Often when I am checking out short films, I tend to stay within the confines of the horror genre. But once in a while I come across something a little different and it is a nice departure from the usual. Recently I have had the pleasure of watching a great drama called Forgiving Amy, and I also checked out a bizarre little film called The Days God Slept, which couldn’t really be categorized at all. Then today what rolls into my view? A musical. I am personally a fan of musicals in general, whether it be Grease, The Rocky Horror Picture Show or the recent film adaptation of Les Miserables. But today’s short film was a bit of a surprise, and a pleasant one at that.
Stage of Mind is a short film written and directed by Robbie Vicencio from New York City and based on this film, I would say he has quite a bit of The Big Apple running through his veins. The film follows roommates Jeremy (Philip Eggers) and Alicia (Coty Palavecino). Alicia likes to sing in the shower and Jeremy is entranced every time she does. He lingers outside the door and drifts off each time, fantasizing about Coty performing in a sexy Broadway number. But when Coty catches Jeremy listening in, an unexpected turn of events may make Jeremy the star of his own show.
It’s not often that an independent filmmaker or student will risk trying to make a musical short. There is a lot involved, especially if there is singing and dancing involved. Vicencio managed to not only include singing and dancing, but to write the original music himself with writing partner Sebastian Romero. Yup, a musical with original music. In a short film. Pretty much unheard of. The performances by Eggers and Palavecino are both solid, but Palavecino in particular stands out, especially when she is singing. The voice on this woman is just phenomenal. The story is quaint and charming and very old school musical. This is from the heyday of Broadway, All That Jazz and A Chorus Line. The music is catchy and well written and the numbers are well executed. I couldn’t help but wonder what this could have been if expanded into a longer film though, it has the potential for a much larger love story. Almost a Broadway version of Across the Universe.
All in all though, a promising short with impressive filming, music and acting.
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