Write, compose, cast, direct, rehearse, tech, and perform — even if a production is in a hurry, that process will take at least two years… Has Smash taught us nothing?
For the fifth time, a team of nearly 100 stars of Broadway, television, film, and music will produce, from start to finish, four original musicals in a mere 24 hours, and then present them at The Gramercy Theatre at 8pm on April 29. The 24-Hour Company is teaming with the Exchange, an off-Broadway theater company, to host the event to benefit The Orchard Project, a summer retreat that kick-starts new theatrical works from around the world.
Composers and book writers will begin their work at 11pm on April 28. Their completed musicals, which must include at least two songs each, are due by 7am the following morning, giving the actors and directors an ample 13 hours to put the shows together in time for an 8 o'clock curtain (Yes, the actors will be off book). The performance will be followed by a VIP after party at the Gansevoort Park Avenue Hotel.
The star-studded list of participants includes singer-songwriter Ben Folds, Maulik Pancholy (30 Rock), Zosia Mamet (Girls), Josh Lawson (House of Lies), Deirdre Lovejoy (The Wire), Nikki M. James (Book of Mormon), Anthony Rapp (Rent), cabaret sensation Bridget Everett, Kristoffer Diaz (The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Diety), Lisa Peterson (An Iliad), Jonathan Marc Sherman (Clive), Alicia Witt (Friday Night Lights), John Cariani (Fiddler on the Roof), Brian Crawley (Violet), Joe Iconis (The Black Suits), and Daniel Goldstein (Godspell).
"This event produces enough adrenaline to power a normal person for at least a month. I can't wait for the rush — and I can't wait to see what these enormously talented people create," said Ari Edelson, artistic director of the Exchange and the Orchard Project. "I am beyond grateful to everyone volunteering a day to help theater artists develop their next big ideas this coming summer at the Orchard Project."
The 24 Hour Musicals was also the subject of a recent documentary called One Night Stand, which will play the Quad Cinema beginning on April 26.