A Chorus Line and the Musicals of Michael Bennett

Ken Mandelbaum, Author St. Martin's Press $19.95 (352p) ISBN 978-0-312-03061-2
Mandelbaum, who writes about musical theater for several New York publications, here pays tribute to the accomplishments of the young director-choreographer who died of AIDS in 1987. He traces the evolution of Bennett's style from his early works (including Company and Follies ) to the high point of his career, A Chorus Line , and beyond ( Ballroom ; Dreamgirls ). The major part of the book is devoted to the longest-running show in Broadway history. The chapter on the improvisatory workshops in which A Chorus Line had its beginnings is beguiling, as are the accounts of Bennett's novel directing methods. Mandelbaum succeeds in defining the features that make this musical such an innovative work. Quotations from many of Bennett's closest associates give insight into the character of the driven and brilliant director whose energy and ambition seem almost superhuman. Photos. ( July )
Reviewed on: 08/01/1989
Release date: 08/01/1989
Paperback - 352 pages - 978-0-312-04280-6
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