I saw the first performance of A CHORUS LINE last night and it brought back such great memories of when it first hit the Broadway stage. It was the show of our lives – it showed the world what the drama behind the drama was all about. What we dreamed about; what we feared.So many of my friends were lucky enough to be in one of the companies of A CHORUS LINE but the one that I most remember is Carol Marik. She was a local Chicagoan and I worked with her in OLIVER at Candlelight Playhouse – she was one of the principles, while I was just a walk-on and prop girl, but we shared many stories together and she told me about this musical that they were putting together in N.Y. It was to be a compilation of the life stories of a Broadway chorus and that she just had to be in it! Sure enough, a short time later, she became the second Val in the Broadway company of A CHORUS LINE and it became the mega-hit on Broadway and across the country.
Not too long ago when the revival opened on Broadway two of my children saw it and told me how moved they were and that I had to see A CHORUS LINE. They spoke of it as we did when it first opened and I realized that it was time for a new generation to see it. Just as relevant as it was in the 70’s, it is a musical that brings compassion and understanding for the wonderful people that perform on Broadway In Chicago stages each and every night.
After the performance last night, a lovely woman came up to me having recognized me from previous articles on Broadway In Chicago and thanked me for all the wonderful shows that have come into Chicago and for what a difference it makes. What made this lady so special is that her name was Mitzi Hamilton, one of the original people in the workshop with Michael Bennett where the stories for the musical were created. The stories of A CHORUS LINE are compilations of many lives in the theatre, but hers is most striking as it was featured by Val (“Tits and Ass”) – and now Mitzi is a Chicagoan in the audience seeing her story told by a new generation.
What a perfect end to a perfect show.