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One Night Stand Film Review

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Theater Documentary Chronicles Captivating Musicals Staged in 24 Hours

Anyone who grew up watching The Little Rascals remembers that some of the best episodes were where the kids attempted to put on a show, like the time they did Romeo & Juliet, and Buckwheat had to serve as a last-minute stand-in for Darla as Juliet, much to Alfalfa's consternation. Well, if you can appreciate that sort of impromptu entertainment, then you are likely to enjoy One Night Stand: Creating a Play in a Day.

Co-directed by Trish Dalton and Elisabeth Sperling, the movie chronicles a Herculean, coordinated effort to write, cast, compose, rehearse and perform four musicals in less than a day. And it's all for a good cause, too, The Exchange, a charity which supports innovative theater artists.

kind
Kind at the 2009 Toronto International Film Festival. Photo: Wikimedia Commons
The movie stars a number of recognizable stage and screen actors, most notably, Richard Kind, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Cheyenne Jackson, Tracie Toms and SNL alumna Rachel Dratch. And it also prominently features the playwrights and composers operating under pressure to produce scripts and scores, respectively, with little time to revise.

They began working at 8 PM and by 8 AM they handed over a quartet of freshly-minted musicals to the directors and cast members. What ensues is a sort of opening night bedlam, but greatly amplified, since they only have a few hours to memorize lines, lyrics and melodies.

Initially, I was admittedly a little put off by the assorted backstage banter and hysteria, especially since I was more than a little cynical about the ambitious endeavor's prospects. Yet, all was forgiven when the pieces of the puzzle ultimately came together by show time. I couldn't believe how polished and professional the final product was.

Rome might not have been built in a day, but One Night Stand proves that a captivating, Broadway-quality musical can be mounted in 24 hours. Who knew?

Very Good (3 stars)

Unrated

Running time: 74 minutes

Distributor: Fathom Events

Studio: Incubation Films

To see a trailer for One Night Stand:

Special One-Night Event Nationwide:

One Night Stand will be in theaters on Jan 30, 2013 at 7:30pm local time

Kam Williams is a syndicated film and book critic who writes for 100+ publications. He is a member of the New York Film Critics Online, the African-American Film Critics Association, and the NAACP Image Awards Nominating Committee. Contact him through NewsBlaze. Read more reviews by Kam Williams.

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