Every Little Step
Autumn 2009 Documentary series
Wednesday, December 9, 2009 at 7:00pm
Directed by Adam Del Deo and James D. Stern
Rated PG ·
Broadway has produced many legendary productions, but A Chorus Line and the story behind it remain special. Every Little Step captures the magic of the much-loved show by filming the casting process of the 2006 stage revival. The concept is self-referential, given that the very plot of A Chorus Line is about casting a musical, but the filmmakers add another layer by examining how the original show was born when Michael Bennett recorded a group of dancers speaking in confessional mode. Fans of the show may get goosebumps hearing these audio tapes, while newcomers will discover what made Bennett (in the words of A Chorus Line’s finale) “one singular sensation / every little step he takes.”
This is the third documentary that directors James D. Stern and Adam Del Deo have premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival. Stern has built a prolific career producing film and Broadway shows, including The Producers and Hairspray. His participation afforded the crew extraordinary access behind the scenes, and for anyone who loves theatre, Every Little Step is cause for hip-swaying, high-kicking celebration. In auditions, we see performers giving everything they’ve got for songs like “I Can Do That” and “At the Ballet.” We meet the original performers Donna McKichnie and Baayork Lee (whose personality and short stature inspired the character Connie), along with the aspiring dancers who hope to revive those roles. Watching so many talented hopefuls express their different interpretations of each character is mesmerizing. But who will get the parts? The directors deftly follow the process to the end – the heartbreak of being cut, the exhilaration of being chosen. The result is one thrilling combination, every move this film makes.