Honestly, I didn't quite know what to expect. I know that they had been working on it for a while, starting with having cameras in the audition room, catching all the moments--good and bad--of the actors trying to get a spot on the line for the Broadway revival of A Chorus Line. They zeroed in especially on a few of them, making you really feel for them when they get the job. Or don't.
I especially did because I've been there--in both places.
And the thing is, I thoroughly enjoyed myself. I was captivated the entire time. Not bored one second, and intrigued throughout.
The aspect of the documentary that I love is that the film gives the opportunity for all people from every walk of life to be a fly on the wall at a Broadway audition. I don't know that you can fully understand what kind of nerve it takes to walk into a small box of a room, stand in front of a table with 4 people, all of whose faces are arranged in mild disinterest sitting behind it, and just sing for your life. Convince them that even though they already saw ten women who are just as talented as you, there is something special about you.
And oh yeah, even though it is 10 am, will you please belt your face off?
And how about doing the jazz combination that you have already done twenty times today and that has made your quads feel more like quivering piles of meat than actual muscles that can keep you standing and lunging and then standing again--well, can you do that one more time?
And by one more time, of course they mean five.
Auditioning is just as much a part of my job as performing, and it is very very hard.
And the truth is that most of the time you get a resounding chorus of No's but that one Yes makes wading through all those No's absolutely and one hundred percent worth it.
This documentary also gives you a feel for the origin of A Chorus Line. It shows footage from the original show back in the 70's; you also hear the reels from the taping session in which the dancers share their lives--what eventually brought them to the stage, at times in a heartbreaking manner--that Michael Bennett did way back when. And there, you hear the fodder for all of the real life stories that now make up A Chorus Line, sometimes even word for word.
When Michael Bennett says to a small group of dancers in 1975, I want to know about your lives; I think we are all pretty interesting. I am not sure what will come of this, but whatever it is, it will be called A Chorus Line, I got chills.
Watching it made me so proud to be a part of this show. It's just plain exciting. It also made me feel truly grateful because honestly, there are other actresses who could play my role and play it well but somehow, I convinced them that I was special.
So really--go see this. You'll love it, I think. It opens in L.A. and NYC on April 27th, but then will get released to all major theaters after that. It's a great piece of history as well as a glimpse into behind the scenes on Broadway.
Sort of like in Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood when Mr. Rogers would take you to the bowling alley to see what happens after the bowling ball rolls out of sight and the pins get knocked over--only way way better.