While documenting the realization of the revival, Stern and Del Deo inform audiences about how Michael Bennett developed A Chorus Line by inviting a group of ‘gypsies’ to workshop their experiences, speaking about their personal backgrounds, yearnings and vulnerabilities. The directors use some of those original Bennett workshop tapes, fascinating archival footage of Michael Bennett and interviews with Bennett’s collaborators Donna McKechnie (who performed The Music And The Mirror in the original), composer Marvin Hamlisch (who tells the secret of how he and Bennett figured out how to make Tits and Ass work in the show) and Baayork Lee (who performed in the original production, and is choreographer for the revival).
The documentary begins by surveying the lines of hundreds of performers who are waiting to audition for the revival. The first elimination comes when performers are screened for type and dancing technique. We see the joy resulting from a call back, and the anguish caused by elimination. Then, while following those who are still in the running, we learn about private lives and circumstances, see how two or three performers tackle one role, and come to understand the overwhelming need these artists have to find a platform for their talents.
Another number that’s given extensive play in Every Little Step is At The Ballet, the lyrical number sung in the show by three aspirants, each describing how she found inspiration, purpose and focus while sitting in the darkened theater and watching the controlled and magical beauty of the dance. The double and self-referencing context gives this number, as presented in the documentary, a particularly powerful impact.
You wind up rooting for specific performers, and very curious to know who will eventually be selected for which role and wind up on stage and in costume in A Chorus Line.
Every Little Step is an all access pass to the intimate behind-the-scenes process of casting and rehearsing a beloved Broadway musical. If you’re a fan of A Chorus Line, you’ll love this movie. If you’re not familiar with the musical, you will be an instant fan.
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- Release Date: April 17, 2009 in USA; October, 2008 in Japan
- Running Time: 96 mins.
- MPAA Rating: PG-13
- Parental Advisory: Content and language advisory for parents
- Country: USA
- Language: English
- Company: Sony Pictures Classics