The movie “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.
The film goes behind the scenes with exclusive interviews and footage of the revival’s audition process, revealing the dramatic journey of the performers, and unfolding the story of life imitating art. The real dead-of-night conversations in a dance studio that inspired A CHORUS LINE were recorded to audio tapes which have been locked away for decades. The filmmakers, James D. Stern and Adam Del Deo, were granted unprecedented access. Interviews, then and now, with the creative minds who shaped A CHORUS LINE and the cast who realized it provide fascinating insights and reveal the truths behind the genesis of the show.
The original musical arose at a volatile time—in the wake of Vietnam and Watergate, as the hippy era declined, as movements in civil rights, women’s rights, and gay rights were gaining voices across the world, and as the Cold War continued without end in sight. A CHORUS LINE injected into this fractured landscape a saga of the underappreciated, the overlooked—the everyday individual who struggled in pursuit of fulfillment. This story, displayed with all the musical and visual poetry the best talents in the world had to offer, sparked a renewed interest in theater, new trends in fashion, and new inspiration for storytelling.
As “Every Little Step” investigates the legacy of A CHORUS LINE, it also looks at our current society, which has so enthusiastically received the revival. There are certain similarities to the era of the original: we’re in the wake of a controversial war, the specter of violence (in this case through terrorism) is constantly on the horizon, political corruption has citizens across the world calling for leaders to step down, and movements for racial, religious, and sexual equality persist. Perhaps these factors explain A CHORUS LINE’S continuing popularity, a desire for the chorus of clamoring voices to be heard.
Ultimately, just as in the story of A CHORUS LINE, just as in life itself, only a few can prevail. Out of the thousands of performers who audition, only 19 are chosen to open the revival on Broadway. Their lives are interwoven with one of the world’s greatest musicals, their hopes and dreams hanging in the balance. This is their story, and the story of the phenomenon known as A CHORUS LINE.