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

Kink
Film Review: Kink

James Franco and regular collaborator Christina Voros teach you everything you always wanted to know about fetish porn (but were afraid to ask). More »

14 Blades
Film Review: 14 Blades

Uneven martial-arts tale benefits from its flashy retro style. More »

Metro Manila
Film Review: Metro Manila

Less emotion and more action might have better served this near-thriller. More »

Salvo
Film Review: Salvo

Minimalist Mafioso movie features first-rate filmmaking, but shoots a few blanks in the plot department. More »

ADVERTISEMENT



REVIEWS

If I Stay
Film Review: If I Stay

Delivers as promised. More »

The Expendables 3
Film Review: The Expendables 3

Third go-round for the aging mercenaries, this time fighting a ruthless arms dealer. Sylvester Stallone's B-movie formula is wearing thin. 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