Without a doubt, A Chorus Line is the best musical ever made and today, I happened to turn on Every Little Step, exactly 37 years (to the day) after Michael Bennett sat his friends down and recorded their stories – the original material for the musical.
I actually auditioned for the part of Diana Morales (who sings “Nothing”) in the open call for the A Chorus Line revival in 2005. I walked into my first Broadway audition as a newbie to NYC without any knowledge of the musical’s choreography (the movie does not have the original Broadway choreography and I had never seen the musical on stage). As I warmed up, I noticed video cameras filming for a documentary and thought it was super metaphysical to make a documentary about the audition process for a musical that is about the audition process.
Though it was an open call, the director, Bob Avian was there to personally audition everyone. Also there to teach choreography was Baayork Lee, the original Connie. It was obvious that this revival was going to be very true to the original with its producers so invested in the work. (When I saw the revival, however, it didn’t seem as raw as I thought it should be.)
Every Little Step takes the point of view of the directors trying to cast the perfect person for each role. The difficulty these directors face is how to exactly capture the intricacies of the human character, especially under the extreme pressure of an audition and the vulnerability and anxiety they face in that situation. Just like A Chorus Line, each of the auditionees has some notion of the reality of the life of a dancer. When they get the job, they know they’ve realized the dream and when they don’t, they know they have to continue on because this is their life and they wouldn’t be complete without dance. Every dancer of every generation can relate to the struggles in A Chorus Line as evidenced by the interviews and archival footage/audio that make for a very real and insightful documentary.
All in all, Every Little Step nails the essence of A Chorus Line with its emotional journey through the audition process.