ShowBusiness: The Road to Broadway is the delightfully engaging full-length documentary produced and directed by veteran Dori Berinstein of Legally Blonde fame. The film follows four major musicals of the 2003 – 2004 season: Wicked, Avenue Q, Caroline, or Change, and Taboo from pre-production through the night of the Tony Awards.
Hear Tonya Pinkin talking candidly about her personal experiences as she discusses her roll in Caroline, or Change or the emotional response of Euan Morton to the parallels between his character and his own life as he talks about Taboo. Ms. Berinstein brings that and much more to her work especially when considering that all four of these musicals ended up being nominated for Tony Awards!
Speaking of nominations, one might have expected Wicked, the mega-Broadway, mega-bucks musical to be there. But who would have thought that modest Avenue Q would find itself in the same company? The critics slammed it. It certainly isn't what most of us think of as a Broadway Musical. But it played 2,534 shows! Boy George's Taboo, somewhat successful in London, totally flopped. The word on Caroline, or Change was that it was too depressing a storyline to ever make it.
Ms. Berinstein takes us backstage to glimpse the inner workings of each of these very diverse productions from the mammoth to the miniscule, to view the performers as individuals in a personal way, and to see how much effort and compromise and angst it takes to reach Broadway. That she chose these particular shows totally unaware of where they would end up adds even more depth to her work.
Did you ever wonder how the stage could be covered in fog? What it took to create a fire-breathing dragon? What it takes to come up with those songs? Where a show goes to try-out before opening on Broadway? And what the heck is a tech rehearsal? Ms. Berinstein shows the things an audience never sees.
She documents critics' sarcastic comments, chance encounters between the members of rival shows, candid talk about feelings, expectations, fears, hopes, and dreams. She presents us with real people, not the characters we pay to see and gives us a fascinating glimpse of the inner workings of the magic that is show business in a very human, entertaining way. Be sure to see it!