"How do you measure," Jonathan Larson's lyrics from Rent asked, "measure a year?" Dori Berinstein's inspired answer is SHOW business-a chronicle of a year in the life of Broadway. The film tracks four original musicals: Wicked, the clever retelling of The Wizard of Oz from the witches' perspective; Avenue Q, in which puppets behave like, well, unemployed twentysomethings; Taboo, Boy George and Rosie O'Donnell's '80s extravaganza; and the pedigreed Public Theater transfer Tony Kushner's Caroline, or Change. By virtue of her unique stage door access to these shows and a host of others, Berinstein expertly conveys the creative and technical challenges of preparing a production for the twelve-block territory known as Broadway. As we follow each of these shows from inspiration to opening night, the truth of the notion that theater rests on the passion of its practitioners is borne out. And throughout the film, we hear directly from those arbiters of our own ticket-buying decisions, the seemingly all-powerful New York critics. Putting faces, and overblown pronouncements, to the bylines is almost as much fun as watching some of their Tony predictions proven wrong. And speaking of the Tonys, a.k.a. the "finish line"-what a horserace it was last year. Would the groundbreaking Caroline, or Change best the upstart puppet show? Would either one have a chance against the million-dollar babies, Taboo and Wicked, and their marketing budgets? It was an unforgettable upset, and it is even more exciting from this vantage point. As one insider puts it-the risk/reward economics of theater are brutal. There's only one reason that people continue to produce it, and that reason is love, which is skillfully embroidered all over SHOW business.
Dori Berinstein has enjoyed an extensive career working behind the scenes in other capacities for film, television, and for the Broadway stage. She executive produced, produced or supervised production on over 40 feature films including Unzipped, MuppetVision 3-D, and Dirty Dancing, and has worked as a producer for companies that include Paramount Pictures, Warner Brothers, and Sony Pictures. She is a three-time Tony® award winning Broadway producer whose stage productions include Thoroughly Modern Millie, winner of 2002 Tony® award for best musical, The Crucible with Liam Neeson and Laura Linney, and One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest starring Gary Sinise. Berinstein is currently prepping her 11th Broadway show, Legally Blonde, based on the 2001 MGM movie.