Sept 8, 10 & 11 – Broadway was on the verge of bankruptcy in the 70s with talk of tearing down theaters and replacing them with parking lots; the plays were considered obsolete and audiences severely declining. On Broadway shows how, thanks to innovative work, a new attention to inclusion and the sometimes-uneasy balance between art and commerce, an industry on the verge of extinction managed to reinvent itself and come back stronger. Legends of the stage and screen take us behind the scenes of Broadway’s most groundbreaking and beloved shows, from “A Chorus Line” to “Hamilton.” The film is chock full of clips that will make audiences want to jump out of their seats and sing, and offers a hurly-burly ride through Times Square. At a moment when New York City is facing an uncertain path forward in its recovery from a devastating pandemic, this fascinating and hugely enjoyable documentary shows how Broadway led the way in the city’s last great rebirth and provides a model of how it can come back again. Curtains up!
(Oren Jacoby, 2019, USA, 1:22, NR)