Bennett didn’t think the show would work as a movie.

by Anonymousreply 57January 18, 2022 1:06 AM

The guy in the white tank top is porn actor Cole Carpenter. He has a credit in the film.

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by Anonymousreply 58January 18, 2022 1:07 AM

Blane Savage, the dancer who bitches about missing is waiter shift is a blond Kevin Nealon, which caused me to hate him intensely.

by Anonymousreply 59January 18, 2022 1:10 AM

R53, Vicki was one of the few Cassies I've ever seen where I believed she had a career outside of the chorus. She seemed out of place on the line, the one your eye kept going to. Her hair was in a tight ponytail during the show and it made her look very professional, almost balletic. When she pulled it down during MATM, it was amazing. She did indeed rock that long hair like no one else.

by Anonymousreply 60January 18, 2022 1:23 AM

Why was Michael Douglas in it? This was around the time he was making "Romancing the Stone," and was the industry's leading man. So why would he take this weird, in-the-shadows part where he probably got scale pay and hardly had any lines or focus in the entire picture?

by Anonymousreply 61January 18, 2022 1:29 AM

You think he wasn't paid much? Bless your heart.

by Anonymousreply 62January 18, 2022 1:53 AM

Vicki Frederick is in the multi-Cassie 1983 performance of "Music and the Mirror." The hair is indeed magnificent but she has trouble keeping up. Was she a huge smoker or something?

by Anonymousreply 63January 18, 2022 1:54 AM

[quote] So why would he take this weird, in-the-shadows part where he probably got scale pay and hardly had any lines or focus in the entire picture?

A Chorus Line was supposed to be the next Grease, both long running Broadway musicals turned into huge musicals. However, it didn’t happen with ACL.

I think Douglas took it because it was a musical which was different from anything he’d done before.

by Anonymousreply 64January 18, 2022 2:21 AM

Vicki was (is?) a smoker. She had also put on a little weight (not a bad thing) prior to the gala performance. Still looked gorgeous. She married and divorced a few times and never had to work again.

by Anonymousreply 65January 18, 2022 2:28 AM

Almost directly after Chorus Line, Frederick played an Eileen Brennan/Private Benjamin type in a stewardess comedy. I guess she might have been about 40, but actresses usually hold on to "sexy" as long as possible.

by Anonymousreply 66January 18, 2022 2:52 AM

Vicki was married to the head of one of the studios, which was how she got All the Marbles. After she divorced him, she married an uber rich guy in Beverly Hills and they're either divorced or separated. She's very well off. I mean very well off,. But she was also smart enough to know when her time had passed. And she was such a heavy smoker that she tried to sneak puffs in between takes of All the Marbles.

by Anonymousreply 67January 18, 2022 2:59 AM

Vicki is also in a terrible movie called Scissors starring DL fave Miss Sharon Stone. Everyone in it is terrible.

by Anonymousreply 68January 18, 2022 3:00 AM

And she's in a zombia movie where she's part of a female motorcycle gang.

by Anonymousreply 69January 18, 2022 3:01 AM


by Anonymousreply 70January 18, 2022 3:01 AM

[Quote] Vicki was married to the head of one of the studios, which was how she got All the Marbles.

Didn't she get it after Kathleen Turner dropped out?

by Anonymousreply 71January 18, 2022 3:02 AM

Kathleen Turner was injured and out of the running. She dodged a bullet.

by Anonymousreply 72January 18, 2022 3:13 AM

I'm still baffled at anyone who thought that Richard Attenborough was a perfect choice to direct Ghandi!

by Anonymousreply 73January 18, 2022 3:20 AM

Kathleen dropped out after she injured her ankle during the wrestling training.

Vicki was also in Happy Days where she pretty much danced the Trumpet Solo from Dancin, which she did on tour and also Mork and Mindy, where her good looks threatened co-star Raquel Welch.

by Anonymousreply 74January 18, 2022 3:32 AM

Mandy Patinkin almost played Zach but then Douglas got it.

Romancing the Stone came out right when ACL was filming. Douglas probably thought ACL would be a hit like it was on stage. His film career was starting to lag pre-Romancing the Stone so he probably didn't know when he took ACL that Romancing would be such a smash and ACL would bomb.

by Anonymousreply 75January 18, 2022 3:37 AM

"The guy in the white tank top is porn actor Cole Carpenter. He has a credit in the film."

Wasn't Matthew Reed, the guy who played the gay stripper -- and Marilu Henner's boyfriend -- in "Perfect" also a gay porn star? He had a "perfect" porn star body. John Travolta may have had a "hand" in hiring him. And he never appeared in another legitimate motion picture again (that I've seen anyway).

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by Anonymousreply 76January 18, 2022 3:42 AM

I remember when the film version of ACL came out, it was playing in the same theater as Jewel of the Nile, a twin theater in my hometown. Michael Douglas' name was all over the enormous marquee of the theater out front. We went to see them both during Christmas break and thought they were both awful.

by Anonymousreply 77January 18, 2022 3:44 AM

Kathleen Turner had to be sued to get her to do Jewel of the Nile. She knew it was awful but had signed a contract obligating her to do a sequel.

by Anonymousreply 78January 18, 2022 3:52 AM

The same characters get cast in the film as in the play except Bebe gets cast and Judy doesn't. (To allow for the Bebe mental breakdown confession. I actually like that part of the film. That actress is touching and the best female dancer in the film. She's great when she gets pulled out front to demonstrate how the dance should go in the opening number.)

by Anonymousreply 79January 18, 2022 3:54 AM

Charles McGowen, Tony Fields and Gregg Burke died way too young 😟.

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by Anonymousreply 80January 18, 2022 3:58 AM

The actress who plays Bebe is also in Showgirls. She plays Gaye the dance captain who met her husband when she chipped her tooth on a qualude.

by Anonymousreply 81January 18, 2022 4:00 AM

those three have a fantastic dance moment together in Surprise Surprise r80. I guess they were considered the best of the male dancers and given the solo.

by Anonymousreply 82January 18, 2022 4:02 AM

I thought I played Gay in Showgirls!

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by Anonymousreply 83January 18, 2022 4:06 AM

[quote] Who ends up getting cut in the stage version? Does Cassie get cut?

Worse--Michael orders her killed and then eaten by the auditioners. But they give even better after that.

by Anonymousreply 84January 18, 2022 4:08 AM

If only for the French & Saunders parody it inspired (with Dawnn French at her most brilliant as "Cassie Broadway"), it would still have be worth remembering.

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by Anonymousreply 85January 18, 2022 4:14 AM

Paul's monologue from ACL has become one a standard go to audition piece for many actors. Thing was badly treated in film, but here is Sammy Williams having a go. Not great bootleg vid, but still worth watching.

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by Anonymousreply 86January 18, 2022 4:17 AM


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by Anonymousreply 87January 18, 2022 4:18 AM

I just watched it for the first time. I thought the main problem was that most of the actors playing the dancers just didn’t have any charisma (and in many cases weren’t very good). It seems telling that none of them were ever heard from again, in the movies anyway. I get that it would be a hard movie to cast though, given that the cast have to be excellent dancers.

And the movie keeps cutting away to the travails of Cassie, even in the middle of songs… and again the actress is just completely uninteresting. That part needed to be played by someone with star quality to justify all the time spent on her.

Audrey Landers looked like Nomi Malone… except that Nomi would have had the tits that the character sings about.

by Anonymousreply 88January 18, 2022 4:22 AM

Manual Ramos from the documentary "Every Little Step" about the 2006 revival of ACL.

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by Anonymousreply 89January 18, 2022 4:25 AM

Jason Tam’s audition for Paul in the revival had everyone in tears. Just check out Every Little Step.

by Anonymousreply 90January 18, 2022 4:31 AM

Charles McGowan stole the movie straight out from everyone. I wonder what Gene, Donald, Ray and Fred thought. Fred was still with us in '85, wasn't he?

by Anonymousreply 91January 18, 2022 4:33 AM

From ACL film Wiki page...

"As Kelly Bishop, who played Sheila in the original Broadway cast, later noted, "it was appalling when director Richard Attenborough went on a talk show and said 'this is a story about kids trying to break into show business.' I almost tossed my TV out the window; I mean what an idiot! It's about veteran dancers looking for one last job before it's too late for them to dance anymore. No wonder the film sucked!""

That pretty much sums things up nicely. Few to anyone involved on the "suits" side got what ACL was about. In fact highly doubt many of those in front of camera did either, and end result shows.

ACL the play like opening cattle call scene in film All That Jazz captured the essence of dancers and dance.

"God I'm a dancer, a dancer dances"!

Truer words were never spoken, and it's something those who seriously devote their lives to that art are so passionate about things. Cattle calls have to be one of the most humiliating and dehumanizing ways to get a job, but dancers go through with them all in hope of landing a gig.

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by Anonymousreply 92January 18, 2022 4:33 AM

It's such a weird musical. I've always thought it's so beloved because there was nothing very much like it when it premiered and because Broadway aficionados LOVE Broadway shows about show biz (cf. "Gypsy," "Follies"), but it's not otherwise a great show and doesn't hold up that well. There are a few really fine songs (the opening number, "What I Did for Love," "One") but most of the show consists of what should really be forgettable novelty numbers ("Sing," "Dance Ten, Looks Three," "Nothing"), and none of the characters is very developed--except for Sheila, they're all cardboard stereotypes at best, and Michael himself is not even two-dimensional.

The worst thing about the movie was the re-orchestration of the songs. Marvin Hamlisch's score, especially the opening number, sound so much more powerful when played by a full thunderous orchestra rather than by tinny synthesizers.

by Anonymousreply 93January 18, 2022 4:35 AM

For R90

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by Anonymousreply 94January 18, 2022 4:35 AM

Lesley Ann Warren was also up for Cassie. How on earth did they go with Alyson? Also, Cassie making an entrance after the audition had started was in an early preview at The Public to give Donna an entrance. It didn’t work and it made Cassie unlikable so, of course, they included it in the film.

by Anonymousreply 95January 18, 2022 4:38 AM


Exactly why film of ACL should have been made far sooner, moment simply had passed ten or so years later.

by Anonymousreply 96January 18, 2022 4:40 AM

I do like Cassie's drive in the cab to the theater. You see the Twin Towers in the foreground looking gorgeous. Nice memorial to them.

by Anonymousreply 97January 18, 2022 4:41 AM

Cattle call opening number for ACL (I Hope I Get It) with OBC. Thank God for bootleg videos!

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by Anonymousreply 98January 18, 2022 4:41 AM

"As Kelly Bishop, who played Sheila in the original Broadway cast, later noted, "it was appalling when director Richard Attenborough went on a talk show and said 'this is a story about kids trying to break into show business.' I almost tossed my TV out the window; I mean what an idiot! It's about veteran dancers looking for one last job before it's too late for them to dance anymore. No wonder the film sucked!""

that reads a bit as Bishop being self-involved. Her character is looking for a last job. Some of the others (Mark) are looking for their first one. Bishop seems like a nasty person in most of those books about the show.

by Anonymousreply 99January 18, 2022 4:42 AM

Was Marilu Henner ever considered for Cassie in the movie? She was probably known only as a sitcom actress but she was more known than Alyson Reed.

Maybe Patrick Swayze for Zach? He hadn’t yet done Dirty Dancing so maybe he wasn’t considered star material.

by Anonymousreply 100January 18, 2022 5:02 AM

OBC 1975 doing recording session.

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by Anonymousreply 101January 18, 2022 5:04 AM

Kelly Bishop made Sheila nasty, too. Never understood her appeal as Sheila yet I love her in every film and tv show I’ve seen her in. Some of the Sheila replacements especially Kathrynann Wright and Susan Danielle were much more vulnerable and appealing.

by Anonymousreply 102January 18, 2022 5:08 AM

Marilu Henner was doing films at that time (Perfect, The Man Who Loved Women) she might have auditioned. (and Travolta would have made a good Zach. He was a dancer. They could have put him in some of the numbers like in the show.)

by Anonymousreply 103January 18, 2022 5:24 AM

Marilu is more of a sassy Sheila.

by Anonymousreply 104January 18, 2022 5:26 AM

Actually I see her more as a Val. She's very perky. (and she never forgets her lines!)

by Anonymousreply 105January 18, 2022 5:29 AM

Deidre Goodwin was a horrendous Sheila in the 2006 revival (and I usually love Deidre). I thought it should have gone to Rachelle Rak.

by Anonymousreply 106January 18, 2022 5:31 AM

Yeah Goodwin was awful. No humor, just sassy.

That whole production was miscast.

by Anonymousreply 107January 18, 2022 5:32 AM

oops the Val was great.

by Anonymousreply 108January 18, 2022 5:32 AM

I also thought the Bebe was terrific (Alisan Porter).

by Anonymousreply 109January 18, 2022 5:35 AM

Oh, and Chryssie Whitehead was great, as was Mara Davi. And Jason Tam. They actually had a good cast. Deidre was one of the few lowlights. The Morales was lousy, and the guy who played Mike was underwhelming.

by Anonymousreply 110January 18, 2022 5:37 AM

I can't believe Charlotte d'Amoise got a Tony nomination over the Val (I don't remember the Bebe that well but I'll take your word on it r109)

(Charlotte's botox could be seen from the balcony last row)

by Anonymousreply 111January 18, 2022 5:37 AM

oops you are correct r110. I take back my other comment.

by Anonymousreply 112January 18, 2022 5:38 AM

As a gayling I always dreamed of being One Singular Sensation someday. Gold lamé is my signature color.

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by Anonymousreply 113January 18, 2022 5:39 AM

Michael Douglas overacts. There is a part where he yells at Cassie that is so over the top. I wonder how much he was even there. The filmed for months but he probably only shot for a few days. Just reaction shots sitting in the theater.

by Anonymousreply 114January 18, 2022 5:42 AM

How come there are hundreds of dancers on the stage in the finale?

by Anonymousreply 115January 18, 2022 5:43 AM

r115 I think they just decided to recreate when ACL became the longest running show in Broadway history and they did that. They filled the stage and whole theater with dancers.

I guess it is supposed to symbolize all the aspiring dancers there are out there. (supposedly someone falls down during the finale but I've never been able to spot it.)

by Anonymousreply 116January 18, 2022 5:47 AM

R26 did you and your gay brother learn the dance moves or do the kicks of the finale?

by Anonymousreply 117January 18, 2022 5:52 AM

Bishop was great but there were many other Sheilas that were just as good in different ways. Fosse's Charlene Ryan played Sheila in LA and was surprisingly powerful, almost scary in her intimidation. Jane Summerhays who was the international Sheila was perhaps the most likable Sheila and had a great career after ACL.

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by Anonymousreply 118January 18, 2022 5:58 AM

The dancers multiplying into a faceless mass at the end are a representation of the idea that after everything we’ve heard about the actors as individuals, they will all become anonymous bodies in the chorus line.

It’s not meant to be something that really happens.

by Anonymousreply 119January 18, 2022 6:17 AM

Charlotte looked like Mario Lopez’s aunt. What a mismatch.

by Anonymousreply 120January 18, 2022 6:28 AM

R58 "The guy in the white tank top is porn actor Cole Carpenter. He has a credit in the film."

I'm a little doubtful that the guy is actually Cole Carpenter. He does look similar, and though the credit is listed on IMDB, it does not appear in the list of dancers at the end of the actual movie. IMDB could be incorrect.

AND, most importantly, judging by the attached video, Cole Carpenter can't dance for shit!

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by Anonymousreply 121January 18, 2022 8:36 AM

Don't believe those score or more of "extra" dancers all received credit in ACL film. It has been ages so would have to watch end credits again to check.

Name is same "Cole Carpenter", but highly doubt a porn actor with zero dance training was picked for ACL film. This despite who he would have done, and how well he did it....

Guy in white tank top executed dance moves including pirouettes good as other male dancer in that scene. This includes spotting correctly, neither is something anyone can pick up with a few quick lessons before filming of a movie.

Going by this clip, no, CC couldn't dance for shyt. But then again who knows, stranger things have happened.

Oh and before any of you old Marys start, yes posted clip again but from difference source. Linked to YT video is blocked unless one is a member and signs in....

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by Anonymousreply 122January 18, 2022 9:28 AM

[quote]Fosse said he would have done it if he were asked since Star 80 made him box office poison. Now THAT might have been interesting because he would have worked to try to show he wasn't a has been and also to claim ownership of a show that had been his nemesis.

Oh Honey, you think Academy Award winning direct Bob Fosse who directed a total of five movies that earned 28 Oscar nominations, winning 12, with three of his five films nominated for best Picture was considered "Box Office Poison" because "Star 80" wasn't a smash hit?

Can you provide a link where he says he would have directed "A Chorus Line", please?

by Anonymousreply 123January 18, 2022 10:12 AM

They cut great songs, "The Music In the Mirror" with "Let Me Dance For You", Hello Twelve, Hello Thirteen, Hello Love" with "Suprise Suprise" was ridiculous.

Went to the World Premiere at Radio City Music Hall. Someone scheduled the premiere the same night they were lightening the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree, the whole area was crazy to walk through. Got to meet Attenborough and even Audrey Landers who was so nervous she was shaking. Years later I met her again at CHILLER and we talked about how nervous she was. I have the DVD signed by her and Terrance Mann.

by Anonymousreply 124January 18, 2022 10:23 AM

The original cast reunited on "Donahue" at the end of the original run on Broadway.

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by Anonymousreply 125January 18, 2022 10:29 AM

The ending is like the ending of Places In The Heart. It’s supposed to evoke a feeling of what might have been…

by Anonymousreply 126January 18, 2022 10:40 AM

The show no longer works as the audience is no longer the audience of the 70s and early 80s. It has to be done as a period piece.

by Anonymousreply 127January 18, 2022 11:37 AM

Interesting how ACL really doesn’t work anymore yet Chicago has become even more relevant and successful over the past 25 years.

by Anonymousreply 128January 18, 2022 12:50 PM

It's pretty well regarded in the theatre community. I always took it as a view of the "behind the scenes" of a big Broadway show in order to show that the non-lead actors had humanity as well and weren't just props. The purpose of "One" was folding them back into the nameless/faceless background of every show.

I thought the Hamilton tribute was very nice. The secondary players got a chance to sing center stage.

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by Anonymousreply 129January 18, 2022 8:35 PM

It's definitely a crap film, but I play it in the background while I sew & sculpt. I wouldn't say it's a guilty pleasure, because I don't feel that way about it.

by Anonymousreply 130January 18, 2022 8:46 PM

I worked on the west coast production shortly after the Tony awards. I had not seen the show yet but knew about it. It was sold out for months. On my first day, I wandered into the auditorium and saw an audition in progress. I thought it was a rehearsal but it was Michael Bennett auditioning for the new production. I saw the show a dozen times from the back. I would go in during the show to see specific numbers. I had great hopes for the film. I was angry with disappointment. It was just awful. I have never watched it again. "Every Little Step" is the closest to the play.

by Anonymousreply 131January 18, 2022 8:46 PM

[Quote] I thought it was a rehearsal but it was Michael Bennett auditioning for the new production.

Was he auditioning for Paul?

by Anonymousreply 132January 18, 2022 8:49 PM


Chicago is a period piece with all standard trappings of a good musical or play. One or more central characters that an audience can wrap their heads around. Though set in 1920's Chicago's music is nowhere near as dated compared to ACL (play).

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by Anonymousreply 133January 18, 2022 10:19 PM

I wonder why Marvin Hamlisch agreed to cut The Music and The Mirror.

Let Me Dance for You I guess plays into the love story of the thing.

I wonder how Alyson Reed got the part. Did Attenborough ever explain his decision?

by Anonymousreply 134January 18, 2022 10:24 PM

Names bandied about for an all-star cast of "A Chorus Line" (before Attenborough took over)

Mikhail Baryshnikov as Zach

Goldie Hawn as Cassie

Michael Jackson as Paul

Debbie Allen as Diana

Rita Moreno as Sheila

Bernadette Peters as Val

by Anonymousreply 135January 18, 2022 10:28 PM

I wonder if Debbie Allen was considered for Attenborough's Cassie or if the interracial thing was taboo at that time.

Allen was really the only famous dancer of the era.

She was so good. I've seen clips of her on Fame and West Side Story and wow she could move.

by Anonymousreply 136January 18, 2022 10:36 PM

Marilyn Beck column in 1979 where Michael Jackson talks about being on the fence about the part of Paul in the movie version of "A Chorus Line"

He’s set to star in the film translation of “A Chorus Line” – playing the dancer who got his start as a female impersonator.

The last time we chatted, he said he wasn’t sure if he would accept the role, explaining with candor, “If I do it, people will link me with the part. Because of my voice, some people already think I’m that way – homo. Though I’m actually not at all.”

Now he reports his reservations about the portrayal have been swept away.

by Anonymousreply 137January 18, 2022 10:38 PM

What about Ann-Margret. I always assumed she was too old but I looked it up and she's only three years older than Douglas.

by Anonymousreply 138January 18, 2022 10:38 PM

Not true. Ann Reinking was got down to the wire for Cassie in the movie.

by Anonymousreply 139January 18, 2022 10:40 PM

*Ann Reinking got down to the wire for Cassie in the movie.

by Anonymousreply 140January 18, 2022 10:40 PM

Ann-Margret was already in TV movie hell/heaven by then.

by Anonymousreply 141January 18, 2022 10:40 PM

What did she look like in 1984? Was she in dancing shape?

Liza was at her low point. She seems quite fat in The Rink photos and went into rehab during it.

A few years later circa Stepping Out she'd have been believable.

by Anonymousreply 142January 18, 2022 10:43 PM

Was Ann Reinking really famous thou outside of Broadway insiders?

She's kind of bland in All That Jazz. Never saw her in anything else. (Oops I guess Annie but I don't really remember her in it.)

by Anonymousreply 143January 18, 2022 10:45 PM

Cassie should not be a sparkle, neely, sparkle type like Liza. Bennett didn't "make do" with McKechnie. Cassie loses out on a commercial to squeeze toilet paper. She's stuck between the chorus line and star. She can't go back and she can't go forward.

by Anonymousreply 144January 18, 2022 10:46 PM

Robert LuPone returned to the show sometime in the 80s and pulled some disruptive shit like randomly pulling dancers out of the line and asking the questions that weren’t in the script. It was jaw dropping. At one performance he was grilling the poor kid playing Mark until the actress playing Cassie stepped in. I don’t remember what she said but she was clearly pissed. I don’t know how he got away with it.

by Anonymousreply 145January 18, 2022 10:48 PM

But Reed plays her "sparkle, neely, sparkle type"

She's not stoic and hurt like the Broadway Cassie's played it.

by Anonymousreply 146January 18, 2022 10:49 PM

Do you remember who the Cassie was r145?

by Anonymousreply 147January 18, 2022 10:50 PM

I love doing the non-stop kicks at the end of One. This was a daily watch for me.

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by Anonymousreply 148January 18, 2022 10:51 PM

Ron Kuhlman the original Don had a bit of a film career. I saw him the other day in a retro special on the Brady Bunch.

He was Marcia's husband in some sequel series and movies.

by Anonymousreply 149January 18, 2022 10:52 PM

Pam Blair deserved a sitcom.

by Anonymousreply 150January 18, 2022 10:53 PM

R147. I think it was Laurie Gamache but it was a lonnnng time ago. I just remember LuPone being an asshole. I guess it runs in the family.

by Anonymousreply 151January 18, 2022 10:53 PM

probably was her r151. I think she was the only Cassie after McKecnie's return. So like 1986 until the closing.

by Anonymousreply 152January 18, 2022 10:56 PM

Mike and Maggie were married in ‘real life.’

by Anonymousreply 153January 18, 2022 10:57 PM

You'd think so r151. Strangely she never hardly ever did any. Priscilla Lopez got one but it bombed. She played a nun opposite McClean Stevenson.

(BTW Blair sadly has some medical condition. ACL alums were chipping in so she could buy a special shower for wheelchair bound people.)

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by Anonymousreply 154January 18, 2022 11:00 PM

It's a crime that they didn't give the cast points. They used their own stories.

by Anonymousreply 155January 18, 2022 11:07 PM

R155, there’s a whole lot you don’t know about ACL’s origins.

Make YouTube your friend.

Quite a few people (including original cast members) ended up doing just fine by contributing their stories.

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by Anonymousreply 156January 18, 2022 11:24 PM

[quote]Oh Honey, you think Academy Award winning direct Bob Fosse who directed a total of five movies that earned 28 Oscar nominations, winning 12, with three of his five films nominated for best Picture was considered "Box Office Poison" because "Star 80" wasn't a smash hit?

I don't know if it really got him branded "Box Office Poison" but a lot of people hated Star 80 when it came out. A brutal piece of moviemaking, even watching it now. Imagine back then in a more conservative era. When the Stratton story was still fresh on people's mind. Even those who loved the movie said it was hard to sit through.

by Anonymousreply 157January 18, 2022 11:31 PM

"Star 80" is a damn good film, that yes, hits you like a sledgehammer with sleaze and tragedy. Which was totally the director's intent, he did what he set out to do and he did it well, and I don't know why people hated the result. Maybe they just wanted to sit back and enjoy all the nudity or something, even though it was a story about a murder.

But hell, Fosse might have been able to make something of "A Chorus Line", which was so theater-bound that it would always have been a bitch to adapt to the screen. But Fosse should have been the man to try, he loved film and he loved theater, and he was fantastic with glamorous stories with a dark edge, like this one.

by Anonymousreply 158January 18, 2022 11:36 PM

I saw Star 80 is the theaters in the initial run.

I remember a moment during the rape, right before the murder, when Dorothy offers herself up for more abuse. A woman sitting in front of me got up to storm out of the theater and her purse got caught on the arm of her seat and burst open, scattering loose change. She just swore and kept going up the aisle.

It’s one of those movies I really don’t need to ever see again.

by Anonymousreply 159January 18, 2022 11:56 PM

Has anyone seen "Body Rock"?

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by Anonymousreply 160January 19, 2022 12:09 AM

On The Line is where A Chorus Line actually began....

NYT piece sums things up, and it should be said that while Michael Bennett and others reaped fortunes from ACL, the original group of dancers brought together to speak about their lives, art, and craft got zip.

While there were some hard feelings they varied in depth. Robert LuPone was perhaps one of the more vocal bitter voices who spoke out.

From linked NYT piece...

"This is not just sour grapes from one participant; even Bennett's acolytes complain in 'On the Line.' But no one is more bitter than Robert LuPone, who originated the role of Bennett's stand-in, the director Zach. Mr. LuPone tried several times to leave the project, so distasteful did he find the director's tactics.

'To me,' Mr. LuPone tells the authors about the early rehearsals, 'Michael Bennett was an intellectual fraud, and as a director at that time he was nonexistent.' Mr. LuPone refused to appear in the September 1983 extravaganza celebrating the show's 3,389th performance, when 'A Chorus Line' became the longest-running show in Broadway history. Yet even Mr. LuPone concedes: 'Give Michael credit, the greatest credit, for the fact that he took his concept and brought it to fruition. I think in today's theater that's a rare thing in itself.'

However as above notes, even most vocal critics of Mr. Bennett give him props for seeing his vision through in creating ACL. But that doesn't or didn't pay people's rent.

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by Anonymousreply 161January 19, 2022 12:19 AM

Baayork Lee speaking about Michael Bennett and ACL.

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by Anonymousreply 162January 19, 2022 12:20 AM

Donna McKechnie explains a bit of how things all went down.

Basically dancers at that infamous (or famous) workshop were asked to basically sign away any rights. Of course no one could have predicted ACL would end up being created much less a huge success. Nor did any of dancers or others involved apparently stop to think for a moment about what they were giving up.

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by Anonymousreply 163January 19, 2022 12:25 AM

R163, they still got royalties, though. They weren’t cheated out of money.

by Anonymousreply 164January 19, 2022 12:31 AM

Michael Bennett interviewed by Gene Shalit.

Here MB gives insight to why ACL became such a huge hit.

When you go to a musical you're seeing end product if you will on stage. ACL like opening scene from All That Jazz goes into what went on before, how dancers get from A to B, along with a bit about who they are.

IMHO one of many reasons why ACL film sucked was because much of the play that focused on who each dancer was got removed. Instead there was a tighter focus on select characters, which is normal for movies.

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by Anonymousreply 165January 19, 2022 12:35 AM

[quote] Names bandied about for an all-star cast of "A Chorus Line" (before Attenborough took over)....Mikhail Baryshnikov as Zach

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by Anonymousreply 166January 19, 2022 12:40 AM


True, but not everyone felt they were fairly compensated even with royalties. Those sums were not dole out equally for each dancer IIIRC. Some received more than others.

"The dancers who told their stories that night sold them to Mr. Bennett for $1 each. And though Mr. Bennett later arranged for them to receive royalties from the show — at times up to $10,000 a year — they have always questioned whether they have been fairly compensated and acknowledged."

Rest is as Donna McKechnie spells out in Theatre Talk interview above. Later on MB and his lawyers got together and hatched out a new agreement, but things were divided into three groups.

"Group A artists had given their stories at the original tape sessions and/or were part of both workshops; Group B had participated only in the tape sessions; Group C included those in the show who had not been with it from the early stages.

This new agreement split among them a half-percent of the production’s weekly box office gross revenues, as well as a similar portion of the income from subsidiary rights; it gave the 19 dancers in the A Group double the shares of everyone else. In all, Mr. Bennett gave the 37 dancers roughly a tenth of his own royalties from the original production and around a third of the rights income he was entitled to as the show’s conceiver, director and choreographer. He also received a share of profits and rights income as a producer."

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by Anonymousreply 167January 19, 2022 12:42 AM

And then he died.

by Anonymousreply 168January 19, 2022 12:44 AM

Was Ann Miller considered for Sheila?

by Anonymousreply 169January 19, 2022 1:00 AM

Lucy was offered Cassie but Gary talked her out of it.

by Anonymousreply 170January 19, 2022 2:58 AM

[quote] Was Ann Miller considered for Sheila?

She was considered for Sheila’s Granny Jo, but they cut the part.

by Anonymousreply 171January 19, 2022 3:15 AM

Years ago I read a book about the gestation of the story in ACL. It was about the workshops that came up with the stories that were told. I'll try to dig it up if anyone is interested. The two things that stood out to me were that the stories were mostly entirely true and that several of the stories were assigned to different actors, so that, while the original cast was working, there were people on the stage hearing their own life stories being portrayed by somebody else.

I always found it interesting that the primary characters were being portrayed by actors in a Broadway show, while the characters they were portraying were minor players. (I almost used the word "milieu" but didn't, mostly because I didn't think I could spell it, but also because it's a code-word I've agreed with with my cardiologist, and it means "turn off the life support.")

by Anonymousreply 172January 19, 2022 3:44 AM

Some people didn't get cast in their own stories.

The real Al and Kristine didn't get or want their roles.

Val was the story of Mitzi Hamilton who later took over the role and played it off and on for years but for some reason Pam Blair got the part in the OBC. (Blair was quite funny and talented but like Audrey Landers the tits were sort of small. Mitzi had big ones that just jutted out.)

by Anonymousreply 173January 19, 2022 7:29 AM

[quote]To me,' Mr. LuPone tells the authors about the early rehearsals, 'Michael Bennett was an intellectual fraud, and as a director at that time he was nonexistent.' Mr. LuPone refused to appear in the September 1983 extravaganza celebrating the show's 3,389th performance, when 'A Chorus Line' became the longest-running show in Broadway history. Y

Gee that Lupone clan is a whiny bunch. Here is the finale celebration when the sow broke the Broadway record. The stage floor had to to e re-in forced. Lupone was not missed.

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by Anonymousreply 174January 19, 2022 9:01 AM

[quote] The real Al and Kristine didn't get or want their roles.

I don’t blame them. They are the least interesting characters and that song about her not being able to sing is painful.

by Anonymousreply 175January 19, 2022 11:57 AM

The real Kristine ended up on a contract role on the soap Guiding Light in the early 1980s. Her name is Denise Pence.

I wonder if Ryan Murphy is still planning that ACL miniseries about those tape sessions and initial workshops.

by Anonymousreply 176January 19, 2022 12:58 PM

I don't see that as a good idea for Murphy.

by Anonymousreply 177January 19, 2022 12:59 PM

Steve Boockvor, the real Al, is listed as a replacement Zach on IBDB but I could have sworn he played Al at some point but I’m probably wrong.

by Anonymousreply 178January 19, 2022 2:48 PM

R106 I loved the part in the "Every Little Step" doc where they bring back Rachelle Rak to audition again months later and want her to do exactly what she had done before. She's like, how the hell am I suppose to remember what I did.

by Anonymousreply 179January 19, 2022 3:26 PM

Is Jason Tam out?

by Anonymousreply 180January 19, 2022 3:36 PM

I've never really understood the widespread feeling that A Chorus Line couldn't be made into a good movie. I know that even Michael Bennett felt that way. It seems like a straightforward filming of the stage show would be fine. I mean, Streetcar and Long Day's Journey weren't really opened up for their film versions, and they worked fine.

Of the Broadway musicals that were turned into movie musicals that were godawful (Chorus Line, Man of La Mancha, Mame) or just not as good as they should have been (Guys and Dolls, My Fair Lady, Hello, Dolly!), Chorus Line would be at the top of my list for a new movie version.

by Anonymousreply 181January 19, 2022 4:30 PM

Ross Lynch was pretty winning at the Hollywood Bowl.

by Anonymousreply 182January 19, 2022 4:31 PM

[quote]Is Jason Tam out?

Out enough that he almost broke up the long-term relationship of a castmate.

by Anonymousreply 183January 19, 2022 4:32 PM

The film is a very weak imitation of the original Broadway show because they excised the heart the play, leaving very little of Michael Bennett's genius. I performed in 17 companies of the show, all with the original choreography of course, in various roles over a 20 year period, and had plenty, plenty of time to understand what makes the show so extraordinary. The universal themes that made the show so relatable, the struggle to do something you love without much recognition or riches and having to face hard truths in life get lost in the film version. Large portions of the script were revised, songs were replaced with paler imitations, and the original iconic choreography created by Michael Bennett and the ensemble of original cast members was thrown out in favor of Solid Gold & music video-inspired choreography, in a bid to appeal to the MTV generation, I suppose. Had the film been closer to the original, it may have been better, but who knows?

Michael Bennett sold off the rights to the film version of A Chorus Line because nobody would back his idea for a film, thinking it wouldn't work. His idea was more closely related to what became "Every Little Step", the documentary of the casting process for the 2006 Broadway revival.

by Anonymousreply 184January 19, 2022 6:02 PM

[Quote] I performed in 17 companies of the show, all with the original choreography of course, in various roles over a 20 year period,

I bet your requests for the lighting man to slap you with something pink grew ever more desperate.

by Anonymousreply 185January 19, 2022 6:15 PM

"Non-dancers" cannot do A Chorus Line, R55. You have to know how to fucking dance to do the original choreography, even to do it half-assed. The opening number is hard, and the rest of the show isn't easy either. Some stock, college or community theatre productions of the show may cast people who can't really execute the original choreography, so they may take them out of numbers, dumb down the choreography or replace it entirely. But any first class company of the show casts dancers, which is what the show is about. Dancers.

by Anonymousreply 186January 19, 2022 6:15 PM

And therein lies one of the reasons why a movie adaptation would never work. To find dancers who have onscreen charisma when they're not dancing... Like a Needle in a Haystack.

by Anonymousreply 187January 19, 2022 6:18 PM

Well, R185 I was cast in major companies of the show up until I was 42 years old, and I was in good company I guess. Donna McKechnie returned to the original production in 1986 at age 46. So, I must have been doing something right. And there is no trick lighting in A Chorus Line to make anyone look younger.

by Anonymousreply 188January 19, 2022 6:24 PM

What kind of shape is your body in after 20 years of "A Chorus Line"? Hip replacement?

by Anonymousreply 189January 19, 2022 6:34 PM

The film would have been a million times better if Attenborough had the sense (and the creativity) to "open it up" and make individual videos for most of the songs. FLASHDANCE was a huge hit in 1983 and audiences were used to the rapid editing and jump cuts found in videos. It would have been cool to see "At the Ballet" filmed with legs running up the steps - even if they used shots of younger girls taking their dance classes, that kind of thing. Or the young boy watching his chubby sister and then swiping her shoes in "I Can Do That." It may not have worked for the shorter songs like "Sing", but it could have really enhanced the longer numbers, and Paul's monologue could have become a tour de force if it had actually shown quick flashbacks of his story as he is telling it. Even brief clips of the characters outside of the songs would have enhanced their stories and made the whole thing a lot more poignant. But as it is, the whole thing just drags along and is a major disappointment.

by Anonymousreply 190January 19, 2022 6:55 PM

R59 if you knew Blane Savage like I do, you'd know he's one of the sweetest, most humble guys you could meet. He has great stories about working with Ann-Margret, Juliet Prowse and many others. He's a great guy.

by Anonymousreply 191January 19, 2022 7:02 PM

I imagine the idea to keep it in the theater and not open it up was a decision based on $$$. Cheaper to film in the theater than on location or movie sets.

by Anonymousreply 192January 19, 2022 7:41 PM

R189 Bebe Neuwirth had some joint surgeries after a career on Broadway, and she broke the stigma by saying "I was a splendid dancer, but I got old!"

by Anonymousreply 193January 19, 2022 7:42 PM

R173, I worked with Mitzi many times after she'd left the role of Val in the Broadway company. She said that Pam Blair got cast as Val in the original production because Pam was a better singer, which is true. Mitzi admitted that sometimes the conductor would ramp up the volume on the last note of Tits and Ass to help her out. The part about the breast implants is Mitzi's story, but there are elements of Pam Blair in there as well if my memory is correct. However, MItzi did originate the role of Val in the first London production and then replaced Pam Blair on Broadway after that. I think she did more performances of Val on Broadway than any other actor in that original production. She moved into the role of Sheila on the European tour, when I was still playing Mark. She'd always wanted to play Sheila, and said Michael Bennet didn't think she was statuesque enough. She was fantastic as Sheila. After that she started directing the show including a few companies in which I performed.

by Anonymousreply 194January 19, 2022 7:49 PM


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by Anonymousreply 195January 19, 2022 7:53 PM

No, 189, no specific joint or body issues. Sure, I probably wouldn't dance the show as hard as I did years ago, and I occasionally have temporary soreness after dancing, but I can still execute the choreography, including all of the opening, and have recently taught those combinations to young dancers. I still dance regularly and at fifty-seven am probably more flexible than most my age.

by Anonymousreply 196January 19, 2022 7:55 PM

That's nice to hear, r196.

by Anonymousreply 197January 19, 2022 7:56 PM

Yeah, well at the beginning the dancers are lined up on 45th street going into the ally that has the Golden Theater and The Majestic stage door and the dancers are going in the Majestic stage door. Yet the inside where it all takes place is in The Mark Hellinger Theater now The Times Square Church. How could anyone actually enjoy the movie with such blatant obvious mistakes?

by Anonymousreply 198January 19, 2022 9:34 PM

It's called The Hell.

by Anonymousreply 199January 19, 2022 9:35 PM

No, the Nederlanders should go to hell for selling that beautiful theater to a fucking church!

by Anonymousreply 200January 20, 2022 12:35 AM

The Church That Love Is Building!

I was really hoping that Covid would finally get them bible thumpers out.

by Anonymousreply 201January 20, 2022 2:55 AM

I loved it, but I was a little kid. I recall it being based on a true store- Cassie was Valerie Harper I recall? (but I think I was 8 years old when I was told that- I think Valerie's family was on when I saw it so some adult told me that. I was told it was based on Valerie Harper and her ex (played by Michael Douglas). I never had the opportunity to see the play but I wish I had.

by Anonymousreply 202January 20, 2022 3:15 AM

is R202 mlop?

by Anonymousreply 203January 20, 2022 3:19 AM

Cassie was based on Donna McKechnie.

by Anonymousreply 204January 20, 2022 3:19 AM

[r203] what is a mlop?

by Anonymousreply 205January 20, 2022 3:24 AM

It has a 46 Metascore and 6.2 user rating on IMDB. Saw the original show and loved it, but the film is flat and uninteresting.

by Anonymousreply 206January 20, 2022 3:25 AM

True r175, The real Al, Steven Bockvor eventually played Zach on Broadway and got a Tony nomination for Working.

by Anonymousreply 207January 20, 2022 3:37 AM

I agree with r186. Non-dancers couldn't do it.

I was in a college production that needed cut dancers for the beginning. I actually managed to learn most of the opening but even then I'd just act confused during the ballet part and walk off annoyed like "I really blew it!"

Then I'd go home at like 8'20.

by Anonymousreply 208January 20, 2022 4:01 AM

thanks r194. Interesting info.

Blair was really funny and a good singer. She just lands those jokes like no one else. Even the "I heard that you bitch" she makes sound playful. Most women just make it sound bitchy.

Did you do it on Broadway?

What roles other than Mark did you play?

by Anonymousreply 209January 20, 2022 4:02 AM

It's odd when the movie Bebe sings about being ugly........when she's gorgeous.

by Anonymousreply 210January 20, 2022 4:37 AM

Here's the complete video of the show from the Public downtown before it moved uptown to the Shubert, The video quality is deplorable but you kind of get used to it after awhile. The sound is surprisingly good compared to the video.

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by Anonymousreply 211January 20, 2022 6:30 AM

[quote]Bebe Neuwirth had some joint surgeries after a career on Broadway, and she broke the stigma by saying "I was a splendid dancer, but I got old!"

Bebe and Liza had hip replacements young. Dancing Fosse wears them out.

by Anonymousreply 212January 20, 2022 9:51 AM

Fosse said he would have done the film if asked and Bennet badly wanted to do it himself. How it ended up in the hands of the inept Attenborough is incomprehensible.

Fosse's opening audition scene in All That Jazz is a brilliant but shameless, shameless ripoff I Hope I Get It from ACL.

by Anonymousreply 213January 20, 2022 10:37 AM

Has anyone mentioned that Nicole Fosse is in it?

by Anonymousreply 214January 20, 2022 11:11 AM

[quote]Fosse's opening audition scene in All That Jazz is a brilliant but shameless, shameless ripoff I Hope I Get It from ACL.

How about both are exactly as a cattle calls are like?

by Anonymousreply 215January 20, 2022 3:56 PM

Nailed it, R215. I hope that Rose/R214 will let that sink in a bit.

by Anonymousreply 216January 20, 2022 4:26 PM

Are cattle calls really that big?

In both movies it seems like it would be hard to pick out who was good/bad with so many people onstage.

Seems like small quick groups or so would be better.

Is that the way the do it now that theaters don't usually have auditions on a Broadway stage anymore? (I think)

by Anonymousreply 217January 21, 2022 3:51 AM

Attenborough must have studied the Broadway production surprisingly.

Some of the cast (Maggie, Bobby, maybe Greg?) were just taken from the current cast at the time.

He must have been there a lot and liked them.

I hate how Maggie looks right into the camera at one point in the opening number. It's theater. There is no camera to look into!

by Anonymousreply 218January 21, 2022 4:06 AM


No, not always anymore at least, though things can vary by who is doing the auditions and for what exactly.

While C.V. and pictures are still norm, today thanks to modern technology dancers can be asked to submit a short video. That helps trim things down considerably.

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by Anonymousreply 219January 21, 2022 4:06 AM

Josh In The City piece from 2013...

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by Anonymousreply 220January 21, 2022 4:08 AM

Backstage (both print an online) is sort of Bible for performers, so usually go to place when looking for casting call listings.

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by Anonymousreply 221January 21, 2022 4:09 AM

Plug in requested information, and you'll find many results nowadays for both acting and dance request video submission.

Big huge cattle casting calls for dance as seen in ACL or ATJ which were common for ages are also expensive, and take up quite a lot of time. You have to kiss a whole lot of frogs to find princes and princesses.

You watch casting call scene from opening of All That Jazz and you spot clearly many at that audition had no business being there at all. Guy at 2:49 is case in point, but there were others. Those people aren't just wasting their own time, but those involved in casting show as well. No one has time today for that BS.

Problem then and still now is that open casting calls are listed in Backstage, dance schools, back stage at shows currently running, by word of mouth, etc... So often everyone and their mother shows up. Using video submissions allows a far quicker culling of herd so to speak.

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by Anonymousreply 222January 21, 2022 4:20 AM

Now dancers are submitting video auditions. Can you imagine?

by Anonymousreply 223January 21, 2022 4:31 AM

Video auditions for dancers though wouldn't show how fast the pick up choreography. I thought that was the whole point of ACL (in addition to getting to know them though that whole probing their personal lives to see if they can act seems a bit strange now. Diana is right. Give them a script and see how they do.)

Throwing different styles at them and seeing how they pick it up and blend (Cassie flairs!!!) seems like you'd need to have them come in live. (but I guess video does thin the herd especially nowadays with covid.)

by Anonymousreply 224January 21, 2022 4:40 AM

Video submissions for dance, acting and others have been a thing long before covid. As tech became common enough people felt less resistance asking as they assume most have capability.

At least with a vid you can see of the bat certain things such as proficiency level, age, looks, body type, etc...

When Broadway revival of Can-Can held cattle calls notice specifically stated dancers must be able to execute perfect drop splits. Sure enough more than a dozen showed up at auditions who just couldn't manage. Again wasting their time and others. Now has video submissions been around....

Certain dancing is hard to fake, either you know your shit or you don't, as this famous clip from Fame proves. People who hire dancers be it for a show, group, ballet company, school, etc.. know what they are doing. In ATJ we see "Bob Fosse" walking among the dancers intently looking and watching. Same in ACL film opening cattle call scene.

Will grant you that back in day and still now an actor who cannot really dance well will be cast in something. choreographer and others are then dispatched to teach whoever the number and get them up to speed. Chorus dancers, corps de ballet, soloists, etc.. don't roll that way. If notice says they want "professional" dancer with "X" years experience there is enough they can tell from video submissions if person meets those requirements.

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by Anonymousreply 225January 21, 2022 5:58 AM

I recently read Michael Riedel’s history of the American theatre and there was a long section about Bennett and his development of the movie. Basically they said the production company was paying him a fuckload of money to develop ACL as a movie and he was dragging his feet. It was insinuated that he stood to benefit beneficially by keeping the show off the screen as long as possible.

I can’t remember too many of the other specifics, but this idea that he was desperate to make the movie and mean old Hollywood kept from it was false.

There was an interesting anecdote that said when prospective directors would meet with him, they would ask him how he would make it. His vision apparently blew all those directors away and they swore they’d never make the movie because they don’t think it would be anywhere near as good as he would’ve made.

Bennett knew he was fucked when Attenborough was the first person not to ask him what he would’ve done and instead described to him what he planned to do.

by Anonymousreply 226January 21, 2022 6:13 AM

Mike Nichols, Sidney Lumet, and Sydney Pollack were the directors that Universal tried to recruit that were cowed by Bennett’s vision.

Universal paid Bennett 6.5 million to direct ACL as well as 20% Of the distributor’s gross after the first twenty million. It was an unheard of sum at the time. They gave him an additional three picture deal and cushy offices. He wanted to develop a movie for Bette Midler called Road Show about his trouble fixing Seesaw. Universal turned him down, he threw a hissy fit, and abandoned Hollywood and the movie while pocketing the 6.5 million.

That’s the real reason he didn’t make the movie.

by Anonymousreply 227January 21, 2022 6:24 AM

When did Bennett disappear from NYC and move to the southwest? Wasn't he already off the radar by 1985?

by Anonymousreply 228January 21, 2022 7:23 AM

Piece by Ron Fassler pretty much sums things up. If you want a year, 1985 or 1986, with MB dying in Arizona in 1987.

His demons were getting to MB by time, booze and pills weren't helping, then piled on was his HIV/AIDs positive diagnoses which Mr. Bennett tried very hard to keep quiet.

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by Anonymousreply 229January 21, 2022 7:45 AM

Can I just say this is the type of thread that keeps me coming back to DL. Full of trivial and strange info but I love it!

by Anonymousreply 230January 21, 2022 8:07 AM

Casting Alyson Reed as Cassie was mistake number one.

by Anonymousreply 231January 21, 2022 8:15 AM

The actress they cast as Sheila looked like someone’s over 50 mom.

by Anonymousreply 232January 21, 2022 8:41 AM

Alot of nice bulges and manass in the opening though, especially rejected guy in 32 jersey shirt and white leggings.

by Anonymousreply 233January 21, 2022 8:45 AM

Only know Ballroom from "Fifty Percent" number made famous by Dorothy Loudon. Was it really that bad?

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by Anonymousreply 234January 21, 2022 10:21 AM

While I didn’t think much of of the movie, I have to admit that I thought the “One” finale, where more and more dancers kept being added, was cool.

by Anonymousreply 235January 21, 2022 2:09 PM

I didn't see it but I don't think it was bad, r234. I think the problem was that it was a big Broadway musical built around a small story and choreography that was limited to ballroom styles. And what about...Scandal?

by Anonymousreply 236January 21, 2022 3:58 PM

I think it was bad.

by Anonymousreply 237January 21, 2022 4:01 PM

I think Scandal was proof that everything finally got to Bennett. The ego, the drugs, etc. Although some say it was his greatest work, others say it just didn't have it. The fact that we've never seen or heard of it after Bennett closed the workshop is telling when theater is desperate for ideas.

by Anonymousreply 238January 21, 2022 4:05 PM

Well, AIDS didn't help the plot line, r238.

by Anonymousreply 239January 21, 2022 4:10 PM

Swoosie Kurtz was in the Scandal workshop. Had she ever said anything about it?

by Anonymousreply 240January 21, 2022 4:10 PM

Chess would have been a lucrative, if wasted endeavour creatively. The show, not the game.

by Anonymousreply 241January 21, 2022 5:41 PM

The problem with Chess is that it doesn’t understand that it is a tragedy.

The entire show is killed by attempting to force a happy ending on it.

by Anonymousreply 242January 21, 2022 5:46 PM

She writes about it in her memoir, r240. I read it some time ago and can't remember the specifics.

by Anonymousreply 243January 21, 2022 6:08 PM

No, R209 I never made it into the Broadway company. I was called in to be seen for that production as Mark three times. The first time was when I was on a national Bus & Truck and one day the tour manager told me I had to go back to NYC to let them see me. It was very exciting to be on the Shubert stage doing the opening combinations. It came down to me and the guy who got it, I believe. Well, he and I were the only two there at the callback the next day, anyway. So, I went back to the tour. The other two times it was also within my grasp, but it didn't happen. I continued doing the show as Mark on the World Tour and subsequently four legs of the European Tour, variously as Mark, Bobby, Larry & Greg, as well as other shorter runs in other places. I was doing the show in Hawaii and Asia when the revival was cast, but I was seen as a replacement for it, and also the National Tour of that production. Doing that show is truly one of the most wonderful experiences of my life. I am so fortunate and ever grateful to have gotten the chance to do all those companies of such an incredible piece of theatre.

by Anonymousreply 244January 21, 2022 7:08 PM

thanks r244, interesting to hear

by Anonymousreply 245January 21, 2022 9:37 PM

[quote]I didn't see it but I don't think it was bad, [R234]. I think the problem was that it was a big Broadway musical built around a small story and choreography that was limited to ballroom styles

Now thanks to "Dancing With The Stars", everyone knows the ballroom dances. It was ahead of it's time.

by Anonymousreply 246January 21, 2022 11:45 PM

[Quote] it's time.

by Anonymousreply 247January 21, 2022 11:47 PM

R243 Swoosie Kurtz wrote a memoir?

by Anonymousreply 248January 22, 2022 1:46 AM

Yes, R248. It was called “I’m Not Christine Baranski”

by Anonymousreply 249January 22, 2022 1:57 AM

It's good, r248...

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by Anonymousreply 250January 22, 2022 3:14 AM

Wasn't there a video made of the Scandal workshop that is now secreted away in some private vault and is now the Holy Grail of boots collectors?

by Anonymousreply 251January 22, 2022 3:47 AM

one problem with Ballroom is the band singers sing most of the songs. The characters only sing a few. (and besides Fifty Percent they are unmemorable.)

The movie had better songs. That one Maureen Stapleton does angry at her dead husband, "who gave you permission" is a big line was more moving than most of the stuff in Ballroom.

by Anonymousreply 252January 22, 2022 4:03 AM

Chatter on Broadway World about "Scandal".

"Swoozie Kurtz (sp?) starred in the workshop (she stared as Claudia the American woman who goes to Europe for sexual promiscuity and experience)--there was a 14 minute "brilliant' An American Woman in Paris ballet intro. Others in the cast at the workshop were Treat Williams as Robert, David Rasche doubled as Mitch, the husband's best friend and ANdrew his friend/psychiatrist, Victor Garber tripled in three comic roles, FIsher Stevens played the French teenaged waiter, Priscella Lopez was the lesbian Claudia met in Switzerland, Wanda Richert and Trish Ramish were the women Robert saved from the fire and Kelly Bishop played Claudia's best friend and Jerry Mitchell was one of the main male dancers."

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by Anonymousreply 253January 22, 2022 4:59 AM

"Only One Life" by Jack Webb is one of the few songs from Scandal out there..

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by Anonymousreply 254January 22, 2022 5:05 AM

Jimmy Webb performing "One Life"....

Song became a rather big hit for Glenn Campbell

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by Anonymousreply 255January 22, 2022 5:07 AM

Glenn Campbell.....

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by Anonymousreply 256January 22, 2022 5:09 AM

Post #20 by Pal Joey from above Broadway World forum link pretty much sums up what happened with "Scandal".

"I don't know why I never saw this thread or the other.

My best friend married a man who had been a longtime friend and colleague of Treva Silverman's. I didn't get to see the workshop, but I had many dinners and evenings with my friend and her husband, some of which included Treva. They had all been involved in writing and performing comedy, so the evenings were always fun for me.

Treva had not merely written for the Mary Tyler Moore show, she had created the character of Rhoda for Valerie Harper and written much of the funniest material on the show for Cloris Leachman, Betty White and Nancy Walker. She was like a goddess to me.

Bennett was also godlike, so when she talked about the writing of Scandal, it naturally sounded like it was going to be the next great Michael Bennett musical. The AIDS panic thing, however, was definitely a factor--in those early years of the 80s, there was great shame and secrecy about "Gay Cancer" and "GRID," both of which came to be known as AIDS. People in the theater were getting sick and dying more and more frequently--and their deaths came quickly back then, before the meds came about in the mid-90s.

It was my "Jeffrey" period--I had no boyfriend and stopped having sex at all, like the character in Paul Rudnick's play. (Many of us did at the time.) So I remember thinking that the idea of the show seemed like a relic from the 1970s spirit of sexual liberation, somehow inappropriate to the current frightening climate of people getting sick and dying from sexually transmitted diseases.

Then the workshop happened, and everything seemed to spiral out of control into an ugly mess. I remember hearing that Michael had a very definite idea of opening the show Off Broadway before moving it to Broadway, which none of the writers or actors wanted to do. It made sense to me, because of the riskiness of the material, but all my friends in the business were up in arms because everyone would have to work at lower salaries.

Then Michael started accusing everyone of being greedy, which upset and confused them. (I now think he was getting paranoid from AIDS-related dementia.) Then he suddenly canceled the workshop and just said it was over. I remember the shock and disappointment distinctly. Partly what made it scary was that AIDS was hanging over everything. It wasn't the only workshop to get canceled. Projects were ending and people were dying and people were getting sick and no one could talk about it out loud.

A few months later, Michael went to London to do Chess, and when he withdrew from it, the assumption was that he had AIDS too.

A few months later he sold the 890 Broadway building--"The Michael Bennett Studios," where many, many workshops were born and many, many hopes and dreams were stillborn (including a few of my own)--and he moved to Arizona. Arizona, of all places! Why Arizona?

A few months later he was dead."

by Anonymousreply 257January 22, 2022 5:13 AM

I've read several time over the years that the Scandal workshop was taped but the Bennett estate is forbidden from letting it be released. Years and years ago a friend who was involved with the workshop told me that there's a tape but it will never see the light of day.

by Anonymousreply 258January 22, 2022 5:24 AM


By Jeremy Gerard Nov. 2, 1986


The last Michael Bennett workshop, and indisputably the most closely watched, was 'Scandal,' a show that never opened on Broadway.

Mr. Bennett, acting as director, choreographer and producer, abruptly shut it down in January 1985, after more than a year of intense work with the company and even more time with the show's writers.

'Scandal' had been a chancy project from the beginning. The story of a self-doubting woman caught up in the throes of marital upheaval, the show was punctuated by production numbers that revealed with no little explicitness her sexual fantasies and adventures. Despite an enthusiasm for the show that members of the team still express today, Mr. Bennett says that his decision to terminate the production was based on economic and creative factors, and that they were the proper outcome of the workshops. 'What's a workshop for?' he asks. 'To see whether a show should go into production. I have very good instincts, and I decided 'Scandal' would not work.'

That decision came as a shock to the rest of the team.

'Michael sent me the script and it just knocked me out,' says Swoosie Kurtz, who played the leading role in the show. 'He called and said, 'Honey, do you want to be the leading lady in my next musical?' I thought, Did I? He's got to be one of the four, maybe five best directors alive.

Working with him one-on-one was extraordinary - his inventiveness, his imagination, his knowledge of what should be cut and what's dead wood.'

During four workshops, songs written by Jimmy Webb and major dance numbers were integrated into a script written by Treva Silverman, a writer of the original Mary Tyler Moore television series. The director announced his plan to open the show with a brief Off Broadway run before moving it to the Mark Hellinger, a theater that he vainly attempted to become a part-owner of during that time.

The Off Broadway plan, Mr. Bennett concedes, did not go over well with the performers or the creative team. 'The crew - people who had been working with me all my life -did not want to go Off Broadway,' he says.

'They were upset because they were expecting Broadway money at a certain point,' Miss Kurtz says, 'and suddenly it was being put off again.

My own feeling was that he knew better than we what would be best for the show.'

'I think Michael's the only one who knows what happened with 'Scandal,' ' says Ms. Silverman, who had worked with Mr. Bennett for several years on the project before the workshops had begun. Ms. Silverman and Mr. Webb were reluctant to talk in detail about their work on 'Scandal.'


Another thing, for benefit of those who didn't know, Mr. Bennett once owned 890 Broadway which he sold for about $`15 million USD in 1986, just a year before dying.

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by Anonymousreply 259January 22, 2022 5:36 AM

[quote]Arizona, of all places! Why Arizona?

Dry heat. Always warm with low humidity. Very comforting for people who are dying.

by Anonymousreply 260January 22, 2022 5:45 AM

My take on why MB moved out to Arizona was he didn't want people to see him dying. There may have been other reasons, Mr. Bennett basically secluded himself out there not even telling his own family where he was until shortly before dying. Only a few very close friends and some nurse he met were with him in those final months.

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by Anonymousreply 261January 22, 2022 6:00 AM

Scandal was never taped. I know this for a fact.

by Anonymousreply 262January 22, 2022 6:33 AM

Scandal had a song called “She’s A Dyke” and Bennett choreographed blowjobs and orgies. Apparently it was totally incoherent.

Bennett shut down production the day Silverman sent over a contract that demanded script approval and her name in equal size as his on the billing. He tried to physically tear the contact in half but couldn’t because it was so thick so he had his secretary cut them in half, and send them back to her agent.

He flew to St. Bart’s and the project was abandoned. He went to work The Children’s Crusade which he was planning with a hundred teenage chorus boys at MSG. People snidely referred to the project as “Chicken Hawk Casserole”

by Anonymousreply 263January 22, 2022 8:43 AM

Scandal also shows how certain people turned their nose up at off-Broadway. Despite seeing some great works come from off-Broadway, some people thought it just wasn’t good enough.

And at the time, you would think people would be accepting because Sunday in the Park with George had just made a successful transfer from off-Broadway to Broadway.

by Anonymousreply 264January 22, 2022 11:58 AM

R39 If Audrey had recreated Judy's famous induction scene from Stewardess School for her audition scene in ACL, then the movie would have undoubtedly been a major box office and critical success.

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by Anonymousreply 265January 22, 2022 12:20 PM

When I was younger, I really didn’t like musicals. I had heard of A Chorus Line, but really didn’t know a lot about it until I saw this movie in the early 90s when I was in college. I knew parts of it were bad, but I became sort of obsessed with it and checked it out from the library over and over. Mainly, I loved Vicki Frederick as Sheila! Audrey Landers, too. A sweet librarian turned me on to the Broadway cast recording LP and a book about musicals with a big section about ACL. I was intrigued that two actresses I knew from soaps were in it..Pamela Blair and Kelly Bishop.

I have only seen the stage production once, in local theater. It was decent. I hate that I’ve never seen it on Broadway or a national tour.

I haven’t watched the film in many years and this thread makes me want to watch again. I usually fast forward through the Alyson Reed parts. And even though At the Ballet is one of my favorite parts of the movie, I’m always a little perplexed by how Pam Klinger got cast. She just seems to have an odd affect.

Anyway, thanks for this fun thread. Oh, and to the former dancer posting: Are you single?? :-)

by Anonymousreply 266January 22, 2022 12:42 PM

Why did Kay Cole from the OBC not have a bigger career? Some in the cast said she was one of the few triple threats in the cast. And she does that thrilling belt in At the Ballet.

by Anonymousreply 267January 22, 2022 12:47 PM

[quote]People snidely referred to The Children's Crusade as “Chicken Hawk Casserole”

You know how bitchy fags can be.

by Anonymousreply 268January 22, 2022 1:06 PM

Story of 890 Broadway. if it link does not work, can't help you, try searching Internet as it worked for me.

Anyway MB bought the building back in 1976 for only about $750k, newly flush with cash from ACL.

Fast forward barely ten years later MB sells the property for $15 million. Talk about making your money!

Kicker is S.L. Green was going to buy 890 Broadway, but was only offering $14.5 million. Another real estate mogul stepped in and helped ABT and Eliot Field offer a bit higher amount, and that was that.

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by Anonymousreply 269January 22, 2022 1:56 PM

ABT is still down at 890 Broadway along with other dance studios.

With loss of Carnegie Hall Studio Towers (many years ago now), 890 B'way as proven a godsend.

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by Anonymousreply 270January 22, 2022 1:58 PM

[quote] Anyway MB bought the building back in 1976 for only about $750k, newly flush with cash from ACL.Fast forward barely ten years later MB sells the property for $15 million. Talk about making your money!

In the late 60s and 70, and even the early 80s there was a lot of Manhattan property you could buy cheap. On the Lower East Side, the city was selling burned out buildings for $1 with the provision that the buyer would clean the site up (and of course start paying taxes on the property).

by Anonymousreply 271January 22, 2022 2:01 PM


Tell me about it!

Friends and I joke every time we watch 200 Cigarettes what fools we were for spending all that time in East Village clubs or bars back in day. We should have been trying to find ways to buy what was then cheap property.

One of many tragedies about Michael Bennett's life is by this time he had everything; fame, position, talent, and heaps of money (especially after selling 890 B'way), only to die barely a year later.

What happened to Michael Bennett's estate anyway? He died a very wealthy man but from what one can gather basically his family didn't get much. The mother lamented at time her son didn't even leave her any of his Tony awards.

by Anonymousreply 272January 22, 2022 2:10 PM

For reasons known to her.

by Anonymousreply 273January 22, 2022 2:13 PM

Did Donna McKechnie get anything from Bennett’s estate? I think the rumor at the time of ACL was that she was getting paid significantly more than the others.

Of course, Baayork Lee got the blessing to be ACL Keeper of the flame.

by Anonymousreply 274January 22, 2022 5:34 PM

Who did get all of Michael Bennett estate?

Who got the rights& to the musicals?

by Anonymousreply 275January 22, 2022 5:38 PM

I thought that some of the Bennett money went to BMI Musical Theatre Workshop?

by Anonymousreply 276January 22, 2022 6:14 PM

There was a portion set aside for a Hullabaloo museum.

by Anonymousreply 277January 22, 2022 9:51 PM

Facts people, facts...

Michael Bennett left fifteen (15%) of his total estate to organizations " which are involved in the research of or the cure or treatment of patients afflicted with the disease known as AIDS or Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome. Amount came to about seven (7) million USD at the time. This provison came as a codicil to Mr. Bennett's will shortly after he moved to Arizona and subsequent demise.

As for balance of Mr. Bennett's sizable estate it was divided among his mother, brother, step-brother and close friends.

"The chief beneficiaries of Mr. Bennett's estate - which is estimated at $25 million - are his mother, Helen Di Figlia; his brother, Frank Di Figlia, and his half-brother, Salvatore Coniglio, who received property, sums of money and shares in the remainder of the estate after cash disbursements. Mr. Avian, Mr. Breglio, Mr. Pruit and Robin Wagner, the set designer who also was a close friend of Mr. Bennett, are also to share in the estate."

Mr. John Breglio, was named executor of Mr. Bennett's estate, a function he still performs today managing among other things rights and so forth to Michael Bennett's intelectual property (ACL, Dreamgirls, etc...., and other assets).

Michael Bennett didn't sell 890 Broadway out of avarice, he was quite ill (angina worsened by stress, HIV/AIDs, and other issues), and also the property was causing Mr. Bennett financial issues. Buying a property cheaply is one thing, but if it does not earn enough to keep things going, and or owner lacks such resources it becomes a millstone around that proverbial neck.

Sale of 890 Broadway ($15 million) and his home in South Hampton, Long Island ($6 million), made up a bulk of Michael Bennett's estimated $25 million estate. As someone posted upthread, Mr. Bennett suddenly had tons of money, but not much time to spend.

By all accounts Michael Bennett up and moved to Tucson, AZ to seek treatment for HIV/AIDS. There was at the time various spots in North America and Europe working on experimental and other treatments. People who could flocked to these places if they offered a remote glimmer of hope (real or imagined), in those early days of the pandemic. Cannot say for sure of course, but this likely influenced Mr. Bennett changing his will to include that sizable bequest for HIV/AIDS organizations.

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by Anonymousreply 278January 23, 2022 3:15 AM


Oh I don't know...

As linked articles spell out MB and others felt certain people were already getting greedy even as Scandal was still in workshop. Off Broadway pay is less, and no small number involved wanted big money sooner rather than later.

It is worth noting just how big a deal Michael Bennet and ACL was; no one could have predicted but literally Broadway was divided into "before" and "after" A Chorus Line.

ACL made buckets of money for Public Theater, which Joe Papp put to very good and much needed use.

Suddenly everyone was making money, well not dancers who sold their stories for a buck and or those who participated in workshop at first, but they got a cut later on.

Yes, Michael Bennett had his share of flops, but between smash hits of ACL and Dreamgirls certain people saw Scandal as going same way, and wouldn't see sense...

Mr. Bennett's instincts (with others) was correct; a major musical glorifying easy sex while nation and world was in grip of HIV/AIDs epidemic likely would have bombed.

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by Anonymousreply 279January 23, 2022 3:30 AM

Bob Avian died a year ago today. Wonder what happened to the Tony awards and other MB stuff he inherited....

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by Anonymousreply 280January 23, 2022 3:32 AM

How much did Miss Wong in Mimeo receive?

by Anonymousreply 281January 23, 2022 3:57 AM

Another bootleg!

ATB is a great song, but like much else from ACL it is very dated IMHO.

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by Anonymousreply 282January 23, 2022 4:06 AM

Best part of musical Chess....

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by Anonymousreply 283January 23, 2022 6:14 AM

With songs like “I Know Him So Well” and “Pity the Child”, yet you think that disco piece of pandering crap’s the best part?

by Anonymousreply 284January 23, 2022 10:53 AM

Since Michael Bennett’s death has been discussed, I’ll share this memory. I, along with the cast, orchestra and crew had just gotten to Paris to being rehearsals for the World Tour of A Chorus Line in July 1987. When we arrived at Théâtre du Châtelet on the morning of our first rehearsal, Baayork Lee, who was directing the production announced to all of us that Michael Bennett had died. There was shock in the room, of course since almost everyone there had worked directly with Michael. People talked for a while and then we took a break. When Baayork called us back in, she said that Michael would want us to dance. So we did, dancing the opening full out without stopping. Later in the day and throughout rehearsal, we sat around, telling and listening to stories, paying tribute to Michael Bennett.

by Anonymousreply 285January 24, 2022 4:15 AM

[quote][R243] Swoosie Kurtz wrote a memoir?

Yes: "There's a Reason for My Stupid Name: Memoirs of a Broadway Star"

by Anonymousreply 286January 24, 2022 4:46 AM

R286 She was in that awful "Sisters" dramedy for several years, but she ended up winning her Emmy for a guest spot on a Carol Burnett series.

by Anonymousreply 287January 24, 2022 2:09 PM

Swoosie Kurtz has always been vastly overrated.

by Anonymousreply 288January 24, 2022 4:21 PM

R288 But she seems to know her place. She is overrated by others, perhaps, but not by her own ego.

by Anonymousreply 289January 24, 2022 4:51 PM

Oh, Swoozie was always fine.

by Anonymousreply 290January 24, 2022 4:54 PM

I was a teenager in the Deep South and knew "A Chorus Line" as a title, but that was all I had access to until I borrowed a neighbor's OCR of the show. Once I started listening to that, I was hooked. (The neighbor never got the album back, I'm now realizing.) The score is magnificent. And because that's all I had, I created some sort of story in my head.

When the film came out a few years later, I could tell it didn't work. My younger brother and sister loathed it, and my mom was disappointed. But I loved finally seeing the story come to life. And I loved Vicki Frederick and Audrey Landers as well. For most people at the time, this was the only opportunity to see the work, even if mangled.

by Anonymousreply 291January 24, 2022 7:00 PM
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