Every Little Step

This film is a theatre-lover's dream! "The Chorus Line" in its original incarnation was based on eight hours of interviews of professional dancers ("gypsies") taped by Michael Bennett, then cobbled together into a show about a pseudo-audition for dancers, with music composed by Marvin Hamlish. From this bare-bones beginning, these geniuses turned a simple concept into an award-winning classic. From that Tony award-winning stage production, a subsequent (so-so) movie was made.

Now, Broadway is ready to revisit this musical and, as you might expect, the auditions of the new dancers for the musical are every bit as dra- matic and heart-wrenching as the auditions of the original characters they are to portray.

We become acquainted with a dozen or so, and see, up close and personal, how challenging it is to be chosen from a "cattle call" that generated a flood of over three thousand dancers standing in the rain outside the theater where the auditions were to be held. We catch many of the first attempts and become familiar with the group of producers and directors who will be mounting this latest version. By the time we see the final callbacks months later, we have seen egos, heartbreaks, triumphs and nerves.

We saw one audition that was so moving, the selection panel was in tears. We saw professionals "lose it" because of the stress and we couldn't help but cheer for our own preferences.

Interviews with composer Marvin Hamlish, director Bob Avian, dancer Charlotte d'Amboise (and her legendary father, Jacques!), and dancer Donna McKechnie (the original Cassie), were interesting and informative, while film clips of other, now deceased artists such as Michael Bennett, were wonderful bits of nostalgia.

If you love musicals, you will LOVE this film!