Musical theatre classic A Chorus Line went on to win The Pulitzer Prize, Drama Critics Circle Award, and nine Tonys in 1975; and ran a record-setting 6,137 performances. Most theatre fans know that this show was created as a series of meetings between Michael Bennett and nineteen dancers, who shared their own past, hopes, and dreams with the director into his tape recorder. The material was then morphed into songs by Hamlisch and Kleban, and a book by Dante and Kirkwood. But, how much did these struggling performers earn to lend their stories to what has become the quintessential Broadway musical?
Watch original cast members reunite in the 1980s to perform their life stories in “At The Ballet”:
Answer: C. $1.00 is what cast members were originally paid for contributing to over 30 hours of tape recordings. Joe Papp paid each actor $100 per week through workshops, and $650 a week after opening at The Public. When ‘A Chorus Line’ moved to Broadway, Bennett worked out a another contract with original cast members and others involved in the show’s development, dividing a tenth of his royalties and a third of his rights among them. In 2008, some of the original cast members successfully fought the Bennett estate, winning finincial interest in the 2006 revival, and subsequent “first class” productions.