DOCUMENTARY; 1hr 33min
DIRECTED BY: James D. Stern and Adam Del Deo
A star is born: Chryssie Whitehead
Not many live shows endure for decades. But A Chorus Line was as relevant in its 2006 Broadway revival as it was for its original 1975–90 season. In their grabber documentary, James D. Stern and Adam Del Deo go backstage into the real-life auditions for the show about auditions, fuelled by the music of Marvin Hamlisch.
Three-thousand turn up for the revival casting call; from there, the politely ruthless whittling (to the 19 lucky ones) begins. Interspersed with these scenes is the history of the high-kicking blockbuster, devised by avant-garde director and choreographer Michael Bennett after recording a conversation with a group of dancers. At every stage in the eight-month audition process, the fearsomely talented triple threats — They shimmy! They sing! They emote! — give their moment everything, and in that lies the reason for A Chorus Line’s success. At heart, it’s about yearning to become the person you believe you can be. The audition ordeal is a heightened version of that. But in its naked urgency, we can all catch glimpses of ourselves.