What I Did For Love

It’s twenty-four hours later and I’ve still got the song stuck in my head………….

Even though I’ve known the song, “What I Did For Love” since childhood, I’ve never previously connected it with the musical, “A Chorus Line”. For me, it was always a torch song about love and all of that stuff. I’d never realised the “love” in the song was the love of “dance”.

A colleague – who has worked professionally as a singer – told me today she once auditioned for a role performing “What I Did For Love”. Almost as soon as she sang the opening the line, she was told, “stop stop stop”. To the laughter of the other people on the panel, she was told by one of them he was in the original cast production of “A Chorus Line” and could barely stand to hear the song again.

That’s the thing about performing a classic. Sometimes they can become a cliche. But when you hear one of those classic, almost over-sung songs, sung with emotion, and with a freshness, you hear insights you may have previously not heard. And that’s what I experienced last night, when a couple of friends and I went to see “A Chorus Line” at Sydney’s Capitol Theatre.

The basic plot of the musical concerns a group of sixteen dancers auditioning for the role of the chorus in a broadway musical. Of the sixteen, only eight will be selected. As I watched it, I couldn’t help but think of all of those modern talent reality shows where, one by one contestants are eliminated. Along the way, we’ve gotten to know the stories of these people on reality TV, and have begun to understand who they are as people. In “A Chorus Line” the elimination process is confined to just one moment. In some ways, the elimination is thus more shocking, but when the moment actually came, I knew pretty much who would go, and was mostly right.

It’s a great show and I really enjoyed the production. The theatre was almost full, so it’s a shame it’s closing this weekend. Lately we’ve seen a few major productions close early, so I guess the attitude of the producers was to limit the length of the season, and so when it closed, people were left wanting more. I think there’s a few tickets left for the weekend – maybe gone now – and so if you were interested, I’d highly recommend it.

  1. Luv this musical! So jealous. Have been singing “tits and arse” and “god I hope I get it” since my 20’s…..

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  2. One of my friend’s told me, when he put on a production a number of years ago, the wife of a local politician was SHOCKED by the VULGARITY of T&A.

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  3. We forget how quickly things change. ‘A Chorus Line’ was thought to be quite daring when it first was staged with its open references to homosexuality quite apart from any ‘T and A’.

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  4. You’re right Victor. The coming out scene for one of the dancers is a pivotal moment in the show. Oh and I forgot to say, the composer of ACL, Marvin Hamlisch died this week.

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