So what do I do on my day off from Mother Courage rehearsals? I see a movie about the theater.
Every Little Step is a documentary about the casting of the recent revival of A Chorus Line. It goes from showing the open call with thousands of dancers to the final casting session eight months later.
I have long said that as a stage actor, you have to hope that a theater is doing a production that has a role for you, you come to the attention of the casting director at the right time, that schedules work out, and that there isn’t another performer that everyone wants for the role. In other words, I’m amazed that anyone ever works.
And seeing that even a theater star of the level of Charlotte D’Amboise starts the process from the basic open-call stage increases my admiration for the intrepid performers who stick it through. My favorite moment in the movie was the quote from the casting director in the movie who says that the bewst way to get a role is to go into the audition and give an opening night performance.
In a general way, the cleverest part of the movie is the concept of following the casting of a show about the casting of the show. Having read the 3 books documenting various aspects of the original production and having various clips of the original on video (and now on YouTube), I can’t say I learned very much from the film. And already knowing who played Cassie, Val and Sheila in the revival ruined a bit of the suspense. However, if one enjoys watching performers at various stages of the performance process, you’ll find the movie entertaining. And the fans that Natascha Diaz made in her recent appearances in DC theater will also enjoy watching her quest to play Cassie. If not, the piece may seem like so much “inside baseball.”