Movie You Can Feel Glee-ful About: Most Valuable Players
Directed by Matthew Kallis
7 p.m. Wednesday, November 17, at the Tivoli
In Most Valuable Players, Matthew Kallis' directorial debut, a handful of high school musical-theater superstars are given their moment in the indie documentary spotlight. Kallis' camera follows the cast members of three high school musicals in Pennsylvania's Lehigh Valley in the weeks leading up to the Freddy Awards, the so-called high school Tony Awards. In this era of obsession over TV's Glee and the High School Musical franchise, this film is sure to reach a wide audience. And it's even better than its fictional counterparts: These are real kids, with acne and anxiety. There's tension (two of the schools, just five miles down the road from one another, choose to perform Les Miserables on the very same weekend), drama (a beloved Freddy Awards producer is diagnosed with cancer) and divas galore (two of the high school actresses kvetch about their director, then turn to look at each other. "Are we bitches?" one asks. "You are," the other responds). There's even a conspiracy theory: Should one high school be allowed to compete in the "Best Costumes" category if they rented their costumes instead of creating them? The film jumps around and can be confusing at times, but ultimately, the charisma and heart of the performers will draw you in and leave you fascinated until curtain call.