After a series of Broadway flops, songwriter Bert Hanley (Dixon) goes to work at a musical camp for young performers. Inspired by the kids, he finds an opportunity to regain success by staging an altogether new production.
Murderesses Velma Kelly (a chanteuse and tease who killed her husband and sister after finding them in bed together) and Roxie Hart (who killed her boyfriend when she discovered he wasn't going to make her a star) find themselves on death row together and fight for the fame that will keep them from the gallows in 1920s Chicago.
Misfits in their lives back home, a group of young people live it up at musical-theater camp. While the sports counselor is completely ignored, the kids' spend all their time in rehearsal for a grueling schedule that involves a new show every two weeks. Several personal stories come to the fore. Is talented golden-boy Vlad honest in his feelings about Ellen? Can cross-dressing Michael have a relationship with his parents? Will one-hit-wonder musical playwrite and now camp counselor Bert Hanley remain mired in drink and cynicism? Fireworks are in store when Fritzi, who slavishly serves glamour girl Jill, is finally told to get a life, and the parents of Jenna, whose jaw has been wired shut in a compromise to avoid being sent to "fat camp", learn a valuable lesson at the summer's big end-of-season benefit. Written by
Martin Lewison <email@example.com>
The song Ellen listens to from her "Broadway ballads" mix CD, is the song "Imagining You" which is from the musical "Birds of Paradise". Writer and director, Todd Graff, starred in "Birds of Paradise" when it first premiered Off-Broadway. See more »
After having her jaw wired shut for the whole summer, the muscles in Jenna's jaw would have atrophied to the point that she would not be able to open her mouth wide enough to sing well. See more »
[scene opens on Dee, Shaun and Company singing "How Shall I See You Through My Tears"]
[as singing continues, scene shifts to Vlad in his bedroom]
To all the critics out there, I know they're gonna review this, and I know they're gonna try to knock me - is it OK if I say this to the camera, Amber? - Okay. I only am who I am 'cause I was born that way. I have a gift, and I'm trying not to be selfish about it, but to use it. Okay? If you're gonna knock me for that, that's your problem....
[...] See more »
Right On Be Free
Written by Chuck Griffin
Published by Really Together Music (BMI)
Performed by The Voices of East Harlem (as Voices of East Harlem)
Courtesy of Elektra Entertainment Group
By Arrangement with Warner Special Products See more »
This movie has an amateurish air to it, with more than its share of sloppy edits, plot dead-ends, and those little acting moments that take the viewer out of the story. The story and setting are so entertaining, however, that it manages to overcome its shortcomings and remain a memorable experience. The characters are realistic and fun, and the song choices are consistently good (especially "Turkey Lurkey Time" which is otherwise unavailable on film, far as I know). The original songs (from the people who brought you "Fame") are also good--occasionally terrific.
It's interesting to me that among a cast of newcomers and unknowns, the worst performances are from the adults--especially Don Dixon (Bert). The kids fare much better in general, and their musical performances are their real strengths (unsurprisingly). A surer hand on the direction and script could have tightened Camp up considerably, but even as messy as it is, it's still well worth seeing.
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