Theatre kids - one of the most polarising groups of people, a group so loved and hated at the same time; we adore them and fear them all at once. I am not a theatre kid, I'm a theatre lover without an ounce of musical talent in my body, but there is nothing I truly love more than a musical. 'Theater Camp' takes a peek behind the curtain and gives theatre kids a reason to rejoice.
AdirondACTS is the name of this 'Theater Camp'. This summer, things are being run a little differently with camp founder Joan (Amy Sedaris, 'Chef', 'School of Rock') in a coma, her "crypto-bro" son Troy (Jimmy Tatro, 'The King of Staten Island', '22 Jump Street') stuck in charge of the camp without ever having listened to 'Bye Bye Bridie'. He is out of his element, so it's up to Amos (Ben Platt, 'Pitch Perfect', 'Dear Evan Hansen') and Rebecca-Diane (Molly Gordon, 'Good Boys', 'Shiva Baby') to take on these future thespians with their original show 'Joan, Still', a tribute to their coma-ridden founder. Other camp teachers Clive (Nathan Lee Graham, 'Zoolander', 'Hitch'), Janet (Ayo Edebiri, 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem', 'Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse') and Gigi (Owen Thiele, 'Zoey 102') also pitch in, along with camp tech Glenn (Noah Galvin, 'Booksmart', 'Assassination Nation'). But when rival camp owner, Caroline (Patti Harrison, 'The Lost City', 'A Simple Favour'), learns of the camp's financial trouble, they have to all come together to save the day.
From its opening act to curtain call, 'Theater Camp' had me grinning from ear to ear. It's a laugh a minute - this is an extremely well-polished comedy that simply does not miss a beat. First-time directors Molly Gordon and Nick Lieberman absolutely knock it out of the park and with a script written by the pair as well as Noah Galvin and Ben Platt, this is a great love letter to us musical theatre lovers. I can't express this enough - this is truly one of my favourite modern comedies of all-time, up there with the greats like 'Booksmart' and 'Easy A', it's a staple of the genre.
This is truly one of my favourite modern comedies of all-time, up there with the greats like 'Booksmart' and 'Easy A', it's a staple of the genre.
The comedy is truly exceptional, but after all, this is a movie about musicals and the music is absolutely magical. They have written some of the best original music I've heard in a musical in a long time. While it still has a very comedic undertone, the film's soundtrack is a show I would undoubtedly love to see in full; give us the full 'Joan, Still' musical! In a year of 'Peaches' and 'I'm Just Ken', these songs are soon to become some of the favourites of the year.
'Theater Camp' is one of those comedies that is a superb symphony. Every part of the film comes together so perfectly, it's a love letter to theatre and an all-around fantastic time. It so perfectly pokes fun at theatre kids while loving them wholeheartedly at the same time, it truly is an ode to theatre. Theatre kids, you are off the hook for now!
On 'RuPaul's Drag Race: All Stars', Ben Platt professed he was the king of the theatre kids and after the cinematic adaptation of 'Dear Evan Hanson' we felt betrayed - but you have redeemed yourself, sir, welcome back.