Digital Review: Future Cult-Classic “Theater Camp” Includes Half-Hour of Hilarious Bonus Features

Destined to become a cult classic, Theater Camp was a highlight of this year’s Sundance Film Festival and SXSW. Acquired by Searchlight Pictures, theatergoers slept on the film when it came to theaters in July but the good news is that it’s now available to stream at home. While the film is currently available on Hulu, if you’re obsessed with it the way I am, you won’t want to sleep on the digital release, which comes with bonus features you won’t find anywhere else (it does not appear to be getting a release on Blu-Ray or 4K Ultra-HD).

(Searchlight Pictures)

(Searchlight Pictures)

Following a Bye Bye Birdie-related stroke, AdirondACTS theater camp owner Joan (Amy Sedaris) has to take this summer off. Stepping in to lead the eclectic program is her bro son Troy (Jimmy Tatro). With the camp on the brink of financial collapse, Troy will have to learn the ins and outs of his mother’s legacy if he will have any chance of saving AdirondACTS. With the camp’s lead counselors/musical writers (Ben Platt and Molly Gordon) paying tribute to his mother with a new musical titled Joan, Still, saving the camp will prove harder than he ever could’ve imagined.

Expanded from the short film of the same name, Theater Camp lovingly pokes fun at the diehard attitude of musical theater kids while paying homage to the medium itself. It’s a joyous, laugh-out-loud comedy that anyone who ever participated in a school musical will want to watch again and again. It’s highly quotable, and with so much of the dialogue improvised by the genius comedic cast, the bonus features are full of alternate takes that are just as hilarious as what made the final cut.

The brainchild of Tony Award winner Ben Platt (Dear Evan Hansen), Molly Gordon (Booksmart), Noah Galvin (The Real O’Neals), and Nick Lieberman, Theater Camp also includes a cast of rising comedy stars. Jimmy Tatro (Home Economics), Ayo Edebiri (FX’s The Bear), Amy Sedaris (The Mandalorian), Patti Harrison (She-Hulk: Attorney at Law), Nathan Lee Graham (Woke), Owen Thiele (Dollface), and Luke Islam (The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers) are a few of the recognizable faces that fans will love in their roles, and the film is also sure to be a jumping-off point for many newcomers. The film truly captures lightning in a bottle, and the bonus features include over 30 minutes of additional fun.

Bonus Features

  • Side by Side by Side: A Theater Camp Chat (7:17) – Go backstage with the creative team of THEATER CAMP as they discuss why being in sync as actors, writers, friends, and filmmakers brought their comedy to life. Featuring Ben Platt, Molly Gordon, Noah Galvin, Jimmy Tatro, Owen Thiele, and Nick Lieberman.
  • Deleted Scenes (4:44) – Enjoy a front-row seat to some of the funniest material ever to grace a cutting room floor in this string of highly amusing deleted scenes.
  • Extended Scenes (4:05) – Sometimes the comic magic just can't be contained in the final cut. So, when enough isn't quite enough and you crave just a little bit more, these extended scenes are the perfect thing to satisfy you!
  • Talent Showcase Reels (16:52) – Witness the improvisational genius of the cast in these talent showcase reels and watch as the actors build upon and embellish each scene with hilarious, impromptu, alternate takes.
    • Rebecca-Diane (4:06)
    • Amos (3:29)
    • Troy (2:45)
    • Songwriting with Rebecca-Diane & Amos (3:41)
    • Troy Meets with Rebecca-Diane & Amos (2:58)
  • Outtakes (3:36) – With a cast as funny as this, it's no surprise that even these pros couldn't keep from cracking up. This outtake reel reveals just how hard it can be to keep a straight tace.

Theater Camp is now streaming on Hulu. You can add it to your digital collection from all major digital providers, including Prime Video, Apple TV, and Vudu, all of which can be connected through Movies Anywhere.

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Alex Reif
Alex joined the Laughing Place team in 2014 and has been a lifelong Disney fan. His main beats for LP are Disney-branded movies, TV shows, books, music and toys. He recently became a member of the Television Critics Association (TCA).