Every Little Step (2009)

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Critic Consensus: Fascinating and insightful, Every Little Step is a thoroughly engrossing behind the scenes look at Broadway performers.

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"Every Little Step" explores the incredible journey of A Chorus Line, from ambitious idea to international phenomenon. Through 15 years of continuous performances from the 70's to 90's and a revival beginning last year, A Chorus Line has touched generations around the world with stories so poignant, they could only have come from truth. The film compares and contrasts the original musical with the current revival. It investigates the societies in which they've debuted, and why the themes are so timeless and universal.

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Critic Reviews for Every Little Step

All Critics (97) | Top Critics (32)

It's all up there on the screen in this impassioned, exhilarating documentary. They want to dance for you. It's what they did for love.

Aug 23, 2009 | Full Review…

I was thrilled and moved by Every Little Step, despite the abundance of bad dancing pouring out of reality television these days, because it's about the real thing, and offers marvellous insights into of the process of creating a Broadway hit.

Jul 2, 2009 | Full Review…

A riveting documentary from James D. Stern and Adam Del Deo.

Jun 19, 2009 | Rating: 3.5/4

Every Little Step never rises above being a very good showbiz documentary. But it's an engaging tribute to a groundbreaking musical.

Jun 4, 2009 | Rating: 3/4

Every Little Step is a terrific documentary history lesson about how Michael Bennett rounded up a bunch of New York singing, acting dancers, interviewed them and found out what they 'did for love,' back in January of 1974.

Jun 3, 2009 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

You can't judge A Chorus Line by its film version; it's one of the lousiest movie musicals ever. But you can assess the stage original's influence by the wonderful new documentary Every Little Step.

May 29, 2009 | Rating: 3.5/4

Audience Reviews for Every Little Step

A Chorus Line is about how hard it is to get that dream gig on Broadway, and this documentary looks into that as well, as thousands audition for a turn in the 2008 revival of A Chorus Line. You watch as casting directors make the tough decision, actors and dancer and singer oh my are cast asunder or make their big break, and history is revived and made in that instant. Beautiful film.

Spencer S.
Spencer S.

Super Reviewer

Very intriguing backstage look at the entire audition process for a revival of "A Chorus Line". It's unafraid to show that it's a tough business trying for that break to what is hopefully the big time.

jay nixon
jay nixon

Super Reviewer

½

A documentary that didn't get the awards-season love was the truly lovely Every Little Step. This film not so much chronicles the making of the famous Michael Bennett play, A Chorus Line, as it parallels its genius with the pain, guts, and glory of the casing process for a 2006 revival production of the same musical. Even if you haven't seen A Chorus Line, the movie gives you the cliff-notes version to know what you need to know: it's a story about dancers auditioning for a play, and the rigorous process of "making it" - callbacks, rejections, casting, so forth - as well as understanding just why the dancers chose to dance for a living. So as a documentary illustrating the grueling hard work - physically, emotionally, spiritually - to be cast in a Broadway musical, it should only be natural that the musical is a revival of the mega-hit A Chorus Line. Its power is in following a motley assortment of leading and middle-tier candidates, and the boot camp-like trials each one confronts in the competition to be cast, from the cattle call auditions to final callbacks so many months later. This is their lives, with their artistic fulfillment and rent checks at stake with their performance. Disillusionment is not an uncommon malady during this trying process, the audience soon learns. Some crash and burn, and some are rewarded for their persistence and gusto. At times it's a heartbreakingly beautiful marriage of innocence and passion, and you can't help but feel captivated by the high drama of it all. Lending more gravitas to the production are the veteran impresarios presiding over the casting - many of whom were involved with the original 1974 production of A Chorus Line. It's a story and a struggle for them, too, seeing so much heart and soul spilled on stage by many worthy dancers. And it's a wonderful struggle for the viewer, too, knowing that only a few can achieve this dream. Until next season's musical productions begin casting, that is. It is the business of show business. And scarcely has it been more compelling.

Neum Daddy
Neum Daddy

Super Reviewer

½

Being that A Chorus Line is a famous Broadway musical all about auditioning for a Broadway musical, Every Little Step, an agile documentary following every heel-toe-kick, takes place almost entirely in the world of high-stress auditions. The documentary traces the origins of the meta-theatrical show all the way to a taped conversation director Michael Bennet had with a handful of New York City dancers in 1974. That night they opened up about their lives and then it became character backstories. I would have liked more of an exploration about the nature of art transposing someone’s life story, but this is not that movie. Every Little Step examines the elation, disappointment, and sheer exhaustion of getting a part in a show. We watch scores of actors try out for the 2006 revival and we also listen to interviews from key participants in the original 1975 production. The movie does have some issues and one of them is that it doesn’t become personally involving to a Broadway naïf until after an hour in. I understand that the casting crew was weeding out hundreds of talent, but the movie doesn’t give enough time to specific hopefuls to follow, build a connection with, and eventually root for. Every Little Step only begins to flesh out its finalists at the final round of callbacks, which makes the stakes less emotionally involving. Still, it’s hard not to feel the rush of joy when some dancers achieve their dreams.

Nate Zoebl
Nate Zoebl

Super Reviewer

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