Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Behind the Scenes Look at "Creating a Play in a Day" Coming to the Big Screen

I just got a notice from the American Theatre Critics Association's Jay Handelman, who wanted to share some information about Fathom's "One Night Stand" screenings. It's about one of the playwriting/playmaking projects that has been getting some traction in recent years, when everybody necessary to put on a show goes from zero to opening in 24 hours. But I'll let you read the press release:

"One Night Stand: Creating a Play in a Day” 
Cinema Event Takes Audiences Behind Curtain
of New York’s Theater World 

NCM® Fathom Events and Overnight Musicals Present
a Behind-the-Scenes Look into the Creation of Four 
Musicals from Blank Page to Live Stage in Just 24 Hours 

In Select Movie Theaters Nationwide 
on Wednesday, January 30 

Centennial, Colo. – Jan. 3, 2013 – Giving audiences an unbridled and candid look behind the scenes of the Broadway curtain, NCM® Fathom Events, Overnight Musicals and The Broadway League present “One Night Stand: Creating a Play in a Day,” a unique one-night event broadcast to movie theaters nationwide on Wednesday, Jan. 30 at 7:30 p.m. local time. This fast-paced, hilarious and entertaining film follows some of New York's top actors, including Cheyenne Jackson (30 Rock, Glee), Jesse Tyler Ferguson (Modern Family) and Rachel Dratch (Saturday Night Live), as well as teams of writers, composers and directors as they are given 24 hours to write, cast, compose, rehearse and perform four short musicals. At the end of the 24 hours, the musicals make their opening, and closing, night at New York City’s Gramercy Theatre. The event will also present exclusive behind-the-scenes footage and interviews with the stars of “One Night Stand” as they share intimate stories of life on Broadway.

Tickets for “One Night Stand: Creating a Play in a Day” are available at participating theater box offices and online at For a complete list of theater locations and prices, visit the NCM Fathom Events website (theaters and participants are subject to change).The event will be broadcast to nearly 450 select movie theaters across the country through NCM’s exclusive Digital Broadcast Network.

Likened to “‘A Chorus Line’ meets ‘Project Runway’” (, “One Night Stand: Creating a Play in a Day,” directed by Elisabeth Sperling and Trish Dalton, captures the excitement, anxiety, camaraderie and sheer panic that leads to the final thrill of the finished performance. From the blank page to the live stage, “One Night Stand: Creating a Play in a Day” unveils the magic as these talented artists take the dare to create something from nothing.

Four teams consisting of composers, writers, directors and actors use props to inspire the musicals: a zoot suit worn by Richard Kind (Argo, Spin City, Mad About You) on a children’s show in the 1970s inspires the “Islands” musical; a phobia pop-up book is the premise for “Multiphobia” and an 80s prom dress prop is used in “Dr. Williams” featuring Jackson, Ferguson and Roger Bart (Revenge, Desperate Housewives). Dratch brings her comedic timing to the fourth musical, “Rachel said Sorry.”

"I love the whole process of birthing a new musical, from the first rehearsal until opening night, and ‘One Night Stand’ shows it all encapsulated in one day,” said Ferguson. “It's just so exciting and really quite moving – a crazy birth in one night! You get to see some amazing New York talent on stage, me included.”

 Actors featured in the musicals include the aforementioned Bart, Dratch, Ferguson, Jackson and Kind as well as Mandy Gonzalez (Wicked, In the Heights); Capathia Jenkins (Newsies, Chicago, Nine); Theresa McCarthy (Queen of the Mist, Saturn Returns, Titanic); Nellie McKay (Home Sweet Mobile Home, Rumor Has It); Marnie Schulenburg (As the World Turns); Scarlet Strallen (Mary Poppins, The Witches of Eastwick); Tracie Thoms (Cold Case, Rent); Tamara Tunie (Law and Order SVU, Flight) and Alicia Witt (Two Weeks Notice, Urban Legend).

 “The excitement is palpable as these talented writers, composers and actors work against the clock to bring their musicals from their imaginations to the stage in record time,” said Shelly Maxwell, executive vice president of NCM Fathom Events. “Fans of live theatre will find this one-of-a-kind Fathom Event truly captivating.”

About National CineMedia (NCM)

NCM operates NCM Media Networks, a leading integrated media company reaching U.S. consumers in movie theaters, online and through mobile technology. The NCM Cinema Network and NCM Fathom Events present cinema advertising and events across the nation’s largest digital in-theater network, comprised of theaters owned by AMC Entertainment Inc., Cinemark Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: CNK), Regal Entertainment Group (NYSE: RGC) and other leading regional theater circuits. NCM’s theater advertising network covers 183 Designated Market Areas® (49 of the top 50) and includes over 19,300 screens (over 18,400 digital). During 2011, approximately 680 million patrons (on an annualized basis) attended movies shown in theaters in which NCM currently has exclusive, cinema advertising agreements in place. The NCM Fathom Events live digital broadcast network (“DBN”) is comprised of over 720 locations in 170 Designated Market Areas® (including all of the top 50). The NCM Interactive Network offers 360-degree integrated marketing opportunities in combination with cinema, encompassing 41 entertainment-related websites, online widgets and mobile applications. National CineMedia, Inc. (NASDAQ: NCMI) owns a 48.6% interest in and is the managing member of National CineMedia LLC. For more information, visit or

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Because the Fathom website uses Java, which is currently under assault from the security-minded who recommend disabling Java entirely, I decided to give the list here of theaters in Illinois which will be airing the film so that you don't have to try to find it at Fathom. You will notice that neither Bloomington nor Normal is participating, so B-N folks who want to see how you create a whole musical in a day will need to go to Peoria or Savoy (which is south of Champaign on Rte. 45).

South Barrington 30 with IMAX (Barrington)
Randall 15 with IMAX (Batavia)
River East 21 (Chicago)
ShowPlace ICON at Roosevelt Collection (Chicago)
Showplace 16 (Crystal Lake)
Century 16 Deer Park (Deer Park)
Evanston 18 with XD (Evanston)
Lincolnshire 21 with IMAX (Lincolnshire)
Yorktown 17 with IMAX (Lombard)
Naperville 16 with IMAX (Naperville)
Niles 12 (Niles)
Orland Park Cinemas 14 (Orland Park)
Willow Knolls 14 (Peoria) 
Savoy 16 (Savoy) 
Cinemark Woodridge 17 with IMAX (Woodridge)

Unless you have plans to be in the Chicago area on January 30th, Peoria and Savoy are your most convenient options.


  1. This seems SO enticing! (And this is the first I've heard of it.)

    Gotta go....

  2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.