For those of you who are in Toronto today or tomorrow-or for those of you who are willing to drive to Toronto for a quality film about the exhilaration of the creative process and the making of a musical; I've got a suggestion for you! 'One Night Stand', a film documenting the process of putting together the 2009 edition of New York City's famous "24 Hour Musicals", is currently playing at the Cineplex Odeon Yonge and Dundas Cinemas, February 6th at 7:30pm and February 7th at 10:00pm. For tickets, click here.
This fast-paced and hilarious film follows some of the stage and film's top actors, including Cheyenne Jackson, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Rachel Dratch, Richard Kind, Tracie Thoms, Alicia Witt, Michael Longoria, Roger Bart, Mandy Gonzalez and many more!
This reviewer recently had the opportunity to chat with Elisabeth Sperling and Trish Dalton; the producers/directors of this film, about the universality of the creative process, the simultaneous panic and excitement that go into the making of a 24 hour musical, and why Jesse Tyler Ferguson (now of 'Modern Family' fame) feels the need to "birth" a musical at least once a year!
BWW: Thanks so much for talking to us about your film! I have heard of the "24 Hour Musicals" and always wanted to see it-but I also don't know too much about it. It sounds like your film would solve both of those problems! Can you share with readers what the "24 Hour Musicals" are, and what your film is about?
TRISH: The film follows The 24 Hour Musicals, an annual event in New York City known as "the most impossible theater event of the year!" --in which amazingly talented writers, composers, actors, and directors volunteer to write, rehearse and perform four short musicals in just 24 hours! In the film, you get to see how the talent first meets each other, introducing themselves with a prop and a costume, and the actors sing as a sort of audition. Then everyone goes home except the writers and composers, who stay up all night, in four teams, to write and compose four short original musicals. That morning, the actors and directors return, take the scripts, and have just the day to learn their lines, their songs, their dances and be ready for the show at 8 o'clock that night! --in front of a live New York City audience and press, so there's a lot of pressure!
ELISABETH: So in the film you see the whole process behind the scenes, and then you see the performance, which is a fundraising event produced by The 24 Hour Company to benefit The Exchange, a non-profit theater company that produces new works and also supports other theater companies as they produce new theater works--with the idea that even as we love classics and revivals, we also want to support the creation of the "classics of the future." Live theater is a constantly-evolving art form, and these are artists who keep that evolution going.
TRISH: And the event culiminates with the live audience watching [the shows] the following night--but really what the film is, is that you get to watch the process of what the [writers, composers, and actors] go through--the fun part, and also the terrifying part of trying to finish, and also wondering whether or not they can pull it off! What it really does is sort of celebrate what "The Exchange" is up to in the first place; celebrating theatre, new works, and creativity-and the joy of putting on new shows and new works!