Documentary Review: ‘One Night Stand’ Goes Behind the Scenes of a Creating a Musical in 24 Hours

one-night-stand-documentaryCould you and your friends create a musical in 24 hours? Not only create it, but rehearse and have it performed?

That’s the idea behind 24 Hour Musicals and the story of the wonderful documentary, One Night Stand.

Directors Elisabeth Sperling and Trish Dalton take you behind the scenes of the creative process – a quickly executed creative process – where they follow four sets of writers, composers, directors and actors who have to come up with four 15-minute musicals by 8pm the next day.

The action – and yes, there is definitely action – starts at 8pm on a Sunday night in New York City where the actors give a quick, usually funny audition. The writers and composers then go backstage, pick their cast and start the fun. You get to watch as they come up with a story, write the music and, for some of them, struggle to finish before their deadline.

At 8 that morning, the actors and directors show up to find out what they’ll be doing for the next 12 hours. Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Cheyenne Jackson, Richard Kind and Rachel Dratch are just some of the people you’ll recognize who have joined in the craziness.

And yeah, it’s crazy.

Over the next 12 hours, as they struggle to memorize scenes, monologues and songs you can see the frustration starting to set in. “It’s too fast. You can’t be a perfectionist. Which is hard for me,” Cheyenne Jackson tells the camera. In one hilarious moment, Jackson is having a minor freak-out while the words ‘F*CK’ have been scrawled onto a blackboard behind him.

As the actors move through the escalated rehearsal and tech, show time nears and no one is ready but, as they say, the show must go on.

The filmmakers show us good portions of the individual shows and it’s actually pretty amazing what they’ve accomplished. You can tell the performers are having a great time and even though they at times forget their lines and parts of songs, the audience is with them to the end, smiling and clapping.

I was too. And that’s why I immediately watched it again.

Leave a Reply

http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/laura-linney-genuis.jpg
Laura Linney: “The thing that makes the theater different from any other art form: it’s time”
Linney cast's some light on why revivals in theater are looked at differently than their television and film counterparts.
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/corey-hawkins.jpg
Corey Hawkins: “I grew up a theater nerd”
"The fun of it and the challenge of it is to take the play — to take the text — and make it your own, to find it your own way" - Corey Hawkins on Theater
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/sally-field-the-glass-menagerie.jpg
Sally Field on Performing on Broadway: “You’re so totally and utterly and completely alive”
Field reveals how the lack of intermission helps her maintain her energy and why she decided to return to Broadway after a nearly 15-year break.
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/watch-sag-conversations-with-geo.jpg
Watch: SAG Conversations with Geoffrey Rush of ‘Genius’
Rush speaks at length about his career and portraying who many consider to be the wisest man of the 20th century.
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/Ben-Platt-Dear-Evan-Hansen.jpg
Ben Platt on How He Found Himself Starring in ‘Dear Evan Hansen’
"Every day is a different sort of vibe and feeling. It can be impacted by anything from like, "Is it raining outside?" to "Are there a lot of old people?"" - Ben Platt