One Night Stand is a Flimsy Home-Movie Portrait


The 24 Hour Company is an organization that, for charity, enlists Broadway and television actors, writers, directors, composers, and choreographers to produce and stage four 15-minute musicals in a single day. It’s a noble and creatively inventive venture, but Elisabeth Sperling and Trish Dalton’s documentary about the event, One Night Stand, still doesn’t amount to more than a flimsy home-movie portrait of the creative process under time constraints. Notable faces like Richard Kind, Alicia Witt, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, and Rachel Dratch are some of the many eager participants who pull an all-nighter to write original songs and narratives and then rehearse them in time for a show the next day. The four works that emerge concern phobias, a trio of wacky surgeons, a Staten Island Ponzi schemer, and a group of girls dealing with the aftermath of a bachelorette party—all mini-productions that are, at best, slight and cute. That its subjects find the fast-paced process challenging and stressful is unsurprising, but this nonfiction portrait provides no real insight into the origins of inspiration or the nature of collaboration. Instead, it’s a trifle mainly aimed at diehard theater fans and those curious to know if SNL alum Dratch can carry a tune.