Chorus Lines

The marvelous little gem of a documentary, Every Little Step (2009), is a behind-the-scenes look at the casting for the revival of A Chorus Line on Broadway in 2006. (This year marks the 35th anniversary of the show’s debut). More importantly, it’s a tribute to the visionary choreographer Michael Bennett, and how he planted the seeds for what became the longest running show in Broadway history at the time.

It’s worth watching for Jason Tam’s highly moving audition for the role of Paul, with the monologue that won Sammy Williams a Tony in 1976; original footage of a stunningly sinewy Donna McKechnie as Cassie, dancing to “The Music and the Mirror”; and her successor in the revival, Charlotte D’Amboise, daughter of champion of dance (and New York City Ballet alumnus) Jacques D’Amboise, sharing some moments with her aged dad that are touching reminders of passing the torch.

Though the final production apparently did not live up to the original, this film (currently on Encore) is an illuminating portrait of the often harsh vicissitudes that constitute a dancer’s life.

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