June 2, 2009

The Chance To Dance For You

I saw this documentary over the weekend and really loved it! Every Little Step is a behind the scenes look at the casting and audition process of the 2006 revival of A Chorus Line. I love watching behind the scenes documentaries like this because it gives you a different perspective of how difficult it is to put up a show. In this particular case, I had seen the revival and knew who got casted in the show, but I found myself invested with the dancers who were auditioning and felt really devastated for those who didn't make it. I have a new degree of respect and admiration for these talented people who put themselves out there. It takes a very special person to go through it and survive.

It was really engrossing to hear the Michael Bennet tapes interviewing the original dancers who were the basis of the show. As were the interviews of Donna McKechnie (original Cassie) about her Cassie experience. It was exciting to see Baayork Lee (original Connie) teach the opening sequence to the dancers. What energy and passion!

Among the audition scenes, I have my favs. One of them was the casting of Val. Seeing recognizable Broadway people like Nikki Snelson (Legally Blonde), Rachelle Rak (Dirty Rotten Scoundrels) and Meredith Patterson (White Christmas) vying for the role. But eventually it was newbie, Jessica Lee Goldyn who was so ON the whole time during her audition that got the part. It was really poignant. Jason Tam's audition for Paul was so heartbreaking that he even made director Bob Avian cry. A moving moment that also had me in tears. Scenes with Natascia Diaz and Charlotte D'Amboise learning the Cassie choreography were precious. And how endearing is Chrissie Whitehead when she learned that she got the part of Kristine? It was great seeing the auditioners for Maggie placed side by side on screen as they tried to belt that last At The Ballet note......and failed......until you see Mara Davi who was perfect and soaring. Loved these raw moments. My only disappointment was that there was not much reference to lyricist Ed Kleban who's great lyrics I think contributed to this amazing show.

Try to catch the movie.......it's a must for a theatre geek.

(photo from IMDB.com)


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