Theatre News

Ryan Murphy provides update on A Chorus Line Netflix musical series

The director is bringing the iconic musical to the streaming service

The Broadway revival marquee for A Chorus Line
The Broadway revival marquee for A Chorus Line
© Photo: Andreas Praefcke, CC BY 3.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons

While slap bang in the promotion circuit for the upcoming streaming adaptation of The Prom, director Ryan Murphy (American Horror Story) has given some updates on his upcoming Netflix version of A Chorus Line, being stretched out into a limited series on the platform.

Many questions were raised when the limited series version was announced, wondering how exactly Murphy was intending on take the show and spread it out over a number of episodes. A new interview with Deadline seems to have gone some way to providing answers.

A Chorus Line, first appearing in 1975, has music by Marvin Hamlisch, lyrics by Edward Kleban, and a book by James Kirkwood Jr. and Nicholas Dante. It was originally directed by Michael Bennett and ran for over 6000 performances – for a time holding the record for the longest-running Broadway musical (until that title was seized by Cats). It was a hit with both audiences and critics – receiving 12 Tony Award nominations and winning nine, in addition to the 1976 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.

It was adapted into a film in 1985 with Michael Douglas in the cast – but went on to be deemed a box office bomb having failed to make up its budget in initial box office takings.

Murphy seems to be taking a very different approach this time around. Discussing the upcoming project (still very much in its infancy), he looks to be going in a meta-theatrical/meta-filmic/biopic direction – utilising interviews and tapes from Bennett on top of all the content from the show: "My favorite Broadway director of all time, producer, whatever, is Michael Bennett. So, it's going to be A Chorus Line with all that wonderful music, but also the idea of how did he make A Chorus Line?"

Murphy elaborated to say that he was inspired by Bennett's experiences in his New York office, with interviews and chats sparking inspiration for iconic tunes such as "What I Did For Love".

So expect a Fosse/Verdon-style experience mixed with an actual musical film, all bundled into one ten-part Netflix show – we're intrigued to see more.

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