Imperfect was watched early as a screener. It is being released theatrically on February 16th, 2024.

When you strive for perfection, you will very hard to achieve what is likely unachievable. Perfection is hard, perfection is usually impossible. But what if you strive for imperfection, and accept it in all of its glory?

In Denver, Colorado is the Phamaly Theatre Company, which has this statement on their main website. “A creative home for theatre artists with disabilities.” That’s right! A professional theater company that employees at all levels, actors and actresses that also happen to have disabilities. Because let’s face. Equality and Equity in the world is far from happening right now. But some people are working on it, like the people behind the Phamaly Theatre Company.

Now sure, there are people like Ali Stoker, who have made it into Broadway to play roles in her wheel chair, that were not written to be played by someone in a wheelchair. But for the vast majority of parts and places out there, someone with a disability will likely only be considered if the part has it written in for that character. And that sort of sucks.

So in this documentary, one of the directors, Regan Linton, who uses a wheelchair, is an actress herself on the stage. But in this documentary, she takes on the role of a director, and is putting on the musical Chicago. And so we the viewer get to see the behind the scene footage of auditions, blocking, practice, and some of the final scenes and shots of their finalized and award nominated work.

More importantly, we get to see triumph in the faces of people who are often told they can’t do things.

Don’t mess with a person with a cane. Especially if they can sing well.

Honestly, when I first saw this documentary was giving out screeners for review, I thought that I was going to see the actual staged version of Chicago with the theater company. In reality, that is just the last 10 minutes or so, just snippets from it. But that is still okay! A documentary on the planning and start to finish process was also interesting in its own right.

For example, in the audition scenes, I wonder in projects like this, what is most important? Diversity? People who can hit the notes correctly? How do you decide? It must be a hard thing to think about, and I know I wouldn’t have a great answer.

Honestly, the documentary had me crying happy tears by the end. It is just so great to see people excelling at tasks, and doing it well, and hits a bit better when you know the potential increased struggles to get to that point. If I could have more, I would have wanted more of the actual show, as I mentioned. But what I got was still a unique view and useful.

Now, this documentary is just highlighting what one theater group has been doing, and doing successfully for years. It can be good for awareness, and I hope there are other groups out there doing the same thing. It is a good look of the behind the scenes, and can be downright inspiring, but really, it is just people exploring their passions. And we can all use a bit more of that in our lives.

3 out of 4.