You may not be able to see A Chorus Line on Broadway anytime soon (the show closed in 2008), but you can get a dose of this singular sensation at the movies! Sony Pictures produced a documentary about the groundbreaking show, which will be released in theaters in April. If you plan to move to NYC and make it on (or off) the Great White Way, Every Little Step is a must-see.
I went to a screening of the film yesterday (one of the fabulous perks of working for DS!) and was totally captivated by the story behind one of the greatest shows of all time. Although I saw the show last year for the July/August 2008 Broadway roundup, I didn't know a lot about the show, aside from what you end up seeing onstage. In this film, you'll learn how the show came about — and it truly is a great story. The premise is simple: Choreographer Michael Bennett gathered a group of dancers in a room one night to talk about their lives. They held nothing back and the result of their night together is A Chorus Line, which Bennett directed and won nine Tony Awards for.
I definitely learned a lot from watching this film (you will, too!). Here are some fun facts and a bit of audition advice:
Tyce Diorio gets a ton of screen time in Every Little Step! He auditioned for the part of Mike in the 2006 revival and made it to the final round of callbacks. In the end, he didn't get the part.
During an audition scene, the casting directors are flipping through Polaroids and quickly cutting dancers. Among the names they toss in the trash: Andy Blankenbuehler! This just proves that even the most successful dancers and choreographers have dealt with tough times, too.
3,000 people auditioned for the Broadway revival of A Chorus Line! Tough competition!
Jessica Lee Goldyn (DS February 2009) wasn't even up for the part of Val when she auditioned. The directors were planning to have her be in the ensemble or an understudy for one of the lead roles. But her super-strong dancing, impeccable technique and stunning personality won over the judges. When the curtain went up on opening night, the part of Val was hers!
The pros (the people who auditioned and got cast in the end) know how to apply criticsm. The casting directors want you to put a bit of yourself into the role you're auditioning for, but they also have a pretty good idea of what they want. If you're told to be softer, more aggressive, daintier or even uglier, do it. It'll pay off in the end.
Do your research! Not only was everyone at the open call dressed perfectly for the show (nude tights and a plain leotard for the girls), they had all clearly prepped beforehand. Don't know who Donna McKechnie is? Start studying.
I highly recommend this movie to all dancers. Not only is it super entertaining, it's a great audition prep film. I guarantee you'll leave the theater with a smile on your face.