Has A Chorus Line got the X-Factor?

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The London Palladium, which has seen many a chorus line over the years, including the famous Tiller Girls, is all set to stage the new show in London, A Chorus Line opens in London’s West End from the 2nd February 2013.

The theme of A Chorus Line, is quite pertinent and relevant with the constant stream of auditions on reality T.V. from X Factor to Britain’s Got Talent. This show also explores the back story of the auditionees, as we all too readily see on shows such as X-Factor. The highs, the lows, the emotions behind the drive and ambition, the person behind the facade exposed.

A Chorus Line is a 1975 musical about Broadway dancers auditioning for spots on a chorus line. The music was composed by Marvin Hamlisch with lyrics written by Edward Kleban.

With seventeen main characters, it is set on the stage of a Broadway theatre during an audition for a musical. The show provides an insight into the personalities of the performers and the choreographer as they describe the events that have shaped their lives and their motivations to become dancers.

The original Broadway production was an unprecedented box office and critical hit, receiving 12 Tony Award nominations and winning 9 of them, including Best Musical.

The show ran for an impressive 6,137 performances, becoming the longest-running production in Broadway history until surpassed by Cats in 1997, and the longest-running Broadway musical originally produced in the United States, until surpassed in 2011 by Chicago. It remains the sixth longest-running Broadway show ever. The show has enjoyed many successful productions worldwide and was revived on Broadway in 2006.

In the show every dancer is desperate for work, and just 17 dancers remain on call-back. The director tells them he is looking for four boys and four girls. He wants to learn more about them personally, and asks each of them to introduce themselves. With some hesitance, the dancers reveal their pasts. This candid process takes in early childhood experiences, unhappiness and joy. Whilst the dancers display some misgivings about the process they all need the job and with 17 people and just 8 places available, expect nerve endings to be shredded and heart strings tugged.

As the session continues, more is revealed including personal relationships, past loves, first experiences of homosexuality, first jobs, problematic childhood, physical self-awareness and of course their shared passion for dance. Who will win through is the burning question?

In 1976, many of the original cast went on to perform in the Los Angeles production. A London show opened in the West End at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane in 1976. It ran for several years. The production won the Laurence Olivier Award as Best Musical of the Year in 1976, the first year in which the awards were presented.

The Broadway revival opened at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theater in 2006 following a sucessful run in San Francisco. The production received two Tony Award nominations in 2007 for Featured Role (Charlotte d’Amboise) and Revival (Musical).

The musical is now set to take London by storm at the world famous London Palladium in 2013. And just like X-Factor and Britain’s Got Talent is simply New Faces and Opportunity Knocks reincarnated A Chorus Line in 2013 is expected to be hugely popular.