We know you're out there: You swear "Hello Twelve" is the story of your life, you secretly sing "Dance 10, Looks 3" to psych yourself up before going out, and sometimes you wear leotards with nude pantyhose to dance around your living room (a la "At the Ballet," natch.)
For all of you who love A Chorus Line -- or, really, any musical, the act of dancing, the strife towards stardom, documentaries about showbusiness, or just Broadway in general -- you absolutely need to RUN to your local arthouse theater and see Every Little Step.
This stirring documentary follows several "triple threat" talents (those lucky people who all act, sing and dance REALLY WELL) as they work their way through the audition process for the Broadway revival of A Chorus Line. To give you an idea of what odds are stacked against your average working actor in New York: Over 3,000 people auditioned for 19 slots.
Happily, Every Little Step doesn't follow the now-ubiquitous docu-style of specifically (and sometimes, indulgently) following individuals' backstory as we learn about mom's cancer or growing up poor. I know there's a time and place for those stories, but thankfully, this ain't it. The focus is purely on the struggle for getting to do what a talented performer is best at: performing.
And meanwhile, as we're watching countless auditions from nameless faces, viewers are treated to the sounds of the original reel-to-reel tape recordings of the initial conversations that eventually became the monologues for A Chorus Line. For the uninitiated, Michael Bennett, the production's original creator, choreographer and director, sat down with a group of dancers and a jug of red wine in 1974 and asked them to share their stories. It is through these midnight tapes that powerful tales came forth, including the famous "Paul monologue" in which a gay dancer describes the emotional moment when his parents finally accepted him for who he was.
I'll admit, in this American Idol-saturated world, full of get-famous-quick schemes, it was frankly a relief to sit back for 90 minutes and watch people who are really talented work so hard to achieve their dreams -- and sometimes not get what they want, even if it seems they completely deserve it.
Every Little Step was a joy to watch, thanks to the unprecedented access the filmmakers, James D. Stern and Adam Del Dio, were given throughout the audition process and subsequent Broadway production.
The film opens Friday, April 17 in select cities.
Still not convinced? Watch the trailer!