The laughs that come back­stage

Los Angeles Times - - AT THE MOVIES - — Gary Gold­stein

It’s about as plau­si­ble as your av­er­age stage — or movie — mu­si­cal, but “Open­ing Night” proves a funny and sexy if de­cid­edly slight back­stage com­edy. An­chored by an en­gag­ing turn by To­pher Grace as Nick, a failed Broad­way per­former turned stage man­ager, the film, di­rected by Isaac Rentz from a script by Gerry De Leon and Greg Lisi, packs plenty of mu­sic and mis­chief into its brief run­ning time.

On the open­ing night of the Broad­way mu­si­cal “One Hit Won­der­land,” a juke­box­type trib­ute to artists known for one — and only one — Top 40 hit song, Nick must keep the show’s ec­cen­tric cast and crew in line through a wacky se­ries of con­flicts and ob­sta­cles.

Th­ese play­ers in­clude pretty un­der­study — and Nick’s ex-girl­friend — Chloe (Alona Tal), who must jump into the show af­ter the jaded lead­ing lady (Anne Heche) suf­fers a con­cus­sion; the mu­si­cal’s wom­an­iz­ing star (’N Sync’s JC Chasez, as him­self); a cocky gay dancer (Taye Diggs) who hi­lar­i­ously com­petes with a shame­less diva (Lesli Margherita) for a hot new cast mate (Diego de To­var); and the show’s hy­per-ob­nox­ious pro­ducer (an over-the-top Rob Rig­gle).

En­joy­able mu­si­cal num­bers, both on stage and off, ac­com­pany the fast-paced ac­tion, with such pop ear­worms as “Rock Me Amadeus,” “Liv­ing La Vida Loca,” “I Melt With You” and “I Know What Boys Like” dot­ting the evoca­tive sound­track.

“Open­ing Night.” No rat­ing. Run­ning time: 1 hour, 23 min­utes. Play­ing: Arena Cinelounge Sun­set, Hol­ly­wood.

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