The Longest Line: Broadway's Most Singular Sensation: A Chorus Line

The Longest Line: Broadway's Most Singular Sensation: A Chorus Line

by Gary Stevens, Alan George
     
 

"A grand performance ... a first rate read." -Digby Diehl, Good Morning America "The nostalgia book of the year ... it's hard to see how anything could be so comprehensive." -Cleveland Plain Dealer "The most wonderful gift book for a musical fan!" -Kathie Lee Gifford, Live! With Regis and Kathie Lee  See more details below

Overview

"A grand performance ... a first rate read." -Digby Diehl, Good Morning America "The nostalgia book of the year ... it's hard to see how anything could be so comprehensive." -Cleveland Plain Dealer "The most wonderful gift book for a musical fan!" -Kathie Lee Gifford, Live! With Regis and Kathie Lee

Editorial Reviews

Playbill
A spectacular book.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
From its opening in 1975 until the final curtain call in 1990, the musical A Chorus Line stirred audiences with its stories of aspiring Broadway dancers. This oral history combines 300 photographs (eight pages in color), memorabilia and reminiscences by 125 cast and crew members, including costume and lighting designers, musicians, press agents, understudies and stage managers. They discuss seemingly every angle-how the show affected their lives and careers, the changes in interpretation that occurred over the years, heated firings, the casting process, road tours, production problems, even drug use among cast members. Neil Simon tells how he wrote ``maybe 25 or so new lines'' at director Michael Bennett's request, which Bennett reportedly adapted or inserted into the original script by James Kirkwood and Nicholas Dante. All serious fans of the show will want this delightful reprise of the longest-running show in Broadway history. (Dec.)
Library Journal
Apart from several tables of production data and over 300 photographs, The Longest Line consists mainly of interview snippets with several dozen of the cast members and production staff of A Chorus Line, Broadway's longest running musical. The book is arranged in chapters on various topics such as casting, designing, selling, and marketing the show. Except for a page of notes and a glossary, there is no context or synthesis provided by the book's compilers, who have seen the show over 100 times between them. There are no direct quotations from the show's conceiver and choreographer Michael Bennett (who died in 1987), its composer (Marvin Hamlisch), or one of its lead performers (Donna McKechnie, Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical); thus the book is weak on the show's creative aspects. Nevertheless, buried inside the trivia and the petty gripes of many of the interviewees are valuable nuggets of information and an enlightening overall impression, which theater scholars may find useful. For that reason, libraries supporting advanced research in American theater, as well as public libraries with fanatic client interest, should purchase. Libraries already holding Ken Mandelbaum's superior A Chorus Line and the Musicals of Michael Bennett (LJ 6/15/89. o.p.) can pass on this one.-Rob Melton, Univ. of Kansas Libs., Lawrence
Ray Olson
Broadway's longest-running show deserves spectacular commemoration, and here 'tis, 5 years after closing night but a full 20 after opening. Basically, this attractive, oblong book is an organized, or nonscrappy, scrapbook. Stevens and George, "Chorus Line" superfans who each saw it more than 70 times, interviewed 125 participants in the show from throughout its run. Their text consists entirely of excerpts from those conversations, which they organize in 12 chapters, on topics ranging from production design and marketing to celebrating the record-breaking performance and remembering director Michael Bennett. A last chapter consists of tables of raw data, including the week-by-week box office receipts, all the shows that "Chorus Line" outlived during its run, all the onstage performers of every role, all prizes won, etc. And, of course, the book's well and generously illustrated.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781557832214
Publisher:
Hal Leonard Corporation
Publication date:
02/01/2000
Pages:
258
Product dimensions:
8.30(w) x 11.30(h) x 0.73(d)

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