Her words are reminiscent of veteran dancer Cassie’s plight in the musical. Though it is interesting to see how the directors go about casting the part of Cassie, even better is to hear the interview footage with Donna McKechnie, who played the original part. It is this layering, this back-and-forth between past and present stories, that gives Every Little Step its richness. One begins to see how closely interwoven are the original recorded interviews, such as the careless phrase “Ah, I can do that,” and the actual auditions of the actors.
Touching and hilarious moments are frequent. Chryssie Whitehead, a Kristine hopeful, displays the same breathless wonder as her character and quickly chokes up as she admits her father is praying for her audition. And in the most gripping moment of the film, Jason Tam delivers a quiet and restless rendition of Paul’s monologue that has the directors in tears. He, like Whitehead, gets a callback.
Possibly the film’s greatest problem (if it has one) is its narrow range of focus. Fans may wonder whatever happened to the casting of Diana Morales, or why there aren’t more interviews with original cast members. Much about the audition process is also left unexplained, with only brief captions that show how much time has passed between each phase.
When the final cast of dancers appears on Broadway to dazzle with “One,” the show’s finale, viewers can’t help but feel a sense of triumph. Not only have they seen the journey that the performers have gone through, but also how A Chorus Line was nurtured from its humble beginnings by the fruitful minds of Bennett and the rest of the creative team. Their creation traveled from audio tapes to a “downtown” studio to packed theatres around the world. Every Little Step pays homage to this creation with all the razzle-dazzle that it deserves and hardly a misstep.