Perhaps it was the meta nature of the story -- a musical about the lives of dancers auditioning for a musical -- but A Chorus Line became a true Broadway sensation. The 1975 production with a book by James Kirkwood, Jr. and Nicholas Dante, lyrics by Edward Kleban and music by Marvin Hamlisch swept the Tony Awards in 1976, then won the Pulitzer Prize for drama that same year.
The storyline is simple: The director and choreographer for an upcoming musical are auditioning dancers for the chorus. Seventeen have made the first cut, all of them need work (as they sing in "I Hope I Get It") but there are only eight parts, so more culling must be done. The director asks the dancers to talk about themselves and how they got into dance, and the cast presents a series of self-revelatory monologues and songs. Much is revealed about the difficulties of the song and dance life.
The show ran for 15 years straight on Broadway, and was revived in 2006 to additional acclaim. Traveling companies have crisscrossed the country. The latest production started a national tour last week under the direction of Baayork Lee, who created the role of Connie Wong in the original production.
A Chorus Line comes to Arcata Sunday for two performances on one day, Sunday, Nov. 4, at 3 and 8 p.m. in HSU's Van Duzer Theatre. Tickets are $65, $35 for HSU students, available by calling 826-3928 or online at humboldt.edu/centerarts.