Mia and Armando meet at a midtown Manhattan dance studio where Mia is an instructor and Armando is a part-time handyman who exchanges his janitorial duties for dance lessons. Despite their differences, there is clearly a spark between them that is ignited one night when they find themselves alone practicing in the studio. But before their relationship has a chance to grow, a tragic accident changes Mia’s life forever. True to his nature, Armando dedicates himself to helping Mia overcome the everyday challenges that follow.
At the rehab center where Mia is undergoing therapy, she is joined by a group of colorful misfits who are also trying to deal with life in a wheelchair – an angry Iraq war veteran, a pre-op transsexual, an antisocial punk with a chip on her shoulder.
Despite Mia’s many rebuffs, Armando refuses to give up, struggling to find a way to win Mia over and get her to dance again. Then one day, Armando hears about a “Wheelchair Ballroom Dance Competition” — a dance phenomenon big in Europe and Asia, but relatively unknown in the USA — soon to be held for the first time in New York City .
Armando convinces Mia and the off-beat gang of rehab residents to give it a shot, and after initial skepticism and some hilarious attempts, they begin to seriously rehearse for the upcoming event.
Featuring able-bodied and disabled actors and dancers and directed by award-winning filmmaker Susan Seidelman, MUSICAL CHAIRS is about the strength of the human spirit, love and compassion in the face of life’s adversities.
Shot exclusively in NYC, the film was produced by Janet Carrus and Joey Dedio and executive produced by Jamin O’Brien and Susan Seidelman.