Sunday, June 24, 2007
Show Business: The Road to Broadway: film about four broadway musicals
The DVD digital video film “Show Business: The Road to Broadway” (2007, Regent, dir. Dori Bernstein, 102 min, PG) documents the rise (and sometimes the fall) of four major Broadway shows “Wicked”, “Taboo”, “Avenue Q”, and “Caroline, or Change”.
Websites: http://www.wickedthemusical.com/, music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz The Gershwin Theater, with the story set in the Land of Oz. There is a rehearsal scene where Schwartz corrects a note of a woodwind player. Book by Winnie Holzman, dir. Joe Mantello
Caroline, or Change http://www.carolineorchange.com, music by Jeanine Tesori, book and lyrics by Tony Kushner, dir. George C. Wolfe, deals with an African American maid in a Jewish family in Louisiana in 1963, just before the Kennedy Assassination, closed on Broadway in August 2004. The film shows a composing session with electronic recording of piano chords. A similar scene occurs with the character Ephram in the TV series Everwood, and in Maican’s film (Dec. 20 in this blog).
Avenue Q http://www.avenueq.com/ music by Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx, book by Jeff Whitty, known as a quasi-Sesame puppet show. The film shows some scenes which both men (and Marx’s parents) discuss their boyhood backgrounds in music and how they became composers.
At the Golden Theater
Taboo http://www.broadwayworld.com/showinfo.cfm?showid=38 by and about Boy George, takes place in London in the 80s and was produced by Rosie O’Donnell and was canceled after three months.
The film shows many intimate acting scenes (such as a rehearsal for a fight in “Wicked”). It ends with the Tony Awards ceremony in 2004, where all the musicals win awards (Avenue Q amazes everyone.)
The film also mentions many other broadway plays that failed quickly or never opened, despite their “angel” investments.