In the film A Chorus Line, a major theatre production is holding auditions, aiming to fill a handful of spots in the show’s chorus line. As director Zach and choreographer Larry put the dancers through round after round of eliminations, the group thins out. Each dancer is desperate for the work and the opportunity to appear onstage. The first cut leaves 17 dancers, and Zach explains that there is room for 4 boys and 4 girls in this production.
Each dancer steps forward, sharing a piece of their story. Mike, the youngest of 12 children, recalls wanting to join his sister’s dance class. Bobby cracks jokes to hide his insecurity. Sheila reveals that her turbulent home life is making her unhappy, with dance being the only thing that grants her any relief.
Most of the dancers retreat to learn a new song for the next round, except for experienced dancer, Cassie. Cassie knows Zach from a prior production, and the two used to live together. Cassie tries to convince him that she is too talented for this audition, but Zach sends her downstairs with the others anyway.
As the next round begins, dancer Paul falls and injures his knee, a reminder to each of the dancers that career’s can be lost in a moment’s notice. For the final dance sequence, the dancers rehearse in identical costumes. As the dance progresses, each individual character begins to blend in, losing their identities to a huge ensemble.
“This is one of the most intelligent and compelling movie musicals in a long time – and the most grown up.”
— Roger Ebert
Did You Know?
Beginning as a musical, A Chorus Line was created in the early 1970’s and adapted for film in the early 1980’s. In 1984, auditions for the film were held at the Royale Theatre on Broadway with Sir Richard Attenborough. Among the attendees was a young dancer named Madonna Ciccone. Attenborough rejected her, but as history has shown, the disappointment did not adversely affect her career. Review our Gay Themed Films Here