ShowBusiness: The Road to Broadway Reviews
It is filled with neurotic people in greasepaint, some charming, most amusing, and by the time you've spent an hour and a half with them, you're more than invested in their lives and cares.
The film's slick and entertaining, an obvious must-see for musical hounds. It holds water for laypeople, though, because the insights into a communal creative process are so sharp.
What stands out, not surprisingly, is the work and passion that goes into the shows. But seeing all this from the inside creates an extraordinary level of empathy for those involved.
Dori Berinstein's cameras catch gallant theater people doing what they've done since Sophocles was a pup: rehearsing, revising, worrying, learning, stretching, struggling to bump things up from good to wonderful and constantly, fervently hoping.
In the end, I wish Berenstein had devoted her filmmaking to two musicals instead of four, thus affording even more screen time to each show's creative process (the audition process, the choreography, early rehearsals and such).
Short on insight. You'll have to look elsewhere than this love letter to the Great White Way to explain why Wicked and Avenue Q became huge hits, and why Caroline, or Change joined Taboo as a costly flop.
It's a rosy and warty look at what makes the big shows happen, and what makes them tick. I hope you'll see it, even if you're not 'into' musical theatre -- it's really well done.