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 it speaks to who they are and what they do and want to do for a living. It ends up being a difficult process for both sides as there end up being 3,000 dancers at the start of the eight month audition process.

Also Known As: Every Little Step: The Journey of a Phenomenon, Every Little Step, Каждый мельчайший шаг, Kathe vimataki

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  • rodrigo-da-figueiredo
    rodrigo da figueiredo

    I agree with the other reviewers here that Every Little Step certainly left out key parts of history and gave short-shrift to extremely important people in the genesis and creation of the original Chorus Line. Such omissions also make me wonder if something similar was going on regarding the auditioning process for the 2006 revival..what else is being deliberately left out? // Those issues aside, and treating the film just as an enjoyable exposé, I thought ELS did a very good job of capturing the excitement and tension of the auditioning process — I give special kudos to the editing department. I really liked watching the actors/actresses’ performances being interspersed with incredulous looks on the faces of the casting staff.

  • noemi-aubert-de-la-daniel
    noemi aubert de la daniel

    Del Deo and Stern’s new film records the tryouts for the 2006 revival of the big Seventies Broadway hit, Chorus Line. Fans of musicals and song-and-dance generally, as well as devotees of the joy and tears of the theatrical life and the fierce competition of Broadway, and certainly anyone who adored the original musical or its revival, will not want to miss this. Others may be left relatively cold by a film that at times tries to tell too many human interest stories, both about the makers of the hit musical (which opened in 1975) and about the experiences of (well some of) the thousands of hopefuls who turned up for auditions four years ago. But the thrill and the excitement are there, as well as the heartbreak. And the sheer fun of witnessing a moment or two when somebody absolutely “nails” an audition, and shows a just-right-for-the-part talent as an actor, singer, and dancer, all at the same time. These sweet-spot moments don’t come often, but when they do, they can take your breath away and they can make you weep.Immensely popular and a hot ticket at the time, Chorus Line itself plays to hardcore Broadway show fans. In conventional terms, it’s not a play, and it’s not a musical either. It’s a “chorus line.” It is built on the stylized conceit of presenting a literal line, a row of a dozen men and a dozen women ranged like soldiers along the stage in front of the audience who tell stories and entertain by singing, dancing, and, of course, acting. One by one, and in alternation, they tell their stories, which in turn are in some sense the universal stories of show people — the early talent, the inspiration, the commitment — the one-way bus ticket to Manhattan with a few dollars in the pocket and a small valise of clothes and a big dream. Bob Avian and Michael Bennett were the original collaborators, with Charlotte d’Amboise and others on the team that put the thing together. The genesis was a series of sessions where a group of dancers got together with Avian and Bennett in a loft with a reel-to-reel tape recorder and a big bottle of bad red wine and blabbed into a microphone about their lives. It was Bennett’s belief, which Avian endorsed, that these collective and individual stories could in some way or another be made into a show that people would want to see and that would be exciting and fresh. A show with choreography added and the songs built out of the stories crafted by the gifted composer Marvin Hamlisch.It was a collective process to decide how to make it work. One of the essential tricks was not to be too literal in linking certain testimony to a single voice or character and to keep all the two dozen of the “line” somehow in play. Individual soliloquies were important, and solo songs, and also ensemble song-and-dance numbers. What emerged was a collective picture of theatrical life built out of real individual experiences from the spoken words of the tapes.One of the things that put it across as a show on Broadway was that Broadway fans are fascinated with the individual stories of how real people make it to the glamor and the bright lights, and that this somewhat vérité style of presentation used in the play seemed radical and original and of-the-zeitgeist. Chorus Line was Chorus Line and nothing else. It was at once every musical and no musical ever done before. It fit the somewhat radical taste of the Seventies and also the very Seventies interest in the confessional mode. Because some of the stories were very sad and very personal.You’ve got to hand it to the film: it thoroughly documents this process of creation, while skillfully juggling the story of the three thousand or so hopefuls who showed up and got gradually whittled down to two dozen for the revival. But beyond this statement, it’s very difficult to summarize the film, because too many people are involved. There is an eight-month gap between the original tryouts and the final auditions, and one woman with solid Broadway experience fails because she’s asked to recapture the innocence of her first portrayal of the part, and she just can’t remember what she did back then.One moment you won’t forget is Justin Tam’s “tour de force” speech as the gay character Paul, who recounts as a young dancer being hired to play dressed up as a girl, and then discovers that his parents, who don’t know about him, have come to see the performance, but do not judge him. Inexplicably, Tam’s reading just makes you cry from the first sentence, and he broke up the whole table of audition judges, who applauded him after it was over. Something magical happened for Tam: he had incarnated the role totally and appealingly, and there wasn’t much doubt about who would get the role after that. This is the mystery, and also the heartbreak, of auditions. Lots of talent comes in, but even when the sometimes narrow requirements of look and body type and voice, etc., have been met, how can you “hit it” just in those five minutes you get to perform? You don’t need much: just major amounts of work, talent, heart, intuition, and luck. And this dedication the film and its participants celebrate.The film seems at its most desperate and uninformative when it edits the performances of a single song and dance by three men — and the men’s auditions are very unrepresented to begin with — into a single excerpted performance. It tells you nothing about the performers or the song. Ultimately, Del Deo and Stern have too much material to work with.

  • erik-bergstrom
    erik bergstrom

    A documentary captures real life, but real life is altered when the subject is aware that he/or she is being filmed.Not for nothing, “A Chorus Line” is a permanent fixture in the American musical theater. Every performer who ever dreamed about New York loves Michael Bennett’s singular sensation unconditionally. It flatters them. The 1975 musical tells the story of their lives, their struggle. Words by Edward Kleban and music by Marvin Hamlisch, “A Chorus Line” epitomizes the performer’s belief that singing and dancing constitute a religion, so when it comes to churches, the bigger the better. And it gets no bigger than Broadway. “Every Little Step” gives the moviegoer a privileged look at the rarefied world of showbiz people, the weirdos who unite in their love for the bright lights. On a snowy day outside the Schubert Theater, thousands of hopeful dancers line up for open call auditions, and almost miraculously, so are we. More so than any other revival, the 2006 version of “A Chorus Line” required men and women with humility; men and women with big feet, after all they had big shoes to fill. But big heads? No. Bob Avian won’t tolerate any prima donna behavior from his dancers.Competing for the part of Sheila, the sexy but aging dancer(played by Kelly Bishop in the original production), are Deidre Goodwyn and another woman, whose lack of humility takes her out of the running. Heading into final callbacks, it was the woman’s part to lose, but due to an unfavorable last impression during her final audition, she opened up the competition. Out of generosity, Avian offers direction and advice to the chorus line candidate in private, giving her every opportunity to replicate the performance she gave four months prior. Instead of accepting this second chance with elegance and appreciation, this dancer goes into full diva mode and acts contentiously(in voiceovers) towards Avian, who was only trying to help her win the part. Tell it to the mountain, the moviegoer thinks, as she goes on about her broken relationship; this is “A Chorus Line”, not “American Idol”; this is the choreographer from the original Broadway production, not Ryan Seacrest. “Every Little Step” is at its most immediate when a colleague tells Avian that the woman wants a decision on her fate right then and there, thus sealing her fate and losing her part to a less talented performer. With the cameras rolling, the woman loses what little leeway she had, since nobody wants to look weak when served an ultimatum. If Avian wasn’t provoked and had time to mull things over, she might have gotten the part. Everybody in this business has huge egos, but for those without any clout, asserting that huge ego against those who do, amounts to suicide.Baewok Lee, the original Connie, is one of those people, and she has an ego which easily transcends her petite frame. Because Lee lacks humility , she’s the last person on the committee to realize that Yuka Takara was tailor-made for the part of the undersized Asian dancer with spunk and gumption. Her philosophy on casting seems antithetical towards the creative process in regard to the interpretation of old material, which is to make it new again, when the old pro insists that she doesn’t see herself in Takara. She nitpicks over Takara’s accent and non-American origins(Takara was born in Okinawa), qualities that make her perfect for the part, because it updates the musical by reflecting on a different era that’s even more inclusive to a wider breadth of people. Electicism is the heart of “A Chorus Line”, and Lee’s isolationist stance goes against the spirit of this hallowed musical. With the cameras rolling, her comments work as exposition, which means she’s playing for the cameras, since her colleagues already know what her part was in the original production. The moviegoer learns that Lee was Connie when she expresses a desire to cast the part herself.

  • katelyn-hopkins
    katelyn hopkins

    It surprises me the number of reviews and comments that were “bored” by the repetitions of “At the Ballet” and “Dance 10, Looks 3”. That’s how auditions are structured and how casts are chosen (discovered?).I’ve worked in theatre and been around many auditions and table readings. The miracle of the casting process is that there’s always that actor who stands out from crowd. The later callbacks in ELS are riveting in showing just how true that is even when a role has been winnowed down to four or five actors from tens, if not hundreds. There’s still that one person whom the role has taken possession of, was there any doubt that Charlotte would get “Cassie”, Jason would get “Paul”, and Yuka would get “Connie”? And that Rachelle is just too angry to play a role that takes freshness and optimism? A great look at “Life imitating Art” in auditions for a musical where “Art imitated Life”. Go see it.

  • james-espinoza
    james espinoza

    I watched this on DVD last night and it brought tears to my eyes, several times. This is the best film I have seen all year.”A Chorus Line” and I became acquainted in the winter of 1980, on Broadway, during my first trip to Manhattan, a business trip. A bunch of us would get half-price tickets at the TKTS booth in Times Square. Being a country boy from the Cajun country of Louisiana I didn’t quite know what to make of the show, especially when the “Dance 10, Looks 3”, often called the “T&A” song, was performed. But the show stuck with me. I can’t tell you how many times I have listened to the cast soundtrack on CD. “At the Ballet” is my favorite song of all time, I still can’t listen to it without getting goosebumps.So in 2005, 30 years after it opened its historic run, a brand new revival of “A Chorus Line” was planned, and this film, “Every Little Step”, is about that revival.It is a gripping, mostly documentary film. It mixes in ample clips of the original show. Over 3000 dancers began the audition process. Several members of the original production are featured. One young man’s acting was so good during his audition that the show’s director was in tears at the end of this performance, as was I. It is the ultimate “reality show.” In the end a Broadway production like “A Chorus Line” is just a show. It is just entertainment. But to those individuals who make up the cast, it is their lives. This film lets us see closely into a part of their lives and it is fascinating.Now, I need to buy my own copy of the DVD.

  • zara-friis
    zara friis

    For the legions of theater lovers who treasure A CHORUS LINE this informative and fascinating little film will bring memories and tears and satisfaction. The story behind the film is a documentary of sorts that examines the remake of the now nearly thirty-five year old Broadway sensation of a show that was created by Michael Bennett from a recorded conversation with ‘gypsies’ (a common term for those who work the chorus line). The road from conception to completion for the original show is mirrored by the struggles to cast this re-staging. We are privileged to observe scores of talented dancer/singers as they try to satisfy the team that will have the final say in who is selected for the production. Those familiar with the original cast as well as the movie version or one of the many traveling troupes that have keep this show alive will make their own decisions about who is best for each of the roles. This provides a very immediate replay of the original idea, watching the reactions of each of the people who audition, learning about their own lives, and the importance that appearing in this production means to each. They take what could have been an insider’s story and make it viable – which most certainly adds to the joy of seeing and hearing bits and pieces of one of the best shows Broadway ever produced. There is a lot of humor here, some very gut wrenching drama (as we see one of the dancers recreate Paul’s monologue), and load of fine memories. Grady Harp

  • vello-kiis
    vello kiis

    This documentary is on the short list for the Oscar next year.It is a look backstage at what goes on in casting for a Broadway play. The play in question is A Chorus Line, and the film focuses on a dozen or so dancers that are auditioning for a part.What you quickly find out is that these dancers started when they were three or four and are in as good or better shape than any pro athlete.Then come the auditions. The ups and downs, the callbacks, being just a little bit off, not having that spark they are looking for; judging these things is just as hard as auditioning. I really have a greater appreciation for what these performers go through.All that work makes for a fantastic final product.

  • destiny-anderson
    destiny anderson

    Every Little Step is a riveting 2008 documentary that chronicles the audition process for the 2005 Broadway revival of A CHORUS LINE, that not only provides an intimate behind the scenes look at the audition process for the production, but includes archival footage from the original 1975 production and interviews with original cast members as well as the show’s creator, the late Michael Bennett.As expected, the documentary begins with quick interviews with hopefuls in line outside the theater explaining what the show means to them. We then move inside the studio where Baayork Lee, who played Connie in the original production, shows the auditionees the jazz and ballet combination in the show before the initial elimination.The film then alternates between the audition process and a look at the original production, which included some background on Michael Bennett, some provided by original cast member Donna McKechnie, which even features some old footage of Bennett and McKechnie dancing together on Hullabaloo.As the auditionees are eliminated, focus is shifted to a few of the individual dancers working to be cast. We meet a girl who drove into Manhattan from Parsippany, New Jersey, who ends up being one of the finalists for the role of Val. We watch several girls butcher Maggie’s closing solo during “At the Ballet” and we meet a dance legacy, Charlotte D’Ambroise, a Cassie finalist, who is the daughter of legendary ballet dancer Jacques D’Ambroise, who is also featured in a very touching interview. We also meet three guys auditioning for the role of Mike, including an extremely arrogant Tyce Diorio, who would go on to be a judge on SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE.Best of all, we are allowed to witness the audition of a young dancer named Jason Tam, whose performance of the monologue by the Paul character brought tears to the eyes of everyone at the audition table, as well as my own…probably the only character who was cast instantly…he was even better than original Paul, Sammy Williams.There were some sad elements showcased here, notably watching poor Baayork Lee, whose career has gone nowhere since the original 1975 production and has made a life out of choreographing revivals of the show and it was kind of sad watching the clearly out of shape Lee showing young nubile dancers the combinations. I was also moved by the plight of Rachelle Rak, a finalist for the role of Sheila, who was in the original cast of FOSSE, being told after multiple auditions, that she needed to bring something back to her reading of the role that she did during the first audition, but couldn’t remember what she did nor was unable to recreate it.For dancers and lovers of musical theater, this is a must.

  • dr-molnarne-takacs-maria
    dr molnarne takacs maria

    This movie delves into the audition process of the revival of A Chorus Line. Warning! You will now want to see the movie and have the songs rolling through your brain ad nauseam…Who knew the audition process took that long! Some of them really screwed the pooch and lost the roles in the process.An interesting look at a well loved and known Broadway play and movie.

  • irene-farina
    irene farina

    I can see how if you just love the Broadway genre, you might just love this. But for those of us who think the heavy handed dramatics are too much, this felt a little thin. I wish there was a little bit more about Michael Bennett (the creator of the show) and why he personally felt driven to make the show, rather than staring at the casting team again. Their descriptions of the parts didn’t bring audience members who don’t know much about the show into their world. It was a nice reminder of the music from the show, but overall the doc seemed a bit too cliche for me.

  • leanne-tucker
    leanne tucker

    27 May 2010. If this was a perfect world with an unlimited budget, perhaps this movie could have won best documentary, but life isn’t so much of a fantasy. Take the best of American Idol, So You Think You Can Dance, throw in the amazing power of the original Broadway play itself, and create a personal fusion of reality (the original source material and taped session) and the reality of the moment of revival rehearsal) you get an amazing, emotionally touching and usually comprehensible you are there experience. This is real life transformed into a musical transformed into a reality show/documentary that emotes all of the deeply emotional hard work, anxiety, fear, and triumphs of dancing and the performing arts. The side by side competition, the original intent of the musical to usher in you are the director choosing the cast experience is there. The only weakness comes from the inability due to the likely logistics, limited budget, and the lack of a psychic to better follow in more depth the storyline of some of the main characters all the way through and the sometimes difficulty of following so many real life people. This movie is powerful enough to even exceed the captivating The Company (2003) dance documentary as well as the less than compelling movie version of the musical (1985). Nevertheless, this is a dazzling and personal display of the sacrifices and the talents and fine nuances of musical Broadway that few ever get to experience.

  • mamontov-fedosii-elizarovich
    mamontov fedosii elizarovich

    This is a film almost exclusively about young (or at least ‘youngISH’) people and yet, as you can see by the votimg breakdown, it scores poorly with them. Why? Read on. “E.L.S.” is a superb and intimate view of the innumerable auditions held for the revival of “A Chorus Line,” the mid-’70s Broadway musical that has become a landmark of American musical theater, winning 12 Tony Awards and a Pulitzer Prize. It was the longest running show on Broadway in its time.Dancer/choreographer/director Michael Bennett wanted to make a musical about Broadway’s ‘gypsies,’ the chorus-line dancers and their extremely demanding, physically punishing specialty, which offers great personal fulfillment in exchange for relentless disappointment, endless work, low pay, few opportunities for employment and almost NONE for stardom (how many musicals after all, STAR a dancer)? Bennett’s title, ‘A Chorus Line,’ not THE, makes it clear that he’s talking about all gypsies, all the time, every show.And yet when the casting call went out, 3000 dancers put themselves on the line for about a dozen jobs. The same thing happened with the revival–and opening night was more than a year away. Talent is a must, of course, but there’s more. If the gypsies want the job, says choreographer Baayork Lee, they must be prepared “to eat nails.” Pay: $100 a week, and that includes the producers (of course, they can afford it). Still, it’s important: the producers were all part of the 1976 show, and the revival is essentially a tribute to Michael Bennett, who died at only 44. Their emotional bonds means they’re intensely concerned with getting it right. Exchanges among themselves and with the gypsies reveal the stress of seeking exactly the right performer while having to tell dozens of others they didn’t quite make the cut. Then there are numerous and affecting interviews with the gypsies–all hopeful, some desperate–struggling through the auditions. There’s also footage of the 1976 original, in which the brilliance of Donna McKechnie’s dancing is just barely visible (it’s a shame that this dim, coarse-grained footage is all that’s left to us). SPOILER ALERT: And there’s a terrific revelation about how Marsha Mason “saved the show” when she wasn’t even in it.So why isn’t it much liked by the young? BECAUSE they’re young. Because they’re not OLD ENOUGH. I mean no insult; it’s perfectly natural. The young are told ‘go out, work hard and success is sure to follow,’ and that is rather less than the truth. In real life, a lot of the time things just don’t pan out because of bad luck, bad timing, bad bosses–even mere LOOKS. The little secret that life isn’t fair is withheld and the young are sent forth armed with illusions instead. It’s not a GOOD solution; it’s the ONLY solution. (Would you tell a first-time pregnant woman about labor maybe lasting 72 hours and the rising incidence of Downs’ Syndrome, crippling allergies and birth defects? No. We say ‘Congratulations. Don’t smoke, don’t drink and all will be well,’ don’t we?) This film scores so well with the older crowd because they know it’s the truth and because it’s not just about Broadway’s gypsies but about everyone who’s had to work too long and too hard for too little, who’s taken some hits from from what Martin Amis, I think, called “the shrapnel of life.” So if you’re young and didn’t like this film–wait 20 years and try again. (I didn’t get “A Chorus Line” myself, although that’s at least partly because I saw only the 1985 movie version, which was badly done and badly cast.)SPOILER ALERTS–both near the end. A lame moment comes on opening night. Outside the theater, with the crowd showing up, we get a quick montage of Joan Rivers, Liza Minelli and Sandra Bernhardt. None says a word and the whole thing lasts a mere 20 seconds or so, but the intrusion of celebrities breaks the mood. It doesn’t help that each of them looks like hell, besides. The best moment for me was a clip of Michael Bennett’s Tony Award acceptance speech. It was heartfelt, beautiful and brief, altogether a much-deserved slap in the face for all of those smarmy Oscar winner who drone on endlessly with thanks and special thanks and great big thanks and extra thanks to anyone and everyone they can think of, including their agents and, lately, their LAWYERS.

  • joseph-rizzo
    joseph rizzo

    In 1974 Broadway director and choreographer Michael Bennett sat down with a group of dancers and interviewed them in intimate detail about their lives, careers and aspirations. The transcripts of that 12-hour session became the basis for Bennett’s extravagant new musical A Chorus Line which explored the passions, dedication, determination and personal stories of dancers keen to tread the boards on Broadway. The show scooped the pool at the 1976 Tony Awards, winning nine Tonys, went on to become a Broadway phenomenon and the longest running American musical in history. In 2006 Bennett’s assistant director Bob Avian staged a revival. This superb fly on the wall documentary follows the gruelling casting process from the original call-out, through to the final selection. There are 17 roles to cast, and the producers are locked in to very specific casting choices because of the nature of the show and the characters. Ironically, art imitates life here as this documentary is about a group of dancers auditioning for a show about a group of actors auditioning for a role in a musical. Many do not make the cut, and those who are called back for further auditions are not guaranteed success. In an era when vapid reality TV shows like So You Think You Can Dance, Australian Idol, and their ilk, have made the auditioning process a forum for cruel put downs and the sarcastic wit of a panel of judges, Every Little Step is refreshingly upbeat, honest and positive. While we experience the elation of those dancers who are successful, we thankfully do not dwell too long on the tears and disappointments of those hopeful stars who, for one reason or another, are unsuccessful. In one extraordinary scene, Jason Tan’s heart wrenching monologue for the key role of Paul, the drag queen, reduces theatre veteran Avian to tears. Co-directors James D Stern and Adam Del Deo have been granted unprecedented access to Bennett’s original tape recordings, and this gives a deeper understanding about the show’s genesis and what it is trying to do. The filmmakers, who have extensive experience in the theatre world themselves, juxtapose archival footage taken during the auditions for the original production with many of the hopefuls auditioning for this revival. There are fascinating and insightful interviews with Avian, as well as stars of the original production in Tony award winner Donna McKechnie, and the very demanding Baayork Lee, who played Connie and who is now choreographing the revival. An exhilarating insight into the world of musical theatre, Every Little Step is almost mandatory viewing for anyone with aspirations for pursuing a career on stage.

  • azade-evrim-yildirim-ihsanoglu
    azade evrim yildirim ihsanoglu

    Greetings again from the darkness. A Chorus Line is a mainstay and iconic piece of Broadway history. Now we get a documentary on the behind the scenes process of auditioning for a revival of a musical about the process of auditioning for a musical stage production. Luckily, Michael Douglas is not involved in this one. Sadly, Kirkwood and Kleban seemed to be overlooked while the genius of Michael Bennett is the focus. His original co-choreographer Bob Avian is directing the revival.While American TV viewers have been brainwashed into believing American Idol and Dancing with the Stars are somehow what show business is all about, directors Adam Del Deo and James D Stern show us what the world of a singer/dancer/actor is truly like. The pressure and stress of having to compete for sometimes only a few seconds against hundreds of other talented people … sometimes while rushing to one’s “real” job are just excruciating. These people are trying to realize dreams and relentless hard work for their entire lives and so few actually “make it”.This documentary approach is centered on the famous audio recordings that Michael Bennett held with the initial group back in the early 70’s. Marvin Hamlisch recalls going through those transcripts and creating the songs that would become Broadway staples. Mr. Hamlisch also brings us insight into the impact that actress Marsha Mason had on the success of the play after she attended (with her husband Neil Simon). Good stuff.Sure the auditions tug at the viewer’s emotions a bit, but that is because we are rarely exposed to the pressure cooker of what happens prior to the curtain rising. Jason Tam’s audition is worth the price of admission alone.Were egos involved in making this film? Absolutely. But in reality, ego is what drives these creative forces. When it is damaged, it immediately impacts the talent. We get a first hand look at that. If you are fan of A Chorus Line, this is a must see. If you are intrigued by the Broadway process, then you will certainly see aspects you have never seen before.

  • yinthe-dachgelder
    yinthe dachgelder

    I’ve seen a Chorus Line about a dozen times since my high school performed it in 1978. I’ve also seen the revival. The music still gives me goosebumps, and I had goosebumps sitting in the theater as they began playing Micheal Bennett’s taped interviews from the early 70s when he gathered together a group of dancers and had them talk about their lives, their hopes, their dreams, their aspirations…and what would happen if they could never dance again. That’s right…the legendary tapes that any Chorus Line fan knows about but has never heard. If you love this show the way I love this show, you’ll find Every Little Step truly fascinating. Jason Tam’s audition for the part of Paul was one of the highlights, leaving just about everyone – on screen and off – in tears. I’ve seen this kid on One Life to Live and never gave him a second thought. Now I have intense respect for his acting skills.How ironic – a film that shows the struggles of dancers trying to earn a place in a show about the struggles of dancers trying to earn a place in a show… It’s worth every penny, and I’ll definitely buy it on DVD. I highly recommend it to anyone who has seen and loved a Chorus Line.

  • pani-eliza-grzeszkowiak
    pani eliza grzeszkowiak

    I share lor_’s dismay at the distortions and omissions in “Every Little Step”. To ignore the contributions of James Kirkwood, Ed Kleban and all the actors in the original cast is appalling. McKechnie and Lee, the only two original cast members, have managed to turn “A Chorus Line” into a positive, but it took the other cast members years of negotiation and the threat of litigation to receive more than the pittance they received from their stories. As an aside, is any movie viewer so naive as to believe that Charlotte D’Amboise just happened to have the camera film her actual casting moment? We ain’t that dumb. Disappointing on so many levels.

  • yvonne-greene
    yvonne greene

    A Chorus Line and I came of age right around the same time, so it has not only an aesthetic appeal for me but a nostalgic one as well. I’ve seen several live versions and of course the movie, which could never measure up to any live performance just because of the nature of the subject, but made the show accessible to those who couldn’t see it live. I did not know what to expect upon viewing Every Little Step, but how could I be disappointed given the subject matter and its irresistible music? Reviewers here have criticized a variety of omissions in the film, charging that it is inaccurate and/or incomplete. However, I see Every Little Step as more of a multi-media magazine piece than a documentary. How amazing to listen to the interviews with the dancers back in 1974 which provided the inspiration for the musical! I thoroughly enjoyed the blending of footage of original auditions and performances in the 70s with the current audition process for the 2006 revival. Though I was disappointed not to see auditions for Morales and wondered why some of the stories were not completed, I did learn some things in retrospect that I had never known back then (eg, the Kelly Bishop I always enjoyed in Dirty Dancing is the Sheila I have been listening to all these years on the Broadway cast album). The film successfully engaged me emotionally and made me realize that it is A Chorus Line which inspired my interest in American Idol throughout these years and why that show continues to be a separate entity from these other wannabe reality shows. ELS also sent me right to the internet to dig up more Chorus Line history and cast info and You Tube performances to keep me involved and singing all afternoon, even after finishing the extra features on the DVD (there are plenty). What a lovely way to spend an afternoon.I didn’t set out to be a critical viewer of this film, only to find out more about this timeless piece, and I enjoyed every little step of it.

  • kristen-king
    kristen king

    A documentary on the revival of “A Chorus Line” on Broadway in 2006. It goes over the rehearsals and has interviews with the casting directors, the dance instructor and Donna McKechnie (going over the original production). It focuses on various performers and shows their auditions. At the end we find out who gets the job–or doesn’t. There’s also some very grainy b&w footage from the original show.I saw a “Chorus Line” on stage multiple times in the 1980s. I found the play funny, sad, touching and just brilliant. I haven’t seen it in ages but I clearly remember all the songs and characters. This documentary only focuses on the characters who have songs. Nothing wrong with that but it gets repetitious. I don’t think I can ever listen to “Dance Ten, Looks Three” or “At the Ballet” again–they’re done virtually nonstop here! Also some of the scenes look very staged, the direction is clumsy and some people appear and disappear at an alarming rate. Still the interviews are fun and there are little facts dropped throughout the movie that some people might not know. The best acting done here is by Jason Tam. He doesn’t sing but he has a monologue about coming out to his parents and breaks down crying (it’s in the play). His acting in that was just perfect and more than a few people in my audience were crying along with him. That alone was a highlight. Worth seeing if you’re a gay man or a lover of “A Chorus Line”. Slightly recommended.

  • viktoriia-demianchuk
    viktoriia demianchuk

    “Kiss today goodbye/ The sweetness and the sorrow . . .” A Chorus LineThe 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 . . .”

  • evgen-datsiuk
    evgen datsiuk

    The directors of Every Little Step achieve their intended goal: getting the viewer’s tear ducts to well up at least a couple of times, as we observe the travail of Broadway aspirants and young veterans vying for the coveted roles in a revival of A Chorus Line. But as a film and especially as a non-fiction (documentary) film, it is a complete failure. Instead of learning something, we are treated to at best misinformation and at worst a calculated distortion of history.First of all, a documentary about the genesis of A Chorus Line in the mid-1970s and its impact makes sense -certainly it is a pillar in Broadway history and deserves that sort of attention. Its 2006 revival made a lot of money and entertained a lot of people, but is hardly a footnote in theater history, and does not merit this attention. So the subject of this documentary takes on a more universal theme, drawn from the play of course: “I Need a Job”, and how difficult it is to compete with about 3,000 other people at auditions to get one. Sounds like “American Idol” and its many early weed-out episodes each year, and that is about the level of achievement here.The distortions are crucial errors, either of omission or just plain intentional. The writers of the play, James Kirkwood and Nicholas Dante, are hardly mentioned at all, and this film leads the viewer to automatically infer that Michael Bennett created A Chorus Line on the basis of his marathon audio taping session of dancers, from which the play’s characters and content were derived. The dancers Tony Stevens and Michon Peacock, who concocted these tapings in the first place, also get short shrift. Of course Bennett receives and deserves the lion’s share of the credit and goes into the history books as Mr. Chorus Line, but to leave out his collaborators, especially as important as Kirkwood, is ludicrous. It took Pauline Kael to point out (quite forcefully) that Citizen Kane = Orson Welles was an exaggeration, bringing screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz back into the equation. The parallel in blowing up the director’s contribution here is obvious. Similarly, there are entertaining interview segments here with composer Marvin Hamlisch, who delightfully credits Marsha Mason with making a key suggestion to Bennett re: the fate of the character Cassie -that is one of the film’s most informative moments. However, the film ultimately gives Mason, just a fan in the audience basically, more time and credit for A Chorus Line than Edward Kleban, who is never mentioned at all, yet wrote the lyrics for all the songs! Pretty damning omission -reminds me of the latter-day cult of Burt Bacharach -hardly ever mentioned in tributes to BB is Hal David, who wrote all those classic lyrics to Walk On By, Look of Love, Close to You, What the World Needs Now Is Love, Do You Know the Way to San Jose and so on.I can see the cop out already: “we weren’t making a film about A Chorus Line but just about the revival”. But Bennett and especially the audio tapes leading to the original are central subjects in this film, so there is no excuse for distorting the record.I grant that there are memorable moments in Every Little Step -such as the soon-to-be-legendary footage of an audition for the role of Paul by Jason Tam. But this is just footage culled from hundreds of hours of pseudo-vérité documenting of the 2006 auditions and rehearsals. The principals, especially director Bob Avian and his casting director, are on their best behavior because the cameras are running -the supposed “truth” of what we see strikes me as about as authentic as the whole corpus of Reality TV (I’m exaggerating, but the fallacy of cinéma vérité needs to be emphasized over & over again). What we have is more of a promotional video for the revival (who needs it?) than a documentary film, with about as much value (apart from preserving Tam’s highlight for future excerpting) as the thousands of Making-Of promotions created for nearly every crappy movie coming out of Hollywood.

  • anjeongsu

    While “Every Little Step” is hardly cinema verite, it certainly seems to be a credible effort to document the Broadway process–from the first cattle call audition to the final call-back 8 months later. In between the filmmaker interviews old players from “A Chorus Line”‘s impressive legacy and culls bits from the original tape archives that established the framework of the ’75 classic as well as the Broadway revival.Whenever innocence and passion are combined, something sublime occurs. I suppose that is why I wept through much of “Every Little Step”. I was definitely rooting for several performers, and remember how (in a former life)disappointing it can be when you’re the last to be cut or the first to be forgotten.

  • panoraia-apostolidou
    panoraia apostolidou

    The device of looking at the creation of A CHORUS LINE through the process of the auditions for a revival of A CHORUS LINE works very well indeed, and everybody with grease paint in their veins will respond. I do think the film one of the handful of films about the theatre that gets some of the sweat of the process accurately.My only reservation is that the names of some of the writers of the show aren’t spoken in the film. I am glad to learn that this will be adjusted in the DVD release. And this shouldn’t discourage anybody from the pleasure of seeing it in a theatre. I saw it surrounded by actors, and they broke into applause several times during the run.

  • cristofor-dima
    cristofor dima

    I think some of the reviewers have mistaken Every Little Step for a documentary on the creation of A Chorus Line. It was a documentary on casting the 2006 revival of A Chorus Line with some archival information. The archival information did focus on Michael Bennett and Marvin Hamlisch was interviewed extensively, but to say that it excluded others is, I think, way off base. This was not a documentary on the creation of A Chorus Line. The contributors were all listed at the end of Every Little Step.Having said that I thought the archival information was very interesting. Some of the original recordings were played and they appeared to be included in the play almost verbatim, not to diminish the fine work of Kirkwood and Kleban. They showed the various singer/dancers competing side by side, or singing a song line by line with one doing the 1st line, another doing the next and so one. You did hear some songs multiple times but certainly not to the point where it became annoying or anything.Very interesting and entertaining to see how the cast was put together, who they chose and who they didn’t. I HIGHLY recommend this film.

  • tim-cerne
    tim cerne

    When I go to the movies, usually I watch the action-adventure, thrills and chills-type films, but i decided to take a break from them and focus on something like documentaries. Because sometimes the mind desires peaceful things. I need to balance my Yin and Yang.Usually documentary movies are focused on big issues, like AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH, BOWLING FOR COLUMBINE and FAHRENHEIT 9/11. But as of recently, I ran into documentaries based on thing no one has ever seen or heard of. Like THE KING OF KONG: A FIST FULL OF QUARTERS about two video game champions and EVERY LITTLE STEP.Now about that film, I found it interesting to watch and I learned about not only the story of the revival, but the story of how the show itself got started back in the 70’s. And I found out how tough it is to be in showbiz (“Eat nails!”). The surprising fact is the the people in charge of the 2006 revival of A CHORUS LINE were actually veterans of the 1975 production and it was based on the lives on some of the stars. Surprising eh?I can’t wait to watch the DVD of this film, I can’t wait to see what the film-maker was thinking.All in all, I highly recommend it.

  • brandon-munoz
    brandon munoz

    I saw “A Chorus Line” on Broadway in the early 80’s and didn’t like the play. The movie, with Michael Douglas, is terrible. However, being a Cinophile, I was interested in seeing a film about the trials and tribulations of performers auditioning for a part.The film had a good balance of the history of the play, the past performers and performances, and the new hopefuls. It was interesting to see that the audition process, with callbacks, went on for months. From the start, you can see the long odds against a performer being chosen. Three thousand people competing for thirty opportunities.I laughed, cried, cheered, and felt the heartache of those who pursued their dreams. Happily, I would see the film again.