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Moon Over Broadway

Posted on

Moon Over Broadway

Current Status:
In Season
Carol Burnett, Philip Bosco
D.A. Pennebaker, Chris Hegedus

We gave it an A

MOON OVER BROADWAY (Artistic License, unrated) When documentary filmmakers D.A. Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus decided to try to do for Broadway what they did for campaign politics in The War Room (1993), they had no way of knowing whether the show they chose to follow from evolution to premiere, a door-slamming farce called Moon Over Buffalo (starring Carol Burnett and Philip Bosco), would be a hit or a flop. As it happens, Moon Over Buffalo was neither (it opened to mixed reviews and ran for nine months), but the show’s almost universally agreed-upon mediocrity turns out to be the comic glory of Moon Over Broadway. In exquisite detail, we watch as a tireless team of theatrical veterans sweat, tinker, squabble, and dream, all to get a halfway tolerable piece of middlebrow claptrap to the Great White Way. The biggest problem they face is that the playwright, Ken Ludwig, knows how to do everything except — small glitch — make a comedy funny. The biggest irony is that Carol Burnett, who’s initially pegged as too TV, is the one who single-handedly whips some life into the show. Moon Over Broadway makes you want to see Pennebaker and Hegedus turn their cameras on the backstage madness of every American institution. A