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24-hour musicals with no sleep

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It was great to take a recess break from Bangladesh and Boston news to see One Night Stand, a documentary about the making of the 24-hour musical. This deeply   euphoric film takes us on a back stage journey of this yearly show. It’s scary watching  composers and lyricists try and come up with plots and songs in barely eight hours. Watching  them sweat the process, hitting creative blocks and then standing up straight is like watching a blind ski team…anything can happen before they reach their six am finishing line.

Then the actors show up… talents like Cheyenne Jackson, Nellie McKay, Richard Kind and Rachel Dratch, getting their scripts, their direction and their choreography together from the morning until their 8pm curtain.

Directors   Elizabeth Sperling and Trish Dalton do a great job in building the suspense by ‘dropping in’ on the groups during every stage of the process. Rachel Dratch admits to not having sung in years and watching her big eyes as she tries to  squeeze out notes is a really lucky break for the film.

A play about phobias has a song about a disinfectant that is catchy even if the germs aren’t.

The adrenaline rush of the do it yourselfer musicals provides a necessary escape from all  the bad news..creator Tina Fallon, says it’s very important for actors to be off book… so you can really feel the tension of them trying not to forget the words.

if a bunch of people can pull so much creativity out of themselves in a day, well what can the rest of us, humanity with thousands of years behinds us, say?  At least say it with music.

The film plays at the Quad all weekend, then is on Itunes. And the next 24-hour musical is this Monday in Gramercy Park.   

Written by nancykoan

April 27, 2013 at 5:51 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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