CENTRAL PARK, New York, NY — The Public Theater to Celebrate Marvin Hamlisch and A Chorus Line at Annual Gala at Central Park’s Delacorte Theater (Shakespeare on the park) on June 23rd.
The Public Theater will celebrate Marvin Hamlisch and the creation of A Chorus Line at its annual gala, titled One Thrilling Combination, to be held Monday, June 23, at The Delacorte Theater. A Chorus Line originated at the Public Theater in 1975 before transferring to Broadway.
A Chorus Line opened Off Broadway at The Public Theater on April 15, 1975. At the time, the Public Theater did not have enough money to finance the production. They borrowed $1.6 million in order to produce the show.
Advance word had created such a demand for tickets that the entire run sold out immediately.
On July 1975 Producer Joseph Papp moved the production to Broadway, (Shubert Theatre,) where it ran for 6,137 performances until April 28, 1990.
“Marvin Hamlisch was one of the great spirits of American music, and A Chorus Line was a show that changed everything about how musicals were made. It also created The Public Theater we cherish today. This gala will honor that amazing show and thank Marvin Hamlisch for his extraordinary gifts to us all.” — said Artistic Director Oskar Eustis in a statement.
The musical was formed from several taped workshop sessions with Broadway dancers, known as “gypsies,” including eight who eventually appeared in the original cast.
During the workshop sessions, random characters would be chosen at the end for the chorus jobs, resulting in genuine surprise among the cast. Subsequent productions, however, have the same set of characters winning the slots. Marvin Hamlisch, who wrote A Chorus Line’s winning score, recalls how in its first previews audiences seemed put off by something in the story. Actress Marsha Mason told Bennett what it was and he changed it.
Directed by Ted Sperling, the evening will celebrate the 40th anniversary of the musical, which features a score by Hamlisch and Edward Kleban, a book by Nicholas Dante and James Kirkwood, and original direction and choreography by Michael Bennett. The concert will also include other songs from Hamlisch’s illustrious career.
A Chorus Line remains the sixth longest-running Broadway show ever. Its success has spawned many successful productions worldwide. It began a lengthy run in the West End in 1976 and was revived on Broadway in 2006, and in the West End in 2013.
Tickets are available by emailing [email protected]
PUBLIC THEATER’S MISSION:
Under the leadership of Artistic Director Oskar Eustis and Executive Director Patrick Willingham, The Public Theater is the only theater in New York that produces Shakespeare, the classics, musicals, contemporary and experimental pieces in equal measure. The Public Theater continues the work of its visionary founder, Joe Papp, by acting as an advocate for the theater as an essential cultural force, and leading and framing dialogue on some of the most important issues of our day. Creating theater for one of the largest and most diverse audience bases in New York City for nearly 60 years, today the company engages audiences in a variety of venues—including its landmark downtown home at Astor Place, which houses five theaters and Joe’s Pub; the Delacorte Theater in Central Park, home to its beloved, free Shakespeare in the Park; and the Mobile Unit, which tours Shakespearean productions for underserved audiences throughout New York City’s five boroughs. The Public Theater’s wide range of programming includes Free Shakespeare in the Park, the bedrock of the company’s dedication to making theater accessible to all, new and experimental stagings at The Public at Astor Place, and a range of artist and audience development initiatives including its Public Forum series, which brings together theater artists and professionals from a variety of disciplines for discussions that shed light on social issues explored in Public productions.