Theater Camp is easily one of my favorite movies from the 2023 movie schedule so far, and that’s in great part because of its phenomenal cast. Made up of theater veterans and up-in-coming comedy legends, this comedy is all about a theater camp that’s on the brink of closing and the teachers and students who are trying to save it. Ben Platt and Molly Gordon play the acting and music teachers, and the directors/writers/composers of the camp’s biggest musical of the season Joan, Still. Noah Galvin plays Glenn, the stage manager and super shy artist. While Platt shines in his role, and Gordon slays as the star and co-director of the movie, and all three co-wrote it with Nick Lieberman, it’s Galvin’s performance that I can’t stop thinking about.
Not only does Glenn keep the camp together, but Galvin ties the film together, and he has some hilarious and seriously impressive moments throughout Theater Camp, which is why I think he deserves a spotlight of his own.
Glenn Is The Most Nuanced Character In Theater Camp
While the characters in Theater Camp have been praised by theater kids as “totally delightful and eerily accurate,” as our own Corey Chichizola wrote, Galvin’s stage manager Glenn is 100% the most nuanced character.
In the beginning, it seems like Glenn is simply the overworked stage manager. He takes his job very seriously, and he deeply cares about the kids who are working with him to create the summer productions. However, as the film progresses, it’s slowly revealed that Galvin’s character is actually a phenomenal performer, he’s just shy.
We’re never told he wants to be in the spotlight, we’re shown it. Through an impromptu dance break while teaching kids how to use a spotlight and a light humming while he fixes a wire, among other things, we slowly figure out that Glenn has always wanted to be on stage, even though he loves his job behind it. They’re small moments, but they’re deep and meaningful, and this internal struggle Galvin’s character faces is clear, and heartwarming, making the climax of the film incredibly rewarding.
After Joan, Still, Get Noah Galvin On Back Broadway, Now
That climax I mentioned, is the performance of Amos (Platt) and Rebecca-Diane’s (Gordon) original musical Joan, Still. After the camp’s owner, Joan, suffers a seizure and ends up in a coma, her wannabe business influencer son Troy (Jimmy Tatro) takes over the camp and Amos and Rebecca-Diane create a musical in Joan’s honor. They cast the kids in the musical, and rehearsals cause drama. Meanwhile, Glenn is bouncing between helping Troy figure out how to save the camp and assisting everyone else with their shows.
On the opening night of Joan, Still, they’re left without a lead, and as far as Amos knows, a finale number. However, we soon find out that Glenn has taken over the lead role as Joan, and the finale was written, and it’s beautiful. There’s tap dancing, there’s high notes hit, there’s some immaculate stage managing, and overall, it’s masterful.
When I tell you I applauded after he performed that stock exchange number both times I saw the movie (in theaters and then with a Hulu subscription), I’m dead serious. He deserved a standing ovation for that performance.
However, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Noah Galvin absolutely killed it as Joan. Like Ben Platt, Molly Gordon, and a lot of the cast, The Good Doctor actor is a Broadway veteran. He made his Broadway debut in Waitress, where he played Ogie. Then he made his way over to the Broadway production of Dear Evan Hansen, where he followed in Platt’s footsteps as the musical’s titular character.
Since then, Galvin has done some Off-Broadway productions, including Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and Alice By Heart, however, he’s been consistently working on TV for a while now. Notably, he was the star of The Real O’Neals and he’s been on The Good Doctor since 2020.
If I’ve learned anything from Theater Camp, it’s that Noah Galvin needs to get back to Broadway ASAP. While I love seeing him on screen, he also thrives on stage, especially as our beloved Joan.
Between Theater Camp And Booksmart, I’m Convinced Noah Galvin Should Star In More Comedies
So, I was introduced to Noah Galvin in Booksmart. He played George, the over-the-top theater kid, and he was a showstopper. Kaitlyn Dever, one of the two leads in one of the best women-led buddy comedies said that she would have loved to see more of Galvin’s story in a sequel, and I couldn’t agree more. He stands out as a comedic light in Olivia Wilde’s well-reviewed first film, and the same can be said about his performance in Theater Camp.
As we talked about, Glenn has the nuance and the talent, but he also has the humor. While Galvin’s character is serious throughout the whole movie, his physical comedy is what makes him so hilarious. When I think about how effective his physical performance was, the scene that comes to mind is the one where Troy is speaking with the businesswoman trying to claim that camp, and Glenn is trying to interrupt them by walking in between the two with a ladder, multiple times. It’s subtle, but it’s hilarious.
Also, can we talk about the montage of Glenn fixing everything? Not only is that a hilarious depiction of the chaos that is stage management, but it’s also a great display of Galvin’s ability to commit to the bit. Him rolling down a whole entire hill, hysterical.
Much like in Booksmart, Glavin gives his all, and this man deserves to be in more comedies!
Overall, Noah Galvin is the star of Theater Camp in my eyes. So, Ben Platt and Molly Gordon, whom I love dearly, I’m sorry, but Galvin's Glenn is the star of both Joan, Still and this fantastic film.
You can stream Theater Camp right now on Hulu and it's available with exclusive bonus content at digital retailers.