July 17, 2009 in Features

‘Every Little Step’ revisits ‘Chorus Line’

Connie Ogle The Miami Herald
 

In January 1974, choreographer Michael Bennett holed up with 22 dancers and recorded their responses as he questioned them about their lives, hopes and dreams.

The result of this long, dark night of the soul was the musical “A Chorus Line,” which won nine Tony Awards and the Pulitzer Prize for drama in 1976.

The sensational documentary “Every Little Step” takes the story a step further, both revisiting the original vision of Bennett (who died in 1987) and following the auditions for a 2006 Broadway revival, which put dancers through the same grueling paces the musical highlights so eloquently.

There are captivating interviews with everyone from Donna McKechnie, who inspired and first played the pivotal role of the former star/now-just-desperate- for-work Cassie, to Marvin Hamlisch, who wrote the score and provides some of the most intriguing nuggets.

Most striking and absolutely unforgettable, though, are the dancers who vie for work in the revival. Braving fierce competition, the finalists wait eight brutal months to find out whether they’re hired.

There have been reports that a couple of them claimed their “You’re hired!” phone calls were staged for the film, a fact that amazingly strips little of the power from” Every Little Step,” which turns out to be a moving, passionate tribute to determination and heart, whatever you might choose to do in your life.

Like the lady sings: Won’t forget, can’t regret, what they did for love.


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