E. Winter Tashlin

Showtunes Sing-Off: 'What I Did For Love'

Filed By E. Winter Tashlin | January 12, 2013 3:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Entertainment
Tags: A Chorus Line, broadway, Eydie Gorme, Idina Menzel, Leontyne Price, Marcia Hines, original cast recording, Shirley Bassey, Showtunes Sing-Off

That's right, I'm going back to the 'A Chorus Line' well again while covering on the Sing-Off. It's an iconic show and meant the world to me, accept it and move on.
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Today's offering is 'What I Did For Love,' or as I like to think of it - the reason one shouldn't mention the 1985 film version of "A Chorus Line" to me if I've had a drink or two. Unless that is, you want a more spit-flecked version of the following little rant:

In my mind, 'What I did for love' is one of the more beautiful and relatable songs in all of Broadway. In the musical, the song is sung by the character of Diana Morales, just after her friend Paul suffers what is likely a career-ending injury. Morales leads the troupe of struggling actors and dancers in this bittersweet reflection on the sacrifice and triumphs of pursuing their nearly impossible dreams. You don't have to be an artist or performer to have it speak to something fundamental about the lived human experience.

The movie gives the song to a white woman and makes it about a guy. As you have likely gathered by now, that really pisses me off.

Don't misunderstand, I absolutely feel that this song can be about a relationship. The gods know it ran through my head plenty when our partner of eight years decided to go "find himself" on the other side of the continent. But it can also be about so much more than that, which to me is where its true beauty lies.

So, which version below do you like best, and what (if anything) does this song say to you?

Original Broadway Cast Recording


Idina Menzel & Marvin Hamlish



Eydie Gorme



Leontyne Price



Shirley Bassey



Marcia Hines



1985 Movie Version


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