Opening Night (2016)

Opening Night Poster

Taking place entirely during the opening night of a high school's production of Shakespeare's Midsummer Night's Dream, OPENING NIGHT chronicles the on stage disasters and off-stage drama of a group of students, their drama teacher and a visiting B-list TV star.

Plot Synopsis
Directed by Isaac Rentz, "Opening Night" is a 2016 musical motion picture that follows the disorderly production of a Broadway musical, "One Hit Wonderland," on its opening night. The lead character, Nick, an unsuccessful star who developed into an impresario, struggles to manage the whirlwind of backstage shenanigans as he fights individual epiphanies.

Nick succumbs to the pressure of his ex-girlfriend, Chloe, who stars in the show, and acquiesces the temptation to restore his past acting splendor. Meanwhile, the flamboyant director insists on impossible last-minute modifications. This film uses an unique behind-the-scenes glance into the competitive world of phase production conveyed through a series of musical numbers and comedic sketches interwoven with powerful dialogue.

Main Characters
The movie stars Topher Grace as Nick, a former actor bitterly trying to preserve control over the performance while fighting his own desire to return to the spotlight. Chloe, played by Alona Tal, is Nick's previous flame and the show's star, whose charismatic efficiency renews an old passion in Nick firing up a love triangle including her, Nick and her existing sweetheart, a dimwitted pop singer, JC, played by JC Chasez himself.

Rob Riggle plays a strip-club owner who is convinced that the musical will be an ideal platform to debut his gifted stripper girlfriend as a starlet. Paul Scheer portrays the director of the production, a pretentious artist who discovers himself in a power struggle with Nick over the creative direction of the program.

Styles and Highlights
"Opening Night" unfolds as a lively assortment of comical turmoil and extreme feelings demonstrating the pressure, drama, and excitement that includes putting on a show. It incorporates musical numbers well into advancing the plot, with a number of original structures which aid in providing the humor and the psychological mileposts of the turbulent journey of the Broadway program's opening night.

The movie also checks out essential styles such as individuality, the pursuit of dreams, and the struggle and camaraderie experienced backstage. It further exploits double entendre and farce which heighten the highlighting tragicomedy.

Nick's transformation from a pessimist frantically holding on to the shadows to an optimist reviving his love for acting upon stage forms the essence of the movie. Despite the night's many hiccups, the program is a success, and Nick finally comes to terms with his previous failures, finding his love for the phase again.

Reception and Critical Review
"Opening Night" received mixed evaluations, with some lauding its humor, heart, and music, although some critics wished for more depth in its character development and storyline. Regardless, the movie was commemorated for its interesting look at the busy, frenetic backstage theater. The efficiencies from Topher Grace and ensemble cast were appreciated for their comical timing and the energetic musical numbers, developing a fascinating behind-the-scenes Broadway story.

Nevertheless, whether an audience member is a fan of musical theater or not, "Opening Night" has something for everyone with its interesting exploration of backstage drama, paired with romantic angles, music, and funny, making it a lighthearted, pleasurable watch. The film premiered at the Los Angeles Film Festival in 2016, was released widely in 2017, and is now readily available on leading streaming platforms.

Top Cast

  • Cheyenne Jackson (small)
    Cheyenne Jackson
    Eli Faisel
  • Anthony Rapp (small)
    Anthony Rapp
    Logan Joyce
  • Jessica Richards
  • Mitchell Jarvis
    Shakespeare / Janitor
  • Kelsey Carthew (small)
    Kelsey Carthew
  • Chasen Bauer
    Windsor Bisby
  • Nicole Tompkins (small)
    Nicole Tompkins
  • Philip Labes (small)
    Philip Labes
  • Christopher Matias Aguila (small)
    Christopher Matias Aguila
  • Marquis Wood
    Marcus Robertson
  • Camille Cregan