Follows the four high-profile productions that would eventually become Tony nominees for Best Musical of 2004: "Wicked," (currently the highest grossing musical of all time), the Rosie O'Donnell/Boy George musical brought from London, "Taboo," Tony Kushner's "Caroline, or Change," and a grown-up puppet show called "Avenue Q." Digging behind the scenes, from casting and out-of-town previews to the suspense-filled Tony Awards, "ShowBusiness" provides an engrossing look at the inner workings of Broadway musicals. Listening in to critics around the dinner table, interviews with the creators, footage of rehearsals and openings all combine to make this one of the most entertaining documentaries (and dramas) about the world of musical theater. Written by
The song that Idina Menzel sings over the credits is a much-changed version of "Lullaby of Broadway," written by Al Dubin and Harry Warren. The song originally appeared in the Warner Brothers film Gold Diggers of 1935and won the 1936 Academy Award for Best Original Song. It was one of many Warren and Dubin songs eventually included in the 1980 musical "42nd Street" (based mostly, but not entirely, on their 1933 movie of the same name). The version that Menzel sings in this documentary was arranged by Jan Folkson and Jeanine Tesori and given an almost entirely new tune, as well as some new lyrics - a spoken interlude drawn from Harlem Renaissance poet Claude McKay's 1920 poem "On Broadway;" Billy Porter performed the McKay portion of the song. See more »
At one point during the end credits, the recording session for Idina Menzel's version of "Lullaby of Broadway" is shown. See more »
I would highly recommend this documentary for anyone interested in Broadway generally, and musicals specifically. It documents the entire 2003-04 Broadway season. It focuses primarily on four musicals: Avenue Q, Wicked, Caroline or Change, and Taboo. The unrestricted access to the musical process from casting to rehearsals to previews all through to the Tony Awards was amazing.
At our screening, we were surprised by the appearance of Dori Berinstein (writer/director/producer) and Jeff Marx (composer/lyricist of "Avenue Q"), for a Q & A. Dori revealed that they had over 400 hours of video, from which to produce this final product.
I'm looking forward to the release of the DVD which we were promised would include footage that didn't make it into the movie.
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