Movie Review: Broadway Rising (2022)

On demand December 27, 2022.

This is the story about how one creative community rebounded from the biggest existential threat to its way of life: the chronicle of how Broadway survived 551 dark days benched by COVID-19. Capturing the full ecosystem from producers and performers to the folks who launder the costumes and staff the venues, Amy Rice’s documentary Broadway Rising (B) is a tribute to resilience and a stirring summons to the best in all of us. Rice cleverly accesses multiple theatre community personalities and perspectives to trace the time period between the shutdown and reopening. Some people passed away, some cope in unexpected ways and others still found a whole new way to give back to their adopted stage families and others in need. Interviews with actors and artisans such as Patti LuPone and Lynn Nottage help knit the tale from a true behind the scenes vantage point, with performers from popular shows such as Wicked, Waitress, Hamilton and Hadestown drawing in a populist POV . Rice deftly weaves vital issues of social justice and inclusion into the piece and finds apt intersections to propel her central storyline. The idiom dictionary for the phrase, “the show must go on” would undoubtedly point directly to this film.

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