Monday, November 2, 2009

Movie Review - Every Little Step

When I was a young schoolgirl in the 70s, I attended a touring performance of A Chorus Line in Atlanta. I marveled at the glitz, glamour and choreography of the show.  Thankfully, most of the adult issues flew right over my head. Not too long ago I watched the movie A Chorus Line with Michael Douglas, so the story was once again fresh in my mind.  Tonight I watched the documentary Every Little Step, which chronicles the history of A Chorus Line and it's revival to the Broadway stage a few years ago.

For the first part of the film, the focus alternates between a retrospective of the show's creation and the current audition process for the new live performance.  We learn about the drafting of the script from tapes of an actual meeting of Broadway performers.  We meet some of the new candidates and learn a bit of their backgrounds. The tedious and sometimes agonizing process that the casting directors go through to make their choices is revealed. Original cast mates share their stories of struggle and joy.

As the film goes on, more of the focus is trained upon the current actors and their stressful audition process.  Every one of these performers is incredibly talented; it's hard to see some of them get cut.  And sometimes it's surprising to see who's finally chosen for certain parts. It all finally culminates with the finale, with the ultimate cast choices on stage in their golden glory.  The film is A Chorus Line brought to life.  The original was drawn from experiences now almost 40 years in the past, and this new documentary shows that the story still holds.  Very enjoyable.


On a side note, for parents:  This documentary was rated PG-13 because of the content and language.  The F-bomb is dropped several times, more than is usually allowed in a PG-13 movie.  These moments are mostly due to the Chorus Line script that the candidates are quoting. And of course there's the T&A song Dance: Ten; Looks: Three with some colorful content.  I think if my parents had known about this content when I was a kid, they never would have let me go.  But somehow I came out unscathed!  Still, it's worth waiting until your child is ready to show this one.

But certainly for all you Broadway and A Chorus Line fans, this is a must-see.  It would also make for educational viewing for those who are even considering a run at the Great White Way.   It's all worth it if you've got the chops, can do the work and make the cut!

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