Movie buffs who don’t know their way around the Great White Way will be struck by the endless parallels to Hollywood in the Broadway documentary ShowBusiness: There are star-powered mega-productions (like the $10 million Taboo, produced by Rosie O’Donnell) and smaller, hipper projects (the $3.5 million Avenue Q); shows designed to draw the largest possible audience (Wicked) and more personal, intellectual ones (Tony Kushner’s Caroline, or Change). Producer/director Dori Berinstein knows her way around a Broadway show—she’s produced 11 of them, including her latest, Legally Blonde—and her insider status no doubt helped secure behind-the-scenes access as she tracks one season in the life of four musicals, and explains the unusual level of intimacy between interviewer and subjects. Those include a sampling of New York’s theater critics who, unlike their film-watching brethren, have a much stronger influence on the bottom line. Still, their inability to predict the winners at the box office (who would see
Avenue Q?) or at the Tony’s (what could beat Wicked?) shows Broadway’s inherent unpredictability, which makes for good entertainment in any art form.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on May 1, 2007