After much time and deliberation, I am here to review this year’s 24-hour musical, with my totally qualified background of reviewing live musical theater. Let me tell you: the 24-hour musical will always amaze me because, every year, by the time I realize it’s happening, it’s basically over, which I guess is kinda the point, but still. In fact, it took more time to write this review than for the cast and crew of 24-hour to put their production together. So good job to everyone who partook in it. I’m proud of you and so are Emma Lichtenstein’s parents for “trying something new.”
Before I get into the greatness that is 24-hour I have a serious question: why was the musical called “Camp Rock” if it followed the plot of “Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam?” Do you know how confused I was the first, like, 10 minutes? I mean, I still love “Camp Rock 2,” it was just a misleading title. Second, who knew there was a Camp Rock Musical?!? I shouldn’t be too surprised because my sister did “High School Musical: The Musical” back in high school (wow that sentence was something else) but still, the more you know! I also loved the choice of musical, it really brought me back to 2008. Who needs “Hadestown” or “Les Miserables” when you have “Camp Rock.”
Anyway, let’s break this down. Favorite scene, hands down no questions asked, was “Introducing Me.” No question. You had the people who played trees (a really nice touch might I add), dare I say the real stars of the scene (and quite possibly the entire production). It may have taken a while to realize they were trees but once you got it they really stood out. Then you had  playing Nate (played by Nick Jonas in the movie), and despite having forgotten half of the words to the song because of what a massive tongue twister it is, the audience stepped right in and sang along because you already know every girl memorized that song at eight years old and never forgot it because of Nick Jonas. It was a truly iconic scene that I looked forward to and boy oh boy did it not disappoint.
Also, the 24-hour musical this year was just flat out relatable, because if you grew up watching Disney Channel and knew the “Camp Rock” franchise you could recognize the songs. You might not know all the words by heart, but you definitely would know the chorus, and that showed in nearly every group number. There was a noticeable difference in volume between the verses and the chorus, and I even found myself laughing because I would be singing along over Zoom to the chorus and then go silent when the verse came up.
Huge shoutout to , the girl who played Tess, she literally had all of her lines memorized and that did not go unnoticed. I was completely impressed to see her without a binder and not stutter over any lines, which made it seem like you had more than 24 hours to prepare which is awesome! Though I should note everyone did a fantastic job; the entire cast really made a quick turnaround of a production. I enjoyed the entire production and found myself smiling and laughing the whole time.
It is amazing that students are able to put the time and dedication into putting a production like this together in 24 hours. Putting on a show can take months of planning and coordinating and, mind you, while it may not be on the same caliber, it still requires a lot of effort from the entire cast and crew.
The production as a whole was a bop (I mean this in the best way possible). I loved the enthusiasm, the dance numbers, the trees. It was also nice just to see that sense of community again. The 24-hour musical is a community-building event, there is no doubt about that: you don’t just stay up all night with a bunch of practically-strangers to work on a collective project and not build some sense of camaraderie. And to not have the musical last year, despite being for everyone’s health and safety, was still disappointing. I was very happy the university could resume this tradition and maintain proper safety measures for students to enjoy the experience in a semi “normal” way.