Go behind the scenes of the behind-the-scenes Broadway musical in this documentary from James D. Stern and Adam Del Deo. The majority of the film tracks the months-long audition process for the recent revival; that material is intercut with creators and performers from the original 1975 production reminiscing about how this one singular sensation of a modern musical came together. If you're already a fan of the wildly successful production -- the longest-running American stage musical and the only one to win a Pulitzer -- what's not to like? For the rest of you, well ... Every Little Step may be missing a few beats.
The backstory of A Chorus Line is fertile turf: It rose like a phoenix from the ashes of disappointment and failure. One January night in 1974, dance vet Michael Bennett gathered 22 compatriots to talk about their fraught lives as dancers. Bennett taped the 12-hour bull session, and from these real-life stories came the book and songs that both celebrated and bemoaned the fate of professional dancers. (Bennett would go on to direct and choreograph the musical.)
But Every offers just a few rare looks back, and little larger context to help explain what made Chorus Line so extraordinary, unique and popular at its debut. Instead, the film feels like a well-produced reality show, as we hoof and hope along with several modern-day aspiring dancers. Oddly, the filmmakers track only women, and none of the male performers. (Is this more of that fabled "tits-and-ass" blind spot?) Every is a must for fans of the musical and dance; everybody else should at least be mildly entertained, if not fully illuminated. Starts Fri., July 17. Squirrel Hill