I hate musical theatre. As someone with a background in the performing arts this may seem “out-of-character,” but I assure you musicals suck, they suck, they suck. Really, I just can’t stand it – sure the music is pretty, the costumes & sets are cute, blah, blah, it makes me want to vomit. Some of the emptiest stories I’ve encountered are live or movie musicals (there are of course exceptions, such as WAITING FOR GUFFMAN, which is fantastic). They rarely have good character development and I’d rather go dancing myself than sit through another one. This long standing ire left me feeling quite surprised when I first found out about Jerome Sable’s STAGE FRIGHT (2014) and couldn’t help but grin.
This movie sounds like so much fun. The basic premise is simple enough. Actress Kylie Swanson (Minnie Driver) is an acclaimed diva about to perform the lead part in a production of The Haunting of the Opera (yes, musical theatre geeks – a reference to your precious Phantom) when she is brutally murdered by a masked mystery man. Cut to years later, and Kylie’s daughter Camilla (Allie MacDonald) is an angsty teen working in the kitchen of a musical theatre summer camp. When the camp announces that they are going to be doing a kabuki inspired performance of the play that claimed her mother’s life, Camilla decides that she wants to follow in her mother’s footsteps as the lead. She gets the part, but she also inherits a murderer on the loose.
So yes, this WILL be exciting – a movie about how shitty theatre life can be – like BLACK SWAN, but not as overly symbolic to the point of pedantry. We’ll also get to see a young teenage girl, sexualized by the men running the show (Meat Loaf (!) & Brandon Uranowitz), nonetheless surpass all expectations and fight to save her life AND the show.
Head on over for this midnight movie treat! The show must, and will, go on.
STAGE FRIGHT (2014) DIR. JEROME SABLE
5/16 & 5/17 – 11:59PM
The Coolidge Corner Theatre
290 Harvard Street
Brookline, MA 02446