Tear Jerker / A Chorus Line

  • A Chorus Line. One of the saddest musicals ever made, about the art of making a musical. First you learn everybody's backstory, then you see that all the years, all the physical exertion, all the isolation they put themselves through, amounts to either not getting cast at all or being that fifth dancer in the sparkly spats, doing backup for the main star, absolutely unrecognizable.
  • Paul's monologue.
    • Then his career is over when he snaps a hamstring.
  • Sheila is the oldest of the auditioners, about to turn thirty, and her attitude is one of deep cynicism and weariness. Truth in Television: That is a dancer's life - high burnout rate, early retirement. And she doesn't make the final cut at the end. At that point, she's probably ready to just give up entirely - or, on a happier note, become a casting director herself like Zach, a failed dancer.
  • "At the Ballet". Maggie, Bebe, and Sheila sing about how they loved the ballet because their lives growing up were awful, and everything on stage was perfect and beautiful. Maggie talks about how her father left after she was born because it didn't change his desire to divorce - her fantasy ballet has her father asking if she'd like to dance.
    • And then, at the very end of the show, All three girls are eliminated and sent home, aong with the others who didn't make it.
  • What I Did For Love. Christ.
    Kiss today goodbye, and point me to tomorrow...
  • By 1991, only a year after it ended its original Broadway run, 4 of the 5 creators had passed away (Michael Bennett and Edward Kleban in 1987, James Kirkwood in 1989, and Nicholas Dante in 1991; Bennett and Dante both died from AIDS). The last creator, Marvin Hamlisch, would pass on in 2012.