How do you capture cinema verite in a world of façade?
SHOWGIRLS: GLITZ & ANGST, an explosive documentary musical about the men and women mounting a new Las Vegas show, delivers the memorable and colorful answer.
An innovative blend of high-energy dance numbers and revealing behind-the-scenes footage, SHOWGIRLS presents a fast-paced nonfiction narrative about hopes, dreams and harsh realities – both in show business and in life. It’s like a Bob Fosse musical.for real.
Employing the technique used in their previous film CHAIN CAMERA, director Kirby Dick and producer Eddie Schmidt handed out cameras to the captivating cast of the show: dancers Melania, Stephanie, Syn-Syn, and Kat. Their footage, interwoven with backstage footage shot by Dick, Schmidt and their crew, provides a surprisingly intimate peek behind the curtain, showing a home life where kids have to be picked up from school, dad’s parole board hearing is coming up, and boyfriends take off on motorcycles with no promise to return.
Through all this, the dancers must stay thin, beautiful and healthy while learning15 intricate dance numbers in just 25 days, wearing 20-pound headdresses and four-inch heels, and changing costumes in the blink of an eye.
At the heart of this ensemble lies the tumultuous relationship between the show’s choreographer, Mistinguett, and Greg Thompson, the show’s producer. Mistinguett, a six-foot-tall former showgirl who began choreographing Thompson’s shows nearly 20 years ago, was his lover for 15 years. Though Thompson owes much of his success to their creative collaboration, he recently married Sunny, a bubbly, much younger blonde woman, who currently stars in many of his shows. Now it’s up to Mistinguett to choreograph a sexy and beguiling show.for the woman who took her place.
SHOWGIRLS: GLITZ & ANGST dramatically builds to opening night, where internal conflict and external chaos threaten the dynamics of this large, dysfunctional family hard at work. And yet, when the curtain rises, the dazzling show must go on.
|Review:||The Hollywood Reporter|