Ever wonder who those people are that are listed as understudies to big Hollywood stars. Say, who goes on when Audra McDonald is too weak to do her Bess on Broadway? We know we have. Now there is an emotional and complex documentary that gets into the business of boffo box office and the psychology behind being a standby for starpower and potentially never actually getting any applause for your own talents.
Stephanie Riggs' documentary The Standbys follows three talented actors--Ben Crawford, Merwin Foard, and Alena Watters (pictured above)--as they wait backstage during productions of The Addams Family, Shrek, and others.
The film receives its premiere May 12 when it opens the second annual Tony Awards Film Series at the Paley Center for Media. The event promises to include Broadway-inspired films and will feature exclusive interactive opportunities for audiences, including panel discussions with Tony Award winners, a Carol Channing look-a-like contest and sing-a-longs."