Theater Camp the film
Directed by Molly Gordon and Nick Lieberman
Written by Noah Galvin, Molly Gordon, Nick Lieberman, Ben Platt
Featuring Noah Galvin, Molly Gordon, Ben Platt, Jimmy Tratto, Nathan Lee Graham, Amy Sedaris
Review by Maegan Bergeron-Clearwood
Find Your Local Listing — Like virtually every movie-about-theater that has come before it, Theater Camp features an audition montage. The young performers have barely unpacked for their summer at AdirondACTS (a rundown summer camp in upstate New York) when, one by one, they file onstage to determine their fates for the next three weeks. Stage lights in their eyes and Broadway dreams in their hearts, they begin to belt.
Watching the movie last week, I braced myself for secondhand embarrassment.
And yet, against every precedent set by other films in the mockumentary genre, no embarrassment came. Instead, I found myself beaming with joy. These kids are good, I thought. Nerdy and not great at choosing audition songs, but good. I breathed a sigh of relief.
It was this early audition montage that convinced me that Theater Camp is unique. Theater Camp plays with the expected mockumentary tropes, particularly in its characterizations: everyone at AdirondACTS is a caricature of a theater person, from Rebecca-Diane and Amos (Molly Gordon and Ben Platt), the overly serious co-writers of the summer’s original musical, to Glenn, the thankless stagehand with a secret dream to be in the spotlight (Noah Galvin). Continue reading