Monday, January 7, 2008

Show Business

I think one of my favorite things about 2007 was that I finally hopped on the Netflix train. I'd avoided it for years because it just seemed so complicated...deciding ahead of time what I wanted to watch, waiting for it to arrive in the mail... It seemed so much easier to go to my local video store. Besides, half the time I don't even know what I want to watch until I get to the video store and see what's there.

There's only one problem with that. I'm a theatre geek. And while my local video store is pretty good about stocking the latest releases, I'm not likely to find the DVD of Into the Woods there. Even bona fide movie musicals are hard to find if they're more than five years old or so.

But it turns out that since Netflix has a much bigger library, they have TONS of musical-theatre goodness. So I've been a happy camper for the last couple of months, watching DVDs like Broadway's Lost Treasures and Company: The Original Cast Album.

I've actually got one I want to recommend for any other Broadway lovers who stumble onto this blog. It's called Show Business: The Road to Broadway and it's just wonderful. It's a documentary following four musicals that premiered in the 2003-2004 season---Wicked, Avenue Q, Caroline or Change, and Taboo---from their original conceptions to the 2004 Tony Awards.

Despite already knowing how that season ended, it was a lot of fun to watch. The documentary takes you behind the scenes of the inner workings of a Broadway musical. And it was chock-full of fun (and a few not-so-fun) interviews with Idina Menzel, Raúl Esparza, Stephanie D'Abruzzo, the creators of Avenue Q, and many more.

It's definitely a DVD I'd recommend for anyone who's as big a musical-theatre geek as I am.

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