You don’t have to be a fan of musicals (often a hard sell for me) to get caught up in the spirit of One Night Stand, the documentary opening the 2012 RiverRun International Film Festival on April 13.
One Night Stand clocks in at a brisk 74-minute running time and documents an ingenious benefit event: four creative teams cast, write, and produce 20 minute musicals within a 24 hour time period.
First-time directors Elisabeth Sperling and Trish Dalton capture the action and keep the pace moving by intercutting among the teams to demonstrate how tensions rise as the clock ticks toward opening curtain.
What might have been a pro forma, procedural doc is much more engaging than the topic suggests because of the opportunity viewers have to see familiar performers in unfamiliar circumstances.
The actors include familiar faces such as Rachel Dratch, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Cheyenne Jackson, Richard Kind, Tamara Tunie, and Alicia Witt. It’s fun to see their fears, frustrations, and flubs, but also to see them jump into roles with little preparation and then shine onstage.