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The Making of A CHORUS LINE
Release Date: April 17, 2009
Audience: Older teenagers and adults
Runtime: 96 minutes
Distributor: Sony Pictures Classics
Director: Adam Del Deo and James D. Stern
Producer: Adam Del Deo and James D. Stern
Address Comments To:Michael Barker, Tom Bernard and Marcia Bloom
Sony Pictures Classics
(Sony Pictures Entertainment)
550 Madison Avenue, 8th Floor
New York, NY 10022
Phone: (212) 833-8833
Fax: (212) 833-8844
Web Page: www.sonyclassics.com
In 1975, A CHORUS LINE hit Broadway winning numerous Tony Awards and being the longest running Broadway show at the time. In 2006, one of the original producers launched a revival with one of the original cast members as choreographer. Cameras follow the grueling audition process for the revival as the actual stage show in 1975 is discussed and seen through archival footage. The stage show itself is about a group of dancers auditioning for their role. The real world dancers are seen going through the process, wanting the job of a lifetime.
For anyone familiar with the musical, this documentary is a nostalgic remembrance of such songs as “At the Ballet” or “What I Did for Love.” Archival footage of the late Michael Bennett highlights the unique way that they conceived of the show, tape recording real life stories from the lives of Broadway dancers.
At some level, the movie seems much like a feature version of AMERICAN IDOL. The camera watches dancers in suspense as to whether they made the cut. The camera then follows the dancers calling their loved ones to tell them the good or bad news.
There is some emotion, but for the most part the viewers remain distanced from the story. Since the audience is not emotionally involved with the auditioning dancers, the outcome is not important, and the movie begins to drag.
There are positive messages of people working hard and showing perseverance to achieve their goals.
Many of the onscreen male characters, including Michael Bennett, discuss their homosexual lives and their struggle to “come out.” This is mirrored in many of the dance numbers that are shown in detail as a character describes how he wanted to be a girl when he was younger.
The documentary has foul language, mostly in the lyrics. There is also one song that uses graphic jargon to discuss the joys of plastic surgery, and how once a dancer has implants, she gets more roles.
Fans of Broadway may want to watch this for the history of A CHORUS LINE and behind the scenes of how it all began. However, much discernment is required.
On one level, this documentary is like a dull feature version of AMERICAN IDOL. The camera watches dancers wondering in suspense whether they made the cut. It then follows the dancers calling their loved ones to tell them the good or bad news. Many onscreen male characters discuss their homosexual lives and their struggle to “come out.” This is mirrored in many of the dance numbers that are shown in detail while a character describes how he wanted to be a girl when he was younger.