Wednesday, April 17, 2019

A musical set in a subway car

A group of strangers stuck between stations in a New York City subway car seems an unlikely premise for a musical on film. But that didn't stop writer/director Michael Berry from trying. The result is Stuck: A mixed bag of a musical that has its moments, thanks mostly to a game cast. Giancarlo Esposito anchors the show as a homeless man with a philosophical bent. Joining Esposito are Ashanti, as a young woman with a chip on her shoulder; Arden Cho, as a dancer who walls herself off from contact with the other passengers; and Amy Madigan, as a sad woman who can't find the right key for talking with her fellow riders. Omar Chapparo plays an angry construction worker who can't afford to miss a day's pay, and Gerard Canonico portrays a young artist who has created a comic book about a disabled superhero named Maggie. Each character is given a musical number -- with Canonico's song affording Berry an opportunity for the addition of special effects that fit the generally modest nature of the enterprise. Before the train restarts, each character offers a glimpse into his or her true self. It doesn't take a genius to know that this serviceable collection of musical numbers and dialogue will result in mutual understanding, a conclusion the movie reaches within a reasonable 90-minute running time.

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