Gerald Wright's Movie Coverage
"EVERY LITTLE STEP"
Directed by: James D. Stern & Adam Del Deo
Running time: 96 minutes
Release date: April 17, 2009
Distributor: Sony Pictures Classics
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Exploring all aspects of aspiring singer-dancers is one of the themes of this poetic yet nostalgic film. "Every Little Step" highlights the incredible journey of "A Chorus Line" (stage production). This film incorporates the history of the 1975 Broadway dramatic musical play, from its initial concept by choreographer and director Michael Bennett, to the contemporary revival in 2006.
"A Chorus Line" (1975) was not just another hit show; however, it was a movement that spoke to and for a generation. This was a musical for everyone who ever had a dream and had it come true. In the summer of 1975, this enlightened and euphoric stage production made its way to the Shubert Theatre. From its original run to finding a home on the Great White Way, it stayed at the Shubert Theatre for 15 years.
The film goes behind the scenes with in depth interviews and archival footage of Michael Bennett (choreographer), Bob Avian (co-choreographer), Marvin Hamlisch (music composer), Donna McKechnie (a veteran singer/dancer, and an original cast member), and Baayork Lee (another original cast member and new revival choreographer).
Using flashback scenes from the 1975 original casting calls to the present day auditions, the filmmakers brilliantly reveal the real story of the new talented hopefuls need to move from dream to reality in making it in a career as a singer-dancer. Individual journeys of Yuka Takara, Deidre Goodwin, Alisan Porter, Mari Davi, Jessica Lee Goldyn, Chryssie Whitehead, Jeffrey Schecter, Jason Tam and Charlotte D'Amboise are displayed. Featuring Marvin Hamlisch's Oscar nominated music and sizzling choreography, this thrilling life behind the velvet curtain is truly "One Singular Sensation".
What makes this documentary my pick for one of the best doc's so far this year is the theme and the crisp pacing of the film's development. The viewer is invited to feel the anguish, anxiety, anger, excitement, fear, frustration and gratitude of each performer's personal and intimate life. After narrowing down hundreds of Broadway hopefuls from numerous casting calls to the final selections, the film adds a powerful punch to an already fascinating story.
This movie weaves poignant universal stories of how hard work, talent and determination can make the dream of performing on a Broadway stage come true.
FILM RATING (A)