Landmark musical “A Chorus Line” will step-kick-kick its way back to Broadway on Sept. 21, 2006 as theatrical lawyer John Breglio makes his producing debut.
Breglio — currently the sole producer of the revival — has not yet secured the planned $7 million-$8 million capitalization and does not yet have a theater. But after a story about the revival appeared in Wednesday’s New York Times, Breglio estimated he had received 75 to 100 phone calls and 200 emails by 3 p.m. about the announcement — including some requests to get involved.
“I’m not particularly worried about the financing of the show,” he said.
When it closed in 1990 after 15 years and 6,137 perfs, the tuner, about actors auditioning for a musical, was the longest-running show in Broadway history. It is now in fourth place behind “Cats,” “The Phantom of the Opera” and “Les Miserables.”
Breglio represents the estate of Michael Bennett, the tuner’s conceiver-director-choreographer, in addition to living legit biggies such as August Wilson, Stephen Sondheim and “Chorus Line” composer Marvin Hamlisch. Bennett, who died in 1987, was one of Breglio’s first clients.
The show “was such a big part of my life, it was inevitable for me to do it,” Breglio said.
Breglio will seek a 1,400-1,600-seat house, and is considering an out-of-town tryout.
Bob Avian, who co-choreographed the original production with Bennett, will direct. He also will co-choreograph with Baayork Lee, who originated the role of Connie and has directed productions of the show around the world.
Hamlisch and original set designer Robin Wagner are on board, as are the estates of lyricist Edward Kleban and book writers James Kirkwood and Nicholas Dante. The Public Theater, which produced the original production, will participate in a manner to be determined.
This production will stick close to Bennett’s original, Breglio said, but “we’re not going to be so intimidated by it” that it can’t “live and breath as a work of art.”
“Right now we don’t foresee changing the book, the lyrics or the music,” he added. “The single most challenging creative aspect of the show is the casting.”
The cast will consist mainly of young unknowns, with slightly older thesps playing Zach, Cassie and Sheila.
Wagner might use updated technology for the design, though the stage will still be bare. Hamlisch and original orchestrator Jonathan Tunick plan to re-evaluate the orchestrations.
Those seeking an analogous situation might look at “42nd Street,” which closed in 1989 after nine and a half years on Broadway. A 2001 revival closed Jan. 2 without recouping its costs.