from Hot American hot with Weight And Camp Nowhere, summer camp has always been cinematically a place to get weird. But for the campers in AdirondACTS theater camp, a few months away from home in time to do some good theater and hone their skills to be the next star of the stage. TheaterDirected by Molly Gordon And Nick Lieberman And based on the 2020 short of the same name, a parody of children’s love of the theater, is one that knows these types of characters inside and out and has fun with this understanding over-the-top.
AdirondACTS is run every summer by Joan (Amy Sedaris), but when she falls into a coma before starting camp, her DJ/influencer son Troy (Jimmy Tatro) took her place – much to the chagrin of the campers and the camp director. Each year, the camp exhibits several (this year’s offerings include Crucible, CatAnd Damn Yankees), and every year, Amos (Ben Platt) and Rebecca-Diane (Gordon) put on their own show. This year, they decided to crate a tribute to the director of the camp Joan, stillThe show is still very much a work in progress, where it has not been written yet.
Among the staff, we also meet Glenn (excellent Noah Gavin), who works behind the scenes, but clearly has the talent of those on stage, choreographer Clive (Nathan Lee Graham) and Janet (as hilarious Ayo Edebiri), who BS’ed her way to this job and had never worked in theater or with children before. Together, the camp tried to organize these shows, all while Caroline (Patti Harrison) from nearby rich camps, try to buy a camp from another place.
Theater Time in the style of mockumentary like Wait for Guffman, although not doing much with the concept, other than establishing the beginning and end of the film. like Hot American hot, Theater It can still feel like a series of paintings tied together by a story. However, with the script of Platt, Galvin, Gordon, and Lieberman, there is a deep knowledge and appreciation for this type of actors – hell, they used to be them – which makes the film feel like it comes from a place of love, even when it pokes fun at the ridiculous.
A lot of Theater It feels improvised, and sometimes that can make this feel sometimes not fit with the larger narrative. In addition, most of these characters, especially children and some high school teachers, can feel one note. But Theater Works because for its flaws, jokes that land more than what is not, and Theater Certainly has a high comedy-per-minute ratio, jumps from concept to concept, and prioritizes humor above everything else.
Both Platt and Gordon are surprisingly self-effacing here, and it’s especially fun to see Platt play out what seems to be his own willpower—certainly after Dear Evan Hansen. But the main players are solid, from Galvin’s Glenn, who goes from quiet stage to clear star over the course of the film, and Edebiri – who doesn’t get nearly as much time as she deserves – as she tries to earn. Consider what she is doing at this camp for those who know more about drama than she does.
Theater Not without its flaws, but the hilarious show, like their characters, are game for anything, and the jokes fly fast and mostly land. Theater will not exceed Guffman A great mockumentary of the stage anytime soon, but Gordon and Lieberman show promise in this parody from the heart.
Theater In theaters now.