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

Tracks
Film Review: Tracks

Ably supported by Adam Driver, Mia Wasikowska commands the screen in John Curran’s superbly photographed drama based on a true story. More »

Hollidaysburg
Film Review: Hollidaysburg

Well-observed, empathetic look at friends reuniting over their first college break. More »

The Zero Theorem
Film Review: The Zero Theorem

A noisy, hyperkinetic, visually gorgeous spectacle that tackles the mother of all big questions–the meaning of life—Terry Gilliam's latest is sometimes frustrating and occasionally outright goofy, but it's never dull. More »

Art and Craft
Film Review: Art and Craft

Documentary portrait of the artist as a disturbed man, but one who is overwhelmingly endearing, functioning and talented—and whose métier happens to be art forgery. This smartly produced and constructed art-themed art-house entry delivers a canvas of caper, comedy and delightful curiosities that engage and provoke some serious thought. Like the hero’s forgeries, it deserves a close look. More »

ADVERTISEMENT



REVIEWS

The Maze Runner
Film Review: The Maze Runner

Youths try to break out of a deadly maze in the latest young-adult doomsday thriller. More »

This is Where I Leave You
Film Review: This Is Where I Leave You

Siblings bond, fight and face new problems after the death of their father in an ensemble dramedy based on the best-selling novel. 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