Stagestruck adolescent learns about love the hard way while interning in Cleveland summer stock during the early '50's.Stagestruck adolescent learns about love the hard way while interning in Cleveland summer stock during the early '50's.Stagestruck adolescent learns about love the hard way while interning in Cleveland summer stock during the early '50's.
Having recently watched it, however, I find it is not without its charms. Written by David Shaber--who also wrote the screenplay for "The Warriors"--the film is a coming of age story about a young man who is studying pre-med in Ohio when he is exposed to the world of live theater.
Artie Shoemaker (Tom Hulce) knows nothing of the theater world when he takes a summer job handling props and scenery for a regional outdoor theater. As many who are exposed to the peculiar charms of the stage, Artie is enchanted. The male lead of the summer season is Harry Crystal--played by stage star Frank Langella. Harry seems like a guy who has it all together and is on top of the world. But Artie has much to learn.
During the summer, Artie learns about the magic, the dreams, the drama, and the heartbreak that accompany life onstage and backstage. He falls for a dancer, Ramona (Glynnis O'Connor), who personifies the illusions of love and the theater. He decides to drop our of school and become a playwright.
The film was shot at a Cleveland Heights outdoor theater venue and it feels genuine to the theater experience. The actors perform well, even if their parts are not too demanding. Four years after this film, Tom Hulce--also a stage star--will play the lead role in the amazing film "Amadeus".
This film's greatest allure for me is the roster of notable actors. Hulce, O'Connor and Langella did not appear in relatively many films between them, given the visibility of their careers around the time of this film.
- Mar 25, 2016