Friday, June 12, 2009

Every Little Step revisits one singular sensation

Posted By on Fri, Jun 12, 2009 at 1:30 PM

click to enlarge GLITZ-KRIEG: The cast of A Chorus Line
  • GLITZ-KRIEG: The cast of A Chorus Line

Where filmmaker Sir Richard Attenborough failed, the new film Every Little Step succeeds in making an engrossing movie of A Chorus Line. With its 1975 premiere, A Chorus Line became one of Broadway’s biggest hits, winning a Pulitzer and multiple Tonys and running for a record-breaking 6,137 performances. It dramatized the dance auditions for a glitzy musical, put the audience inside the theatrical creative process and, consequently, seemed utterly unfilmable. Attenborough’s 1985 adaptation felt artificial rather than immediate, and seemed to confirm that A Chorus Line belonged on the stage.

Directed by Adam Del Deo and James D. Stern, best known for their basketball documentary The Year of the Yao, Every Little Step has the ingenious premise of dramatizing the behind-the-scenes preparations for A Chorus Line’s 2006 revival. For the initial auditions, 3,000 aspiring dancers line up around the block, putting themselves in the same position as A Chorus Line’s characters. Every Little Step captures the white-knuckle, “American Idol”-style suspense of performance competition while doing justice to the demands on a dancer’s life.

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(Photo by Paul Kolnik, 2006 ©/Courtesy Sony Pictures Classics)

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