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A Chorus Line: The Complete Book of the Musical

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(Applause Books). It is hard to believe that over 25 years have passed since A Chorus Line first electrified a New York audience. The memories of the show's birth in 1975, not to mention those of its 15-year-life and poignant death, remain incandescent and not just because nothing so exciting has happened to the American musical since. For a generation of theater people an (Applause Books). It is hard to believe that over 25 years have passed since A Chorus Line first electrified a New York audience. The memories of the show's birth in 1975, not to mention those of its 15-year-life and poignant death, remain incandescent and not just because nothing so exciting has happened to the American musical since. For a generation of theater people and theatergoers, A Chorus Line was and is the touchstone that defines the glittering promise, more often realized in lengend than in reality, of the Broadway way. This impressive book contains the complete book and lyrics of one of the longest running shows in Broadway history with a preface by Samuel Freedman, an introduction by Frank Rich and lots of photos from the stage production.


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(Applause Books). It is hard to believe that over 25 years have passed since A Chorus Line first electrified a New York audience. The memories of the show's birth in 1975, not to mention those of its 15-year-life and poignant death, remain incandescent and not just because nothing so exciting has happened to the American musical since. For a generation of theater people an (Applause Books). It is hard to believe that over 25 years have passed since A Chorus Line first electrified a New York audience. The memories of the show's birth in 1975, not to mention those of its 15-year-life and poignant death, remain incandescent and not just because nothing so exciting has happened to the American musical since. For a generation of theater people and theatergoers, A Chorus Line was and is the touchstone that defines the glittering promise, more often realized in lengend than in reality, of the Broadway way. This impressive book contains the complete book and lyrics of one of the longest running shows in Broadway history with a preface by Samuel Freedman, an introduction by Frank Rich and lots of photos from the stage production.

30 review for A Chorus Line: The Complete Book of the Musical

  1. 5 out of 5

    Greg Kerestan

    We've had musical comedies, musical dramas, musical fantasies, even musical thrillers- but very few musical documentaries. James Kirkwood and Marvin Hamlisch mine interviews with 1970s Broadway dancers, in an era when they were expected to be masters of their craft but not triple threats, to craft this documentary-style look at the inner lives of anonymous faces on a chorus line, as their careers begin, end or stall in the middle. This masterful experiment hasn't aged entirely well, as new writi We've had musical comedies, musical dramas, musical fantasies, even musical thrillers- but very few musical documentaries. James Kirkwood and Marvin Hamlisch mine interviews with 1970s Broadway dancers, in an era when they were expected to be masters of their craft but not triple threats, to craft this documentary-style look at the inner lives of anonymous faces on a chorus line, as their careers begin, end or stall in the middle. This masterful experiment hasn't aged entirely well, as new writing styles in theatre and the rise of conservatory training and high school musicals have meant that more well-rounded performers are getting work, rather than career hoofers who don't act or sing. Nonetheless, "A Chorus Line" is a snapshot of a moment in history when theatre performers had an expiration date, and did everything they could to keep dancing until it broke them.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Sofie

    There aren't many musicals where reading the book is almost more enjoyable than listening to the cast recording. You don't get the Jewel Box monologue on the CR, or the wonderful lines of Bobby and Judy. I have read this so many times, and I will never tire of it. There aren't many musicals where reading the book is almost more enjoyable than listening to the cast recording. You don't get the Jewel Box monologue on the CR, or the wonderful lines of Bobby and Judy. I have read this so many times, and I will never tire of it.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Lauren

    It’s rare that a musical translates well on page – there tends to be a feeling of the work being half finished – and while A Chorus Line would be the better with the inclusion of dance numbers, the book stands on its own merits. There’s only the flimsiest of plots – an audition for a new Broadway musical, culminating in the finale featuring the chosen few – but the moments feel earned, and it’s a great encapsulation of the experience of the majority of actors and dancers on Broadway. Timing also It’s rare that a musical translates well on page – there tends to be a feeling of the work being half finished – and while A Chorus Line would be the better with the inclusion of dance numbers, the book stands on its own merits. There’s only the flimsiest of plots – an audition for a new Broadway musical, culminating in the finale featuring the chosen few – but the moments feel earned, and it’s a great encapsulation of the experience of the majority of actors and dancers on Broadway. Timing also owes something to my enjoyment: I recently attended a performance that included a modern dance element, and the choreography was mediocre. There was one moment when the underused talent of the dancers peeked through, and I remember thinking how frustrating it must be as a dancer, to spend so many years for such a short career that is almost entirely dependent on the whim of others. Reading A Chorus Line only a few weeks later deepened my appreciation for the hard road the vast majority of dancers commit to. Highly recommended.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Keegan Patterson

    Read this for a stage managing position...I knew some of the music and wasn't impressed - the last time I had actually listened to the score was when I was younger and my Mom had let us watch the movie version of this while we were on a road trip - but the book is pretty good - Paul's monologue especially is wonderful - it's powerful and one of the more honest moments in the play - I wish the play had more moments like that, but all in all a pretty enjoyable read. Read this for a stage managing position...I knew some of the music and wasn't impressed - the last time I had actually listened to the score was when I was younger and my Mom had let us watch the movie version of this while we were on a road trip - but the book is pretty good - Paul's monologue especially is wonderful - it's powerful and one of the more honest moments in the play - I wish the play had more moments like that, but all in all a pretty enjoyable read.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Alexis

    I've never been able to see A Chorus Line, but I have been obsessed with it for years. I can't believe it took me this long to read the script. There's definitely a wealth of content I have been missing out on. I've never been able to see A Chorus Line, but I have been obsessed with it for years. I can't believe it took me this long to read the script. There's definitely a wealth of content I have been missing out on.

  6. 4 out of 5

    J.A.

    Great concept / collage musical.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Kathy

    I've always been intrigued by the audition process, what it must be like to stand out there trying to sell yourself. This play opens the door for me, gives me a taste of what it's like. I've also enjoyed the behind the scenes books written about this play. I've always been intrigued by the audition process, what it must be like to stand out there trying to sell yourself. This play opens the door for me, gives me a taste of what it's like. I've also enjoyed the behind the scenes books written about this play.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Collette

    This was a great inside look at this landmark musical.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Tanja

    Saw it in London the summer of 2013. I did not know the story, had in pasning head many of the songs, so was blown away by the show and the very emotionel performance.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Josh Waterfield

    Love this book second time reading it this year!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Ray LaManna

    It was good to return to the text of a musical I loved on Broadway when I saw it with the original cast. The hopes and fears of Broadway dancers and actors still resonant today even after 40 years.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Sara Goldenberg

    It's a little bit of history, then the word version of the story. If you've seen the movie or the show a couple of times, you can recite it while you read this. It's a little bit of history, then the word version of the story. If you've seen the movie or the show a couple of times, you can recite it while you read this.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Abby

  14. 5 out of 5

    Fran Gertz

  15. 4 out of 5

    Lizzie Connell

  16. 4 out of 5

    Sean Briggs

  17. 5 out of 5

    Dayna Spencer

  18. 4 out of 5

    Sabrina

  19. 5 out of 5

    Michael

  20. 5 out of 5

    Zoey T.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Andrea

  22. 5 out of 5

    Elaine Taylor

  23. 4 out of 5

    Christine Auxier

  24. 4 out of 5

    Carrie Henry

  25. 5 out of 5

    Cathie Regan

  26. 5 out of 5

    Nicole

  27. 4 out of 5

    Mari

  28. 5 out of 5

    Clinton Campbell

  29. 4 out of 5

    Lila

  30. 5 out of 5

    Carla

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