Performers Remember Marvin Hamlisch's Impact On Broadway
The Broadway community is mourning the loss of entertainment luminary Marvin Hamlisch, and some cast members of Hamlisch's groundbreaking musical "A Chorus Line" shared with NY1 their thoughts on the late composer. NY1's Frank DiLella filed the following report.
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Entertainment legend Marvin Hamlisch may have conquered Hollywood with his three Oscars, four Emmys and three Golden Globes, but he never stopped working in his native New York City, ever since starting out as an assistant vocal arranger with Barbra Streisand on "Funny Girl" back in 1964.
In the early 1970s, Hamlisch partnered up with director-choreographer Michael Bennett and lyricist Edward Kleban to create the groundbreaking work "A Chorus Line." The celebrated musical, which went on to become one of the longest-running shows in Broadway history, depicted raw and true stories of chorus dancers also known as "gypsies."
Hamlisch crafted the melodies for such notable songs in the show including "One," "What I Did For Love" and "Nothing."
Priscilla Lopez, who originated the role of Diana Morales in the 1975 production, reflected on hearing one of his songs.
"I do remember hearing the song 'Nothing' for the first time, together with Ed Kleban's lyrics, which were extraordinary, putting together an experience in my life that was so negative and turning it into this beautiful story for something that I'm just now really reaping the rewards of, generations of kids who listen to that and getting inspired," Lopez said.
In 2006, "A Chorus Line" resurfaced on Broadway under the leadership of the show's original co-choreographer, Bob Avian.
Actor Michael Berresse, who played the role of Zach in the revival, says Hamlisch was a big kid with a very big heart...
"He was such a breath of fresh air and lent such elegance to the lineage of the show," said Berresse.
"A Chorus Line" alums aside, following the news of Hamlisch's death, many Broadway performers took to Twitter to express their sadness of his passing.
Tony Award-winning actress Idina Menzel wrote, "My heart is broken. He made me feel so special. I love him so much."
Audra McDonald tweeted, "You were an amazing composer and a bundle of light."
Quoting the song "One," Michael Cerveris wrote, "Grateful to have worked however briefly with this singular sensation of a man."
Hamlisch was "one singular sensation," indeed.