Theater Camp starring Ben Platt gets acclaim at Sundance – The Hollywood Reporter

Sundance Film Festival has closed theater camp Saturday afternoon presents the world premiere of the exciting fantasy film made by four best friends, Ben Platt, Noah Galvin, Molly Gordon and Nick Lieberman.

Audiences inside Park City’s Eccles Theater gave the performance a standing ovation and generously saved another surprise musical performance after the final credit, a rare occurrence. for a festival screening. The musical short features eight young actors performing a series of tunes written for the film’s finale titled Joan, Still. When they bowed one last time, the crowd cheered and clapped like one for a Broadway show.

theater camp opens with a scene that sets up the rest of the film: the beloved founder of a run-down drama camp, played by Amy Sedaris, suffers a seizure caused by flashing lights in his high school play. Goodbye, goodbye Birdie. When summer comes again, kids from all over the world gather to attend her rundown summer camp in upstate New York, hilariously called AdirondaACTS.

Her clueless “crypto brother” son, Troy, played by Jimmy Tatro, is tasked with keeping the thespian paradise running while forced to navigate the movie with his employees. camp, played by Platt, Gordon, Galvin, Ayo Edebiri, Nathan Lee Graham and Owen Thiele, as they began production in Joan’s honor. Minari Breakthrough Alan Kim also has a scene-stealing role as an agent who wants to be a talent agent, and Patti Harrison plays a business development executive with ulterior motives.

The film also features big-name producers from Gloria Sanchez Prods., Picturestart and Topic Studios, including Will Ferrell, Jessica Elbaum, Erik Feig, Samie Kim Falvey, Julia Hammer, Ryan Heller, Maria Zuckerman, Galvin , Gordon, Lieberman and Platt. theater camp As one of the upcoming titles to be distributed, today’s premiere is likely to boost sales thanks to a warm reception from audiences.

Gordon and Lieberman teamed up to make their feature film directorial debut, and in a brief Q&A after the premiere (and performance), she explained how that happened.

“We really just wanted to do something with our friends. I met Ben when I was 3 years old. I’m about to cry because this is too much to bear. I fell in love with him, and he was very gay and didn’t like me,” she said to cheers from her lifelong best friend, who was recently engaged to Galvin. “We’ve always wanted to do something as a team, and we’re so inspired by all these people who have done things with their friends and brought back a larger community. We invited Owen, Patty and Jimmy and all these amazing people and wanted to create a sandbox where they could really master their roles and have self-determination and just have fun.”

It’s based on their short film, and Lieberman said when they showed it around town, they said their vision was the same as it was in 1993. war room, a documentary about Bill Clinton’s 1992 presidential campaign. “They were like, what the hell is that? Cazy. But we just wanted to do it in a more cinematic way and make it our own that way,” says Lieberman, adding that other inspirations are iconic fantasy films Christopher Guest’s statue as Best Movie, A Mighty Wind and Waiting for Guffman.

For this piece, award-winning artist Tony Platt pointed to the experience’s biggest “fun and unexpected”. It was “it was amazing how young actors improvised and brought them into the film and being completely themselves, which is what drama camp is all about. They really captured the heart of the movie and I’m so glad they came and sang for you because it was like the biggest party in the world.”


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