MOST VALUABLE PLAYERS IS AN UNFORGETTABLE REAL-LIFE GLEE SAGA
– By LL (posted Wednesday Feb 8, 2012)
The film was an audience favorite at film fests around the world, including the Dallas International Film Festival and the Nashville Film Festival, where it won the “Documentary Channel Audience Award.” It was Most Valuable Players’ high-profile festival run that sparked interest from the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN), as the Official OWN Documentary Club Selection in 2011.
While high school sports departments across the country regularly receive funding, publicity and scholarships, theater programs that encourage the same kind of teamwork, camaraderie and confidence strive for some recognition of their own. It’s no different in Pennsylvania’s sports crazed Lehigh Valley—except for “The Freddy Awards,” named after J. “Fred” Osterstock, who managed the State Theatre in Easton, Pennsylvania from 1936 until his death in 1957. The awards, which were created by the State Theatre in 2002, are the real deal, featuring such categories as Best Musical and Best Actor and Actress as well as Best Orchestra, Best Chorus, Best Set and Best Costumes. Open to any public, private or parochial high school in the region that has staged a musical, “The Freddies” truly honor the talent, dedication and passion of students who sing and dance their hearts out in the name of personal and team achievement, artistic excellence and the opportunity to win a scholarship so they can further pursue their goals.
Inspired to make Most Valuable Players after watching clips of a “Freddy Awards” production on YouTube, director/producer Matthew D. Kallis and screenwriter/producer Christopher Lockhart showcase the importance of arts education and the cultivation of young talent as they follow three theater troupes– Bethlehem’s Freedom High School, Emmaus High School, and Parkland High School—on their journey to the Super Bowl of high school musical theater, “The Freddies.” And you can bet that between all that vibrant vocalizing, delirious dancing and thrilling thespian unleashed in the troupes’ renditions of the classic musicals Bye Bye Birdie and Les Misérables, there’s even room for a dose of comedy, a tide of high drama and a handful of delightful divas who would make even Liza Minnelli blush!
Most Valuable Players shows off as a delicious slice of Americana that plays like a reality-show mash-up of TV’s Glee and the High School Musical movies. In case anyone missed it on the OWN channel, the film will be available on DVD (Virgil Films & Entertainment) on February 21st. The disc also has some extra bonus features that make it extra sweet for the family.
All in all, Most Valuable Players will have you cheering for the most talented high school students you’ve ever seen as they sing and dance their way out of your living room television and into your heart!