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Stagedoor (2007)

Randi Kleiner , Maddy Weinstein , Alexandra Shiva  |  NR |  DVD
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Stagedoor + Theater Geek: The Real Life Drama of a Summer at Stagedoor Manor + Camp
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Product Details

  • Actors: Randi Kleiner, Maddy Weinstein, Kat Pogo, Nicole Doring, Robert Wright (XVII)
  • Directors: Alexandra Shiva
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Docurama
  • DVD Release Date: March 27, 2007
  • Run Time: 79 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000MKXF1O
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #304,130 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Stagedoor" on IMDb

Editorial Reviews

Stagedoor Manor is a Catskills camp where America’s youngest aspiring Broadway stars--kids more interested in Auntie Mame than Britney Spears--gather to sing and dance their hearts out. In essence, life becomes a cabaret, and the kids in Alexandra Shiva’s enchanting documentary become its shining stars. Some see camp as a means of escaping the troubles of their home lives; others see it as a step towards becoming Stagedoor’s next star, like notable camp alums Natalie Portman (Stars Wars) and Zach Braff (Garden State).

Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars
3.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Stagedoor Manor is a theater camp in the Catskill Mountains and it becomes home to 250 kids each summer. Over a 3 week time period, they all attend varied classes that culminate with 12 full-scale productions. The final shows are for family, friends, and casting directors looking for new talent.

Each camper is cast in a show and additionally, some are chosen to perform in a talent contest and others in a cabaret with the latter category here being a highlight that many aspire to be a part of. The talents and skill levels are varied among all camp attendees but their shared passions for performance arts are universal among them all. Everyone is held to a high standard of professionalism and the work ethics are stringent but necessary to achieve the impressive results seen in their final performances.

Although 5 individual campers are examined in this documentary, it is also a broad look at the entire group of members here and their shared experiences. Many relate that this retreat from regular life is free from stigmas, cliques, peer pressures, and other stressors that they would normally find in school back home. Competition can be heavy at times and individual expectations are high but the rewards outweigh the difficulties.

Current superstars Natalie Portman, Robert Downey Jr, Jennifer Jason Leigh, and Felicity Huffman were all former members of Stagedoor Manor and this is a testament to the excellence of this facility and its dedicated staff.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting February 2, 2009
I thought the documentary was well done. I wish they would have done more at-home stuff with the kids they profiled the most to see how they interacted with their non-camp friends, but other than that it was pretty enjoyable. I thought it was perhaps a bit too short because we didnt really get to know anybody. It would have been interesting to have more about the coaches in there. It is definitely worth watching.
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5.0 out of 5 stars I love this movie! April 25, 2014
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This movie offers an interesting sneak peek of the musical theater world! Great movie! The songs get stuck in my head!
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3.0 out of 5 stars Exit: Stage Left April 30, 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
The concept was promising, but the filmmakers probably had a narrow window to work with and pieced together the footage as best they could.

The film follows five students at this private performing arts school...well at least that what the opening says the film will be doing but they didn't follow those five more than any other interviewee like parents and staff members.

The film First Position is similar but gave you a stronger sense as to who were the main characters. Both films, sadly, don't bring us deeper into the hearts and lives of these children like a film like Hoop Dreams or Heart of.the Game. There also didn't seem to be a climax like training for that one big performance that would rattle nerves and make futures.

If they had done this like the series Bug Juice, letting the story be told just by the children, it would have been great.
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10 of 20 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Cinema Verite Portrait of Folly, Ego, and Cruelty June 10, 2009
STAGEDOOR is a brutal documentary that exposes the bizarre methods of a theatrical summer camp for teens in the Catskills, and the awful people who staff it. Not to mention it makes the children look like monsters. Are there any agreeable characters in the movie? Maybe one or two, but the filmmakers seem to delight in revealing the worst aspects of the theatrical personality.

I don't know who comes across worse. There's the one male teacher with the artfully haystacked-up hair, who takes the honors drama class and tells them on their first meeting that there are one too many students in the group, and before the end of the class they are going to have to kick one out, and he forces each student in turn to name one who should be evicted. Then at the end he tells them laughingly it was just an exercise. Then there's the large woman who's the director I guess, who has a hissy fit over some bad student behavior and rounds them up, asking them why didn't they just spit at her. Talk about a drama queen! The film focuses on five students, but not very successfully. None of them seem very talented, but is that just the luck of the draw, that sometimes doc-makers pick their subjects early and then they just peter out, or are they making a case against letting teens act? The one black boy who plays the Tim Curry role in Annie has confidence, and a role in Broadway's THE LION KING on his resume, but he's got very little stage presence, while the girl Nicole seems to think she can get by on her comic antics offstage, it's painful to watch adolescent awkwardness this close up.

The actual operations of Stagedoor Manor are awesome--it's hard to believe that the staff can cast, direct, produce, rehearse and open twelve musicals in three weeks.
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