Reviews - Specialty Releases


Film Review: One Night Stand

This entertaining backstage documentary chronicles the fear and exhilaration involved in creating four 15-minute musicals in a single day.

April 22, 2013

-By Frank Scheck


filmjournal/photos/stylus/1375978-One_Night_Stand_Md.jpg

For movie details, please click here.

Applying the concept of “Hey kids, let’s put on a show” to the extreme, the fly-on-the-wall documentary One Night Stand chronicles the manic efforts of a group of composers, playwrights, directors, designers and performers to create and present four original short musicals, all in the space of 24 hours. While the proceedings will be of primary interest to theatre buffs, this engaging film directed by Elisabeth Sperling and Trish Dalton delivers an entertainingly condensed portrait of backstage hysteria.

The filmmakers chronicle the creation of the 2009 edition of The 24 Hour Musicals, an annual charity event presented by The 24 Hour Company. It’s an offspring of the similar The 24 Hour Plays, presented in New York since 1995. A gallery of notable theatre talents donates their services to the enterprise, including in this case such familiar television faces as Jesse Tyler Ferguson (“Modern Family”), Cheyenne Jackson (“30 Rock”), Rachel Dratch (“Saturday Night Live), Roger Bart (“Desperate Housewives”) and Richard Kind (“Mad About You”), among others.

The concept is simple, if fearsomely daunting. It all begins at eight p.m., when a group of composers gather at the National Arts Club. Over the next 12 hours, they somehow manage to write a quartet of 15-minute musicals. The next morning, the directors and performers are assigned their material, which they immediately begin learning and rehearsing prior to giving a public performance that evening.

Needless to say, it’s an immense challenge, one that the film captures in visceral fashion. We watch as Kind agonizes over memorizing a lengthy solo musical number; Dratch worries over her less than stellar singing voice; and basically everyone involved wonders how in the hell they’ll manage to get through the proceedings unscathed.

As we see from the scenes of the actual performance, a few glitches aside—Ferguson at one point amusingly freezes onstage, unable to remember his lines and finally pulling out his script—they generally come through with flying colors. And despite the fear and anxiety on display throughout, it all looks like so much fun that it will no doubt inspire legions of young people to enroll in their high-school and university theatre programs.
The Hollywood Reporter


Film Review: One Night Stand

This entertaining backstage documentary chronicles the fear and exhilaration involved in creating four 15-minute musicals in a single day.

April 22, 2013

-By Frank Scheck


filmjournal/photos/stylus/1375978-One_Night_Stand_Md.jpg

For movie details, please click here.

Applying the concept of “Hey kids, let’s put on a show” to the extreme, the fly-on-the-wall documentary One Night Stand chronicles the manic efforts of a group of composers, playwrights, directors, designers and performers to create and present four original short musicals, all in the space of 24 hours. While the proceedings will be of primary interest to theatre buffs, this engaging film directed by Elisabeth Sperling and Trish Dalton delivers an entertainingly condensed portrait of backstage hysteria.

The filmmakers chronicle the creation of the 2009 edition of The 24 Hour Musicals, an annual charity event presented by The 24 Hour Company. It’s an offspring of the similar The 24 Hour Plays, presented in New York since 1995. A gallery of notable theatre talents donates their services to the enterprise, including in this case such familiar television faces as Jesse Tyler Ferguson (“Modern Family”), Cheyenne Jackson (“30 Rock”), Rachel Dratch (“Saturday Night Live), Roger Bart (“Desperate Housewives”) and Richard Kind (“Mad About You”), among others.

The concept is simple, if fearsomely daunting. It all begins at eight p.m., when a group of composers gather at the National Arts Club. Over the next 12 hours, they somehow manage to write a quartet of 15-minute musicals. The next morning, the directors and performers are assigned their material, which they immediately begin learning and rehearsing prior to giving a public performance that evening.

Needless to say, it’s an immense challenge, one that the film captures in visceral fashion. We watch as Kind agonizes over memorizing a lengthy solo musical number; Dratch worries over her less than stellar singing voice; and basically everyone involved wonders how in the hell they’ll manage to get through the proceedings unscathed.

As we see from the scenes of the actual performance, a few glitches aside—Ferguson at one point amusingly freezes onstage, unable to remember his lines and finally pulling out his script—they generally come through with flying colors. And despite the fear and anxiety on display throughout, it all looks like so much fun that it will no doubt inspire legions of young people to enroll in their high-school and university theatre programs.
The Hollywood Reporter
Post a Comment
Asterisk (*) is a required field.
* Author: 
Rate This Article: (1=Bad, 5=Perfect)

*Comment:
 

More Specialty Releases

The Congress
Film Review: The Congress

Part live-action, part cornea-searing animation, this cinematic overload is ambitious but ultimately fatigues as it plays with the intriguing notion of a fading Hollywood star selling rights so her cyberspace avatar can rise to superstardom and stay forever young in virtual reality. Flashy animation and cynical stabs at celebrity culture and movie-studio finagling keep things lively for a while. More »

The Last of Robin Hood
Film Review: The Last of Robin Hood

Serviceable vehicle for a salacious story. More »

Last Weekend
Film Review: Last Weekend

A sort of modern Chekhovian study of family tensions over a country weekend, this indie drama is very pretty to look at and at times disarming, but needed more punch. More »

The Notebook
Film Review: The Notebook

An aloof adaptation of Agota Kristof's best-seller that's technically impressive but precludes audience identification. More »

ADVERTISEMENT



REVIEWS

Sin City: A Dame to Kill For
Film Review: Sin City: A Dame to Kill For

Neither significantly better nor worse than its predecessor, the belated Sin City sequel is more of a repeat, rather than a continuation, of the original. More »

If I Stay
Film Review: If I Stay

Delivers as promised. More »

Player for the Film Journal International website.


ADVERTISEMENT



INDUSTRY GUIDES

» Blue Sheets
FJI's guide to upcoming movie releases, including films in production and development. Check back weekly for the latest additions.

» Distribution Guide
» Equipment Guide
» Exhibition Guide

ORDER A PRINT SUBSCRIPTION

Film Journal International

Subscribe to the monthly print edition of Film Journal International and get the full visual impact of this valuable resource for the cinema business.

» Click Here

SPONSORSHIP OPPORTUNITIES

Learn how to promote your company at the Film Expo Group events: ShowEast, CineEurope, and CineAsia.

» Click Here