MUST WATCH: Every Little Step...A Chorus Line Documentary - Trailer & Donna McKechnie!

Reprinted from The Broadway Pulse, by Editor-in-Chief Robert Diamond.

Debuting this weekend at the prestigious Toronto Film Festival was a new documentary called Every Little Step, a film tracing the history of Michael Bennett's A Chorus Line.  The "buzz" on the film is FANTASTIC. 

The forces behind it are John Breglio and Bob Avian, who shepherded the latest Broadway revival, which was a total success and paid back its investment. The documentary chronicles the process of casting the 2006 revival, along with the show's history and dating back to the original workshops with Bennett and the original cast. It could be easily stated that this show, in addition to all its other historic accomplishments, could actually be the first "reality show."

Tony-award winning actress, Donna McKechnie, who walked off with a Tony, as the original Cassie, just got back to New York from Toronto and was in the audience for the premiere. I reached her at home, and this is what she had to say about the film and her experience watching it: 

"I can't wait until everyone sees this film. They did a great job putting it together and the audience reaction was stupendous. I was so nervous about seeing it for the first time at the Toronto premiere, but from the opening moments, I was in love.

The film is very exciting, funny and extremely moving. It's a great tribute to Michael, to dancers, and to all of us who have a dream and want to work hard for what we love.  Every Little Step has the true heart of A Chorus Line... 

It brings the experience that audiences have watching the show in the theatre -- to film.

It's a tribute to us ALL!"

Click here to see the exciting'll see a lot of familiar faces - past and present.

A Chorus Line is currently on a national tour and certainly is one of the most exciting shows that you'll ever see LIVE on stage. Click here for tour cities and schedule.

MUST WATCH: Every Little Step...A Chorus Line Documentary - Trailer & Donna McKechnie!

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 show by following the process of casting 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 those audio tapes, while newcomers will discover what made Bennett (in the words of the finale song) "one singular sensation/every little step he takes."

This is the third documentary directors James D. Stern and Adam Del Deo have premiered at the 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 theater, 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 McKechnie (who performed "The Music and the Mirror") and Baayork Lee (whose personality and short stature inspired the character Connie) along with the aspiring dancers who hope to revive those roles. Encountering so many talented hopefuls, it is mesmerizing to watch their different interpretations of each character. As part of the dialogue between past and present, composer Marvin Hamlisch reveals how the song known as "Tits and Ass" was almost cut in 1975, while thirty years later new singers out-vamp each other to make it their own.

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.

For tons of coverage of A Chorus Line, click here.

For more on the Toronto Film Festival, click here to read about it in today's New York Times or click here to read about it in Variety.

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