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A CHORUS LINE: the Score 

What do you think about the score of A CHORUS LINE?
It's a masterpiece! 43%  43%  [ 15 ]
Good songs but poorly structured as a whole. 31%  31%  [ 11 ]
Its reputation is better than it actually is. 20%  20%  [ 7 ]
It's awful! 6%  6%  [ 2 ]
Total votes : 35

A CHORUS LINE: the Score 
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Post A CHORUS LINE: the Score
There was a book that I read during my M.A. that analysed the scores of several musicals and it really ripped A Chorus Line to shreds as far as I can rememeber - so much so that although each chapter used illustrations of the score to illustrate the points of the author's argument, the section on A Chorus Line had none because the rights were denied after the A Chorus Line representatives read the analysis. And I remember being quite shocked at the extent of the author's criticism but I was also convinced by his argument.

I'd love to have another look at that chapter I think the book was called The Broadway Musical: A Critical and Musical Survey and the author Joseph P. Swain - has anyone else read that chapter? If so, what did you think?

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Last edited by RainbowJude on Sat Sep 11, 2010 9:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Tue Aug 30, 2005 4:12 am
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I think the score for A Chorus Line is fantastic, particulary for its era. I did A Chorus Line earlier this year and the only song i got sick of, well i hated it from the start, was "And..."
The melodies, repitition and contrasts are very reflective of what the script is trying to get across.
I could talk forever about ACL, so i'll leave it here! I think its a fanastic show score and script!

Timmmmmmmy! :D

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Sat Dec 17, 2005 5:35 pm
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Post A CHORUS LINE: the Score
timmy_boy6 wrote:
I think the score for A Chorus Line is fantastic, particularly for its era.... The melodies, repetition and contrasts are very reflective of what the script is trying to get across.

The thing that is, perhaps, surprising about the score is the sheer amount of underscoring that fleshes out what is represented on the cast recordings. I think there are technical things that can be picked apart in the score - Joseph P. Swain, mentioned above, certainly identifies a number of them - but there are also remarkable pieces of work here apart from the major songs, like the entire montage, which was a stroke of genius and is masterfully executed. I guess the thing is that the score does what the show needs it to do. Sure, it might hold up to technical scrutiny such as Swain's if all the details - such as the relationships between the different keys within, say, "At the Ballet" - were in place, but when the show is so effective, thanks in no small part to Michael Bennet's vision, to what extent is all of that really valid, however well it might be articulated? I don't think it compromises the dramaturgy of the show in the way that Swain does, although, as I mentioned above, his argument is incredibly convincing.

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Sat Sep 11, 2010 10:05 pm
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Post Re: A CHORUS LINE: the Score
It's a good show with a good score. I wouldn't consider it a favorite of mine, but I can't deny that it's a classic.


Mon Sep 13, 2010 5:37 pm
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Post Re: A CHORUS LINE: the Score
This show is unusual in that I'm not a huge fan of the score itself but am practically a fanatic of the show as a whole, which is why I've played the cast recordings only a handful of times. The show's various elements are so well integrated, you have to see the piece live in order to get a true feel for it. And it's one of the few shows where the difference between watching a crystal clear bootleg and being there live is so enormous, you seriously have not seen the show unless you've seen it live and up front. One can usually get a good feel for a show via a great quality bootleg but A Chorus Line has to be experienced.

I have not read Mr. Swain's assessment of the score but I know it feels cheap at some points and cliche at others. Then there are numbers like "The Music and the Mirror" which is a cross between quality and hokey. It's hard to explain since I've yet to really analyze it.

The music of the opening number and montage is amongst the best in the show. I just love the frenetic-ness of the opening scene's music.

Far from genius-level musical material but it needs to be judged alongside the parts that help it breathe.

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Last edited by Quique on Wed May 25, 2011 5:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Mon Sep 27, 2010 12:14 am
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Post Re: A CHORUS LINE: the Score
I don't really like the score, and, since that's been my only exposure to the show so far, I don't really like the show. But seeing it live tops my to-do list regarding theatre, because it seems like an exhilarating experience.

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Wed Sep 29, 2010 4:42 pm
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Post Re: A CHORUS LINE: the Score
For me, the score has a few Gems (What I Did For Love, Music and the Mirror, One, etc) but overall, not a huge fan.

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Post Re: A CHORUS LINE: the Score
I agree Hemat, I cant only really listen to 4 songs from the score the rest bores me to tears.

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Wed Jun 12, 2013 7:50 am
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Post Re: A CHORUS LINE: the Score
I don't like the Montages but LOVE the rest of the score...however if you see (hear) a singer who can't quite hit the notes or is just a bit off the songs for sure decrease in quality.


Sat Jun 15, 2013 5:18 pm
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