The film received a 91% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 54 reviews, with an average rating of /10. The site's critical consensus reads, "This riotously deadpan mockumentary about aspiring community theater performers never stoops to ridicule oft-ridiculous characters."  The film also received a score of 71 out of 100 on Metacritic , based on 19 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews."  During opening weekend in 1997, the film made $37,990.  With a budget of $4 million, the film earned less than $3 million worldwide.