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Documentary offers behind-the-scenes look at 'A Chorus Line'

April 13, 2009 |  9:28 pm

A Chorus Line 

Little wonder that actors are superstitious. Just consider how much luck and the vicissitudes of fate play a role in the casting of any show or film — a point made heartbreakingly clear in the new documentary “Every Little Step,” which opens Friday.

James-Stern-and-Adam-Del-De The film, by James D. Stern and Adam Del Deo, meticulously details the casting of the 2006 Broadway revival of “A Chorus Line,” while interweaving tasty tidbits about the origins of the musical itself. (One  morsel: The song sung by busty Val failed to get any laughs until the title was changed from “Tits and Ass”  to “Dance: Ten, Looks: Three.” “We were giving away the punch line,” says composer Marvin Hamlisch.)

Among those making the choices at the casting table in “Every Little Step” is Baayork Lee, who played the original Connie and upon whose own life story the role is based. In the documentary, she is lobbying for the role to go to an auditionee identified as “J. Elaine” whom she sees, like herself, as “tough.” Others involved with casting, however, see Connie as more cute than steely, and the role eventually goes to Yuka Takara.

Which goes to show that if a movie were made about your life, you probably won't get the part.

Read more about "Every Little Step" here.

-- Patrick Pacheco

Top photo: A scene from the Broadway production of "A Chorus Line" in the film "Every Little Step." Credit: Paul Kolnik. Bottom photo: Filmmakers James D. Stern, left, and  Adam Del Deo. Credit: Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times