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USA, 2011, 74 Minute Running Time
Genre/Subjects: Comedy, Drama, Music
Programs: Argonaut Wine & Film Series, Documentary Films, Women + FilmLanguage: English
DIRECTOR: Trish Dalton, Elisabeth Sperling
Producer: Elisabeth Sperling, Trish DaltonEditor: Karen Weinberg, Julie JanataCinematographer: Nara Garber, Luke Meyer, Joshua Weinstein, Mia Barker, Joshua Alafia, Alex Stikich, Ian Dudley, DaviPrincipal Cast: Cheyenne Jackson, Rachel Dratch, Richard Kind, Benj Pasek, Lance Horne, Gabriel Kahane, Brian Crawley, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Tracie Thoms, Rinne Groff, Gina Gionfriddo, Jonathan Marc Sherman, Ted Sperling, Tamara Tunie, Robin Goldwasser, Julia Greenb
If the average Broadway musical takes years to produce, imagine doing it—the writing, composing, choreography, casting, rehearsing, and finally performing—in 24 hours. One Night Stand goes behind the scenes of 24 Hour Musicals, an annual fundraiser that accomplishes just that. Held in New York City, the event supports The Exchange, which funds innovative theater companies in the States and abroad. It brings some of the industry’s brightest talents—from theater and film actors to writers, composers, directors, and choreographers—together under one roof to create four 15-minute mini-musicals that will be performed in front of a live audience the very next day. The time limit brings out the best—and the worst—in these artists; watching the musicals materialize out of nothing—amid all the excitement, inspiration, anxiety, and temporary insanity—is a bit like watching a diamond being created from coal.
Some of the project’s participants will be familiar faces, including Modern Family’s Jesse Tyler Ferguson, 30 Rock’s Cheyenne Jackson, and Saturday Night Live’s Rachel Dratch; others, like playwright Rinne Groff and composer Lance Horne, have lent their talents to countless ventures, albeit behind the velvet curtain. Meanwhile, directors Elisabeth Sperling and Trish Dalton keep the focus tight and the tension building as they capture the miraculous nature of the creative process. Sperling claims that the “secret of creativity” inheres in deadlines, playful collaboration, and doubt: “At some point in the process you will be certain that you and your project are completely and utterly doomed. You should continue anyway.”
Through all the chaos, the camaraderie and creative spirit that are uniquely Broadway’s emerge. This joyful documentary gives us an up-close and personal glimpse.—REBECCA CARO
photo by Kerry Long
Sponsored by Argonaut Wine & Liquor, Barbara Bridges Family Foundation, Butler Rents, Caz Matthews
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