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One Singular Sensation Revisited

Every Little Step (2008)

Paul Kolnik/Sony Pictures Classics

Generations of dreamers have flocked to New York City, lured by promises of fame and fortune and the chance to make it big. “A Chorus Line” translated its celebration of a group of Broadway aspirants into multiple Tony Awards and a record breaking run. Similarly “Every Little Step,” a documentary that chronicles the casting of the show’s recent revival, candidly reveals the hopes and fears experienced by the men and women facing the imposing odds of auditioning for a Broadway show.

The film begins on the morning of the first open call auditions, with a long line of dancers stretching down 42nd Street. It depicts the gradual winnowing of the talent to the finalists for each role, while intimately tracing the personal stories of several of those jostling for parts. The individuals featured range from the veteran performer Charlotte D’Amboise to newcomers like Jessica Lee Goldyn, and they openly air their emotions and insecurities throughout the process.

What could have been a straightforward backstage depiction of the new “Chorus Line” becomes something much more emotionally resonant in the sure hands of directors Adam Del Deo and James D. Stern. Through interviews, unfiltered footage of the auditions and a look back at the show’s creation, the filmmakers establish the continued potency of its timeless exhortation to follow your dreams and do what you love, no matter the cost.

By casting a wide net over the 30-plus year history of “A Chorus Line,” from airings of audio clips of the conversations that inspired Michael Bennett to create it to the new cast onstage opening night, Messrs. Del Deo and Stern have created a definitive historical record of one of Broadway’s seminal shows. “Every Little Step” might, however, mean a little something extra to the New Yorkers in its audience, defying as it does the ongoing gentrification of Manhattan in its portrait of a city that still stands as an artistic Mecca, as the place where dreams can and do come true.


Opens on April 17 in Manhattan.

Produced and directed by James D. Stern and Adam Del Deo; edited by Fernando Villena and Brad Fuller; music by Marvin Hamlisch; released by Sony Pictures Classics. Running time: 1 hour 36 minutes. This film is rated PG-13.


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