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 Andrew Stephens
The filmmakers follow the path of four new musicals that planned to open in the 2003/04 Broadway theater season: 'Avenue Q', 'Caroline, or Change', 'Taboo' and 'Wicked'. Each of the four has a different path to opening and a different pre-production anticipation. Regardless of the work going on behind the scenes, during pre-production 'Wicked' is considered the most commercial and likely for success, with a large scope appropriate to Broadway, an established composer (Stephen Schwartz), established Broadway leads (Kristin Chenoweth and Idina Menzel) and a wide appeal storyline (The Wizard of Oz (1939) from the witches' viewpoints when they were younger). 'Taboo' has high profile if only because it had already played in the West End of London to great aplomb, has a high profile producer/backer (Rosie O'Donnell) and high profile subject matter and composer (Boy George) regardless of the fact that these names are untested on Broadway. Although having names with some Broadway pedigree behind them, the smaller 'Avenue Q' and 'Caroline, or Change' have the largest hurdles to overcome to reach success, 'Avenue Q''s being a target market that doesn't traditionally go to see Broadway shows, and 'Caroline, or Change''s being a perceived depressing storyline. Some of these preconceived notions can ultimately help or hinder the show, and sometimes expectations and outside baggage can overwhelm a show. Surprisingly three of the four were scheduled to open in the fall season, the spring generally the time when most shows open to be fresh in the minds of the Tony Award nominating committee and voters, winning the Tony for Best Musical being the ultimate goal. Ultimately, three of the four went on to take three of the four spots nominated for Best Musical in that year's Tony Awards, one being the ultimate, and perhaps, surprise winner.- Written by Huggo
Going behind the curtain to capture the most controversial, passionate, risky and high-profile Broadway season in decades.- Written by Anonymous
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