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Movie Review: Every Little Step April 23, 2009

Posted by judylobo in Movie Reviews, Movie Trailer, Photography.
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reviewblogpicMovie Review: Every Little Step

Alternate Title: Gotta Sing, Gotta Dance!

Story: So you think you can dance, sing and act? You too can join the minions who are longing to be on Broadway. Director James D. Stern and Adam Del Deo have recreated that arduous, heartbreaking process of an audition in a new documentary, about the 2006 remake of Michael Bennett’s brilliant A Chorus Line.

There really are not many surprises if you have seen the play (who hasn’t?) But despite the predictability of the plot the honesty of the timeless story shines through. For those that are in the dark about this 1974 musical, director and creator Michael Bennett had an idea for a play. It was based on the audio tapes he made of the actors as they sat around and talked about themselves during the audition process. One Singular Sensation, I might add.

A Chorus Line has seventeen Broadway dancers auditioning for spots on a chorus line. The book was authored by James Kirkwood, Jr. and Nicholas Dante, lyrics were written by Edward Kleban, and music was composed by Marvin Hamlisch.

The idea to bring A Chorus Line back to Broadway in 2006 brings 3000 actors to the audition. The documentary quickly whittles the cuts down to the fighting few and focus’ on several of the leading contenders. The stories are still compelling and I was rooting for almost all of them. The film was made that much more interesting by having many of the original cast either as talking heads or as a big part of the play’s remake.

One thing that struck me was the difference between the actors of 1974 and the actors of 2006. The 1974 actors were much thinner with less body mass and muscle. I guess everyone is fatter.

To all those struggling to make it on Broadway, all I can say is keep dreaming the dream. I salute you all.

One Singular Sensation:

Acting: Bob Avian, Michael Bennett, Charlotte d’Amboise, Ramon Flowers, Jessica Lee Goldyn, Marvin Hamlisch, Megan Larche, Donna McKechnie, Meredith Patterson, Yuka Takara.

Trivia: Michael Bennett (1943-1987) dropped out of high school at the age of 16 to join a touring company of “West Side Story.” He won Broadway’s Tony Award six times: as Best Director (Musical), along with collaborator Harold Prince, and as Best Choreographer, in 1972 for “Follies;” as Best Director (Musical) and Best Choreographer, along with Bob Avian, in 1976 for “A Chorus Line:”and as Best Choreographer, in 1974 for “Seesaw;” and in 1982, along with collaborator Michael Peters, for “Dreamgirls.” As director, co-producer, co-author and co-Choreographer of “A Chorus Line” the show won the New York Drama Critics Circle Award, the Tony Award (8), and the Pulitzer Prize. The show ran until April 28, 1990, running for 6,137 performances. He died of Aids-related lymphoma.

Predilection: None

Critters: None

Soundtrack: Marvin Hamlisch’ score is simply wonderful, wonderful. I sang a few of the songs while walking home.

Opening Titles: A juxtaposition between the original cast of A Chorus Line and the wanna-bes in the revival.

Theater Audience: A handful of us who did not make the cut.

Sappy Factor: 0

Quirky Meter: 0

Squirm Scale: 0

Drift Factor: I paid attention throughout.

Predictability Level: I did not expect a few of the dancers to make it through to the final cast.

Tissue Usage: One of the boys made me cry.

Oscar Worthy: No

Big Screen or Rental: Rental would be fine. You could also rent Richard Attenborough’s 1985 movie of the same name or go to your regional theater to see A Chorus Line for yourself.

Length: 90 minutes

LOBO HOWLS: 7.5

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