Review of Every Little Step directed by James D. Stern and Adam Del Deo
I added this documentary to my queue based solely on the brief synopsis I read online, which basically said that it was about the auditioning process for a revival of the musical A Chorus Line. I haven't seen the play or the movie version, but I thought it sounded like an interesting premise. Sort of a Dancing With The Stars meets American Idol. The film, however, is about much more than just the auditioning process. It's also about the creative forces behind the original A Chorus Line and the genesis behind its creation.
Turns out that the whole thing started with the title and a simple idea. Michael Bennett, who was one of the co-creators and a dancer himself, decided to tape a group of dancers who agreed to tell their personal stories. He had the title A Chorus Line before the recordings even began. The musical evolved from the transcripts of the recordings.
The documentary inter-cuts the recent auditions with audio clips from the original recordings, interviews with some of the creators past and present, and archival footage from some of the original cast members. The end result is a compelling film that works on many different levels. You don't have to be a dancer or a fan of musicals to get something out of this film. Anyone can relate to the struggles the dancers go through. We all compete on some level whether it be for a job or for business. We've all experienced success and failure.
Of the many auditions that are shown throughout the film, Jason Tam's audition for the part of Paul is worth the price of admission. You won't be able to take your eyes off the screen.
With three thousand people competing for just twenty or so spots, you know that there is going to be some disappointment. But in the end, you root for those who make the cut. They each deserved to be there. Their joy is genuine and you you know what it took to get there.
The DVD had some extra interviews and an audio commentary, which is rare for documentaries. I can't imagine anyone not liking this film.