I first saw the adverts for the documentary movie, Every Little Step, on my facebook. (I guess FB ads have finally caught my attention!) Upon reading the synopsis of the movie, I was intrigued by the very fact that it was a movie about the audition process for the re-casting for the revival of A Chorus Line on Broadway (opened in 2006, and closed around the same time as RENT last year). 3000 dancers showed up to the open call audition, only 17 will be cast.
“You’ve all been cut, so can you please get out!” – Casting manager at the open call
What a delightful woman!
The documentary features never-before-seen footage from the original cast, the conception ideas and conversations of the musical by the late great Michael Bennett (also famous for Dreamgirls), the dancers auditioning for the roles, and the casting directors which includes original cast member Baayork Lee who taught the dance combinations and re-staging for the revival.
Pivotal scenes in the movie include the final callbacks almost 12 months after the initial open call where they put the 2-3 dancers who are up for the same parts back-to-back in competition with each other. A tearjerker happened when one dancer who was up for the part of “Sheila” did not do the same interpretation of the character as her first audition. One of the casting directors told her to re-do her audition with the same intensity and interpretation she did nearly 12 months ago. You have to see the movie to find out if she gets the part.
This movie hits way too close to home. As a dancer/choreographer who is all too familiar with auditions, rejection, and injuries. I ended up crying half way through the movie (I almost never cry watching movies) during a scene where the father of one of the “finalists”, a former ballet dancer with New York City Ballet (NYCB for those in the know), talks about his multiple injuries that forces an early retirement and how he fought his way through to keep dancing as if it were his last moment.
If you are a musical theater buff, a performer, actor, dancer, singer, playwright, choreographer, director, or just love watching documentaries; I definitely recommend checking out Every Little Step. It is playing at Angelika Film Center in Soho/Noho and Clearview Chelsea in Chelsea.