Follows the plight of real-life dancers as they struggle through auditions for the Broadway revival of "A Chorus Line". Also investigates the history of the show and the creative minds behind the original and current incarnations.
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Brian d'Arcy James
Starting at midnight January 26, 1974, dancer and choreographer Michael Bennett held a twelve-hour taped get-together with twenty-two dancers talking about themselves, he not knowing exactly where it would lead. It would become the genesis for what has become one of the most influential Broadway musicals of all time, and a show which speaks to theatrical dancers' hearts: "A Chorus Line". In 2008, a Broadway revival of the show is being mounted, with many involved in the original production part of the creative team behind the revival. The issue for the revival's creative team is to make the show and the casting fresh, while respecting the original, where the characters, their stories and their related songs all came out of the 1974 dancers' stories, they who were cast in the original production. Although the names and the faces have changed from 1974, the dancers auditioning mirror many of the stories and issues faced by those original dancers. As such, they "really want this job" as ... Written by
Although this film is classified as a documentary, Charlotte d'Amboise, one of the stars of the revival of A Chorus Line, told Playbill Magazine that several scenes in the film, including the ones in which she and Jessica Lee Goldyn get phone calls informing them that they have been chosen for the cast, were staged - recreated for the documentary cameras. d'Amboise said that when they filmed her pretending to receive the news that she'd been cast, there was actually no one on the other end of the phone line with her. See more »
"Kiss today goodbye/ The sweetness and the sorrow . . ." A Chorus Line
The business of show business, its pain and its glory, is never better depicted than in A Chorus Line, the 1974 Broadway musical smash of Michael Bennett's genius, reprised on stage and film to this day. In a sense, it is always pointed "t'ward tomorrow" with its eternal production and well-deserved acclaim for its incisive depiction of young actors trying out for the big time, with all the attendant sweetness and sorrow of competition, call-backs, rejections, and triumphs.
The documentary Every Little Step repeats that hard-won glory by recounting the process of the tryouts for the 2006 Broadway revival: The candidates go through the same Olympic-type workouts and tryouts as the characters in the fictional play, which itself was based on Bennett's interviews with young thespians. Not dull for a second, the doc watches several leading candidates on and off stage as they try for and sometimes win the roles that must fit them physically, temperamentally, and almost spiritually.
Unforgettable is Jason Tam doing Paul's monologue (a veiled Michael Bennett role) about his parents and his homosexuality. His crying is so believable that Bob Avian, the original choreographer and collaborator with Bennett, cries himself. Avian, in a sympathetic Simon Cowell role, is brilliant dealing with candidates and selecting the winners. He gives a good name to all the impresarios responsible for the productions to which we award Tony's and Oscars.
Watch out, this entertaining and tearful doc will get you looking on the web for a local revival of A Chorus Line, something that not even West Side Story could do.
"As we travel on, Love's what we'll remember! Kiss today goodbye, And point me t'ward tomorrow. We did what we had to do-- Won't forget, can't regret What I did for love . . ."
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