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VIDEO: A CHORUS LINE Alums Priscilla Lopez, Baayork Lee, and Don Pippin Reunite for Stories and Performance

Broadway historian and documentarian Rick McKay was among the lucky audience to attend the New York Public Library's most recent performance at their Bruno Walter Auditorium. Hear what he had to say about the event, then check out his video below!

Support Rick McKay by making a tax-deductible donation here, and be sure to watch the trailer for the upcoming installment in his Broadway Trilogy documentary series!

Baayork Lee, the original "Connie Wong," Priscilla Lopez, the original "DiAna Morales" and Don Pippin, the original Musical Director and Conductor of the 1975 Tony Award-winning, and Pulitzer Award-winning, legendary musical that ran 15 years on Broadway, were reunited 42 years later at an event at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center in the Bruno Walter Auditorium on March 23rd, 2017. This was a free event for the public and the panel and Q&A was hosted by Evan Leslie, Artistic Producer at The Library of Performing Arts.

Evan was a charming host and did copious research and filled the evening with fascinating projections of notes from lyricist Ed Keban, composer Marvin Hamlisch, producer Joe Papp, and director Michael Bennett, not to mention original head shots and resumes or Priscilla, Baayork and the writer of the show, and inspiration for the role of Paul, Nic Dante. The peak of the evening was no doubt Priscilla Lopez recreating her show stopping version of NOTHING, based on her own experience with the teacher "Mr. Karp," from the High School of Performing Arts to the audiences obvious joy and delight - and the emotional finale of the evening with Priscilla leading the audience in her other song from the show, the worldwide hit, and show biz anthem, WHAT I DID FOR LOVE. Priscilla convinced the audience to join her, and they clearly did not need a lot of coaxing. Priscilla was nominated for the Tony Award for her role in A CHORUS LINE and would go on to win it a few years later for her role in A DAY IN HOLLYWOOD/A NIGHT IN THE UKRAINE. Baayork has gone on to recreate Michael Bennett's direction and choreography all over the world and oversee productions for the last 40+ years, keeping Michael's vision alive. Don Pippin, who shared anecdotes with the audience, with the best speaking voice in the business and his legendary dry wit, also accompanied Priscilla and the audience beautifully. Don won the Tony Award for Best Conductor and Musical Director in 1963 for OLIVER! before the Tonys foolishly did away with that important award and went on to be Musical Director and Vocal Arrangements for HELLO, DOLLY!, MAME, 110 IN THE SHADE, APPLAUSE, SEESAW, MACK & MABEL, LA CAGE AUX FOLLES, CABARET and on and on. He is now busy working on Bette Midler's HELLO, DOLLY!.

Unfortunately the evening sold out in the first day and few people were even aware it existed after the core fans were able to grab the few seats in the small theater. I was lucky enough to be given a ticket by a friend who had to cancel or I would certainly not have been there. Even cast members of the original production had no idea that the event happened, not to mention members of the public. It was a great night, but hopefully there will be a larger scale evening in a much larger space in the future, as there is obviously a great deal of interest. It has been 42 years since this legendary musical opened. I know it changed my life when I was a young dance scholarship student studying Luigi technique at Lynette Jordan Schissla's studio in Indianapolis, Indana and saw The Road Company come to Clowes Hall in 1980. Within the year I was gone. New York City bound. The show inspired me to no end. It even inspired me to dedicate the centerpiece of the upcoming second part of our BROADWAY: THE GOLDEN AGE FILM TRILOGY, "Broadway: BEYOND the Golden Age" to A CHORUS LINE and I have tracked down just about every one of the members of the original line, as well as the "wonder studies" and many of the other cast members in subsequent companies and even some of the cast of the film. And I know I am not the only one whose life was changed by this show. It is not an accident that it ran for 15 years.

So here are a few minutes of Priscilla and Baayork and Don - they are winging it with just Don at the piano - and no rehearsal, and it IS 42 years later - and I am shooting it with my iPhone on a lark, so it is pretty grainy and shaky, but that being said - take it for what it is, and ENJOY!

From Producer/Director Rick McKay


See the trailer for our the upcoming second installment, "Broadway: BEYOND the Golden Age", of our trilogy at:

Or get the award-winning first film of the trilogy, BROADWAY: THE GOLDEN AGE on DVD at:

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