Manuel Betancourt

Every Little Step, or How you really hope they get it

April 30, 2009 · in Broadway

Every Little Step
Directed by Adam del Deo & James D. Stern

They say (who is ‘they,’ don’t ask me…) that documentaries are as good as their subjects. Maybe this is why I enjoyed Every Little Step so much: its ‘subject’ (auditions and performers, Broadway and a classic musical) is utterly hypnotizing and makes for a great ride. Del Deo and Stern takes us back in time to the 1970s when Michael Bennett sat down with a bunch of NYC dancers and taped a session where they discussed their lives as performers. From that initial session came the stories that make A Chorus Line, whose revival sets the stage for another set of auditions and stories which the documentary tracks. It’s ‘meta’ filmmaking at its best: a doc about auditions and performers vying for a spot in a show about auditions and performers based on try stories about auditions and performers. That all these strands are kept nicely balanced throughout, shows the deft and clear vision of its directors: we care about the performers we meet but we also follow the show’s creation and process, and enjoy the snippets of the actual show we glimpse from auditions and callbacks. With a format that might mirror current reality TV, Every Little Step’s never misses a beat by knowing that it is not only echoing but re-enacting the show which it is at once following and re-creating. A
Scene to watch out for: Jason Tam’s heartbreaking audition for ‘Paul’ which left both the production team (and this audience member) in tears.