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Show Business: The Road to Broadway

53 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

The real drama happens behind the curtain in this fascinating and rare look at four high-profile Broadway musicals (Wicked, Taboo, Caroline, Or Change, and Avenue Q) and their fearless journey to the Tony Awards®. Including a star-studded cast, this entertaining film takes viewers on an unprecedented behind-the-scenes view of the creative process that captures all the heartbreak and hilarity of trying make it big in Show Business!

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The playful but intense and vastly informative Show Business: The Road to Broadway is a documentary about four musicals that were contenders for top Tony Awards prizes in the 2004 Broadway season. Following the parallel action between the quartet--"Wicked," "Avenue Q," "Taboo," and "Caroline, or Change"--from concept through casting, rewrites, rehearsals, opening nights and the relative box-office fortunes of each, the film dazzles a viewer by seeming to be everywhere at once. Along the way, one encounters cascades of neuroses and anxieties from the creative community involved in these shows, but there is also tremendous insight shared by the various playwrights, composers, lyricists, producers, directors, and stars who get these productions up and running. There's sundry drama, too, especially concerning the brief run of "Taboo," the financially disastrous musical about Boy George that was largely bankrolled by Rosie O’Donnell and ran into a variety of problems. Excellent fly-on-the-wall moments include a dinner sequence involving a handful of well-known theatre critics, whose tastes vary and who often champion shows no one else seems to like. Everything leads to highlights from the 2004 Tony Awards show, which was full of surprises. A final sequence in which one catches up with the many talents involved says everything about how success and failure is often a mere roll of the cosmic dice. --Tom Keogh


Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Boy George, Alan Cumming, John Lahr, Joe Mantello, Jason Moore
  • Directors: Dori Berinstein
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Liberation Ent
  • DVD Release Date: October 16, 2007
  • Run Time: 102 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000UAE7NG
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #45,197 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Show Business: The Road to Broadway" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By "Rocky Raccoon" VINE VOICE on October 24, 2007
Format: DVD
A documentary about the genesis, success, press, and fallout of four Broadway musicals would have to be quickly paced. Besides that, the well-rounded content of Dori Berenstein's 'Show Business-The Road to Broadway' is whole and complete--entertaining, fun, informative, eventful, and fascinating. If you love musicals, this is a must-see. If you're only luke warm, you'll probably love it anyway just to trace the creative sparks back to their origins.

Well, it's just so exciting! Especially if you don't know the outcomes (like me). Watching four selected Broadway musicals from 2004, we witness each one get created from the piano to the stage. Only a hair less satisfying are the steps of creation for the choreography, rehearsals, and press conferences. It's all in the details. Some of the participants strive for the American dream from the bottom: One got off of welfare; another was working as a temp. Then, as the show takes a life of it's own, we make our bets (like on our favorite horse race) and see which one wins (financially and/or critically). Sort of an entertainment version of 'The Apprentice' without The Donald, Adam Zucker's editing never leaves us yawning in the aisles. The film is effective enough as it reaches its climax at The Tony Awards.

How can you not love a movie that gives you a real look at 'Wicked,' 'Avenue Q,' 'Caroline or Change,' and 'Taboo'? The film features substantative sound bites from a myriad of producers, actors, writers, and artists. As an overview, I loved the round-table discussions by critics at a New York restaurant. Or how about the feistiness and passion of Boy George and Rosie O'Donnell? Then, we're left in suspense as we see which show is left standing and for how long.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Jeff Reys on October 28, 2007
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I'll refrain from reviewing the movie as other reviewers have already addressed that aspect of the film. The bonus features on this DVD are enticing on their own. Liza Minnelli, Alan Cummings, John Lithgow, Brian Dennehy, Antonio Bandares, Patrick Stewart and more share their Broadway experiences in a private and personal conversational manner which makes one wish entire films were devoted to these one on one conversations. Donna Murphy has a particularly passionate and moving conversation about her love of Broadway. Dori Bernstein, Jeff Marx and Alan Cummings provide audio commentary. A study guide, deleted scenes, bonus Footage, Tony Awards clips and Broadway cares all round out the package making this a fantastic behind-the-scenes peek into making a Broadway musical which also makes one wish this were one of a nine or ten volume encyclopedic video series.
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Format: DVD
The odds against a Broadway musical becoming a profitable hit make Hollywood studio film deals seem like a sure thing by comparison. However, there is a more palpable energy to live theater and arguably a genuine sense of risk. Filmmaker Dori Berinstein has captured this high-wire dynamic in spades with this enthusiastic 2007 documentary, which covers the 2003-04 Broadway season culminating in the Tony Awards held in June. There are plenty of random shots from the season's shows and even coverage of a little-known rehearsal ritual of having the most prolific cast member wear a gypsy robe before opening. Berinstein's focus is primarily on four disparate musicals - the successful $14-million Wizard of Oz-inspired extravaganza, Wicked; a socially conscious period piece, the powerful Caroline, or Change; the glam-rock Boy George autobiography, the financially stunted Taboo; and the season's underdog, the adult-oriented comic paean to Sesame Street, Avenue Q.Read more ›
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Rob McMillin on August 22, 2007
Format: DVD
As this film's ending makes perfectly clear, Broadway is brutal: far more shows fail than succeed. Show Business followed four musicals (Wicked, Taboo, Avenue Q, and Caroline, Or Change) through pre-production to (some would say premature) closing, unveiling the huge amount of work expended to put these productions on the stage. Not only is it a valentine to the musical, but to the art form's fans. A must-see for anyone who loves Broadway.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Steve Ramm TOP 100 REVIEWER on November 12, 2007
Format: DVD
If you love Broadway Musicals - even if you live thousands of miles from New York and have to be content with road companies or the annual televised Tony Awards - you need to see this DVD. I'm sure Producer/Director Dori Bernstein had no idea when she chose to follow four "high profile" (meaning, in most cases, BIG BUDGET) musicals making their Broadway debut in 2004, that these shows would succeed (or, in one major disaster, fail). But with the help of "co-producer" Alan Cumming, she received unprecedented access to filming the productions from early conception to the opening (and closing) nights. Everything happens in "real time".

If you don't remember who won the Tony Award for Best Musical you'll find the film even more entertaining as the "mystery" is revealed, but - even if you do - you'll learn a lot and hear some great music. The DVD is also loaded with some great surprises. Hang in for the final credits - where Wicked's star Idina Menzel does a hip-hop version of "Lullaby of Broadway"!

There's 30 minutes of insightful bonus footage with interviews with the performers and other creative team members in each of the four musicals and even a Study Guide on DVD-ROM.

Gone are the days when shows spent a year "trying out" in cities like Philadelphia and Boston. Now they head straight for Broadway (or sometimes, like Avenue Q, are discovered "downtown" - off-Broadway). The stakes are high and a failure can be costly. And, now, there's always a Disney production to compete with for the theatergoer's dollar (more likely $101.50!).

You'll spend hours with this DVD and it belongs in the collection of anyone who loves the Broadway musical.

Steve Ramm
"Anything Phonographic"
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